Anglian Combination Division Two – Aylsham 2 Harleston Town 1
Town suffered their third defeat on the spin at second-placed Aylsham.
However, after putting in their best performance of 2012 to date, they will feel aggrieved not to have come away without at least a point for their efforts.
The hosts started the game well as Town struggled to impose themselves; early passes were going astray from a Harleston side that looked short on confidence after their recent run of disappointing form.
Just as the visitors looked to be getting into the game, the hosts took the lead on 15 minutes when their wide man cut inside before curling into the corner from 25 yards, leaving Shannon no chance.
The goal kicked Harleston into life and they began to pass the ball well as enjoyed far more possession. Town won a succession of corners which put the hosts' goal under siege, one of which came back off the cross bar.
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On 35 minutes Town produced the move of the match when Trudgill, Renaut and Wright combined on the edge of the Aylsham box for Renaut to release Wright through on goal with a superb pass. However, Wright's effort, which looked destined for the corner, was expertly saved by the impressive Aylsham keeper.
Town continued to push forward, but in the final minute of the half disaster struck, when a patient Aylsham move resulted in another fine effort from a full 25 yards finding the top corner of the Harleston goal, leaving the visitors with mountain to climb in the second half.
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Harleston came out for the second half showing their intent on taking the game to their hosts from the off.
In turn Aylsham looked content to try and soak up pressure and kill time, and the game, wherever possible.
Shannon was now a virtual spectator in the Town goal as the game was played out in the Aylsham half. A Lee West corner found Bliss, whose header was excellently saved by the keeper before the same player nodded the rebound agonisingly over the bar from close range.
Bliss and substitute Passey were combining well down the right, and another good move resulted in Bliss surging into the box before being chopped down.
The referee duly blew his whistle, but to the surprise of everybody decided the offence 'was on the line' and placed the ball on the 18-yard line for a free-kick which came to nothing.
In the final minute, Town pulled a goal back when Wright slotted the ball into the bottom corner from 10 yards, but it was to little to late and the hosts held on.
Man of the match: Ryan London.