Wherrymen are on the up as promotion is finally secured
- Credit: Archant
Beccles Town will play top-flight football next season.
A 2-1 win away to Scole Town guaranteed their promotion – and they will now join champions Bradenham, who pipped them for the title by virtue of goal difference of just three.
It was Scole who had foiled Beccles’ hopes two seasons ago, and the visitors, knowing a win would guarantee promotion, started with the team that performed well in recent matches.
Having lost the toss Beccles were forced to defend the slope on a very bumpy pitch and into a strong breeze and consequently were under immediate pressure.
Beccles were nervy and uncertain and faced a barrage on their goal and on 18 minutes conceded when a well-flighted corner was helped on by the breeze and the head of Will Golding from close in. On 24 minutes, Aaron Jones received a bad knock that needed treatment but recovered to continue.
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The second half belonged to Beccles as they pushed Scole back down the wings with constant probing from Shaw and Waterman and good runs from Bailey and Harvey-Cooper.
Unfortunately, the very bumpy pitch was a big problem for Beccles who were unable to use their usual good close control and many attacks petered out with a lost ball.
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On 50 minutes Liam Harvey-Cooper gave Beccles hope when he went on one of his complex runs in from the left wing, evaded several attempted tackles, and lashed a right-foot shot past several defenders to level the score.
With four minutes left and following a string of corners, Beccles managed to hit the front when Luke Bailey picked up a poor clearance out on the left and sent in a great cross for Joe Clark to score with a glancing header.
The crowd and players went wild and the referee had to restore order to continue the game. This left two minutes plus stoppage time for Beccles to hold on, but they continued to press, looking for a third goal, and Clark went close with another screamer.
The final whistle sparked celebrations as most of the supporters showed relief after a mixed season and at the accomplishment of going up.