Victory keeps Beccles top while Bungay celebrate anniversary in style


- Credit: Archant

Holt 1 Beccles 2

Beccles Town maintained their lead at the top of the Anglian Combination First Division, despite travelling to Holt with a number of players missing.

In addition to the current list of injured players, Town were without Bailey, Bemment, Fisk and Mutimer, so called upon both under 18 and reserve players in the form of Luke Pierce, Dave Shade and Dan Smith.

Holt kicked off and it was Beccles who took the game to their hosts. Town were keeping the ball well in the opening exchanges and being very positive going forward. In the first 20 minutes Beccles were able to hit Holt on the counter-attack to create some chances which were not converted.

Beccles could have taken the lead on 15 minutes when Harley Pluck flicked on a long ball to Jason Clarke, but he crashed his volley against the bar with the goalkeeper beaten.

On 25 minutes the visitors created their first chance when a forward breached the back line when he latched on to a through ball, but Cable was off his line quickly to block the attempt.

It took until the 35th minute for Beccles to take the lead. Following a quick flurry of corners, Jon Lovelock rose highest to glance his header past the keeper and into the net.

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One soon became two for Beccles when Clark raced down the left and his shot was smothered by the keeper – but it fell kindly to Clarke who bundled the ball over the line to make it 2-0 at the interval.

The second half started well for Beccles, with Clark getting lots of the ball and making things tick, whilst Remblance and Udell were dominating the midfield.

This allowed Town to create a host of chances which they could not convert.

Beccles were rather wasteful in front of goal as numerous chances went begging.

Town made some changes on 65 minutes with Smith replacing the injured Pluck and Hurren replacing Udell.

On 83 minutes, Holt set up a tense final minutes when they pulled a goal back.

Beccles lost the ball high up the pitch and the home side broke straight through the back line and a forward raced clear before slotting past Cable.

The Beccles rearguard needed to defend resolutely in the final few minutes to preserve the 2-1 score line and take all three points.

Starting line-up: Cable, Pierce, Lovelock, Shade, Shreeve, Remblance, Udell, Clark, Booker, Clarke and Pluck. Subs: Smith, Hurren.

Town have a trip to 11th-placed Foulsham this weekend, while second-placed Waveney, two points behind, are away to Stalham Town.

Bungay 2, Poringland 0

A goal in each half brought Bungay their third Anglian Combination Division One win of the season in front of a big 90th anniversary crowd.

It should have been more as the Black Dogs completely dominated the game but failed to take more of their numerous chances, and there will have been some of the many ex-players there for the occasion who might have felt they could have converted some of them.

But it was a satisfying victory for the side and their first clean sheet of the season against the team they lost to in the club’s very first game back in September, 1925.

Paul Bliss again played up front and he got his first goal for the club after just four minutes, heading home a Dom Mirner corner.

Mirner himself had a chance soon after but could not quite work a shot under pressure, and then the visiting keeper made a fine save to turn over a blockbuster from Aiden Lowe.

Poringland tested Rob Howes with one shot, but Bungay enjoyed the bulk of the possession.

Mirner fired too high from Fionn Goodwin-Wright’s pull back, Shaun Whiteman saw a header clutched by the keeper and Lowe tested the keeper with another long range strike.

Goodwin-Weight then had a chance but a defender forced him wide, and then he headed over from Lee Houghton’s cross in the 30th minute.

Craig Hunting made a great block to cut out danger in a rare Poringland sortie, and Bliss had the best chance of the half when Lowe put him clear, but the keeper grabbed the ball after blocking his first effort.

Just before the interval Bungay put together a great move and the keeper did well to turn Joe Mcfarlane’s shot away for a corner.

The second half continued in the same pattern. Bliss had a shot blocked, Kevin Riches put a header just over the angle of post and bar, but at the other end Howes had to make a diving save to keep his side in front from a low shot on the turn.

The busy Poringland keeper saved from Riches and Mirner, and Bliss and Goodwin-Wright could not convert other chances before, in the 75th minute, the second goal finally came, Lowe getting his fourth of the season with a neat flick from close range following a corner.

Before the end Sam Olley tested the keeper again and Bliss should have scored when clear, but his lob was clutched by the keeper.

Team: Howes, Olley, Hunting, Whiteman, Houghton (Burgess), D Riches, Mcfarklane (McFadden), Lowe, Mirner, Bliss, Goodwin-Wright (J Riches).

Tomorrow Bungay entertain Aylsham in a league game.

Meanwhile, Beccles were 2-1 winners at Holt United, thanks to first-half goals from Jon-Robert Lovelock and Jason Clarke.