Football Junior notes
AFC HOXNE travelled to top of the league and unbeaten Waterside for a massive game expecting a few surprises – and the home side didn't disappoint. Waterside had re-signed star striker Tye Webb and called in the services of Riccardo Phillips from Felixstowe for the game. Hoxne themselves were without regulars Ryan Halil and James Harrison and lined up 4-1-4-1 in order to frustrate their opponents. The game was no more than a minute old before Max Lock hit a superb challenge on the Waterside enforcer to set the tone for the rest of the game. The home side were enjoying the majority of possession and passing the ball around confidently, but were not really going anywhere and almost got in down the right, but Tom Havers and Gary Marcks defended well. On 11 minutes a corner from the home side wasn't cleared properly and the striker had a effort on goal, but Richard Ferry tipped the ball over the bar. Waterside came forward again and a good cross from the right was headed towards goal, but again Ferry was on hand to make the save. On 21 minutes Hoxne took the lead against the run of play when a free-kick from Mark Ismay was played into the box where Cheddar misjudged the ball and Ryan Perry toward above him from 15 yards to power a header into the top corner to make the score 1-0. The home side reacted well to this and continued to play their passing game but the backline of Steve Garland, Lee Tricker, Mark Ismay and Gary Marcks were standing firm and were never caused too much trouble and Hoxne took a 1-0 lead into the second half. HT: Waterside 0 AFC Hoxne 1. The second half was much of the same with Waterside enjoying the majority of possession and Hoxne defending well. The midfield four of Jon Abbott, Reece Palfrey, Harry Reeves and Tom Havers were pressing the ball well and not allowing any space with Max Lock sweeping up behind them. The home side were becoming more and more frustrated and this was shown with their lack of discipline as Cheddar picked up a yellow card. Waterside came extremely close to scoring as a cross shot into the box was deflected towards goal and rebounded off the post and was clear. Another good attack down the left saw the ball fall kindly in the box for the forward and he fired the ball towards goal, but captain Steve Garland made a brilliant last-ditch block. At this point it was Waterside who were completely in control, but Hoxne were finding space on the counter-attack and an excellent reverse pass from Jon Abbott set Lloyd Miller on his way, but he was thwarted by a last-ditch tackle by the defender. With five minutes to go tempers boiled over with Russell Hockley and a Waterside defender being showed red cards for seemingly innocuous incidents. The management team of the home side were also shown red cards. The game was far from over as Waterside hit the bar from a free-kick and then with the last kick of the game a flick-on set the forward free and his volley beat Ferry but came back off the post to leave the final score at 1-0. This was a superb defensive performance from Hoxne who have now given themselves an outside chance of the title as they moved two points clear at the top. This was Waterside's first defeat of the season and it will be interesting to see their reaction after being at full strength, the game being played on an adult sized pitch and the offside flag only being raised twice in the entire game. AFC Hoxne man of the match was Max Lock.
ATTLEBOROUGH TOWN LADIES 3 Norwich Cen Bap Church 2.
This was the 7a side League Cup semi-final, and it was played in bright sunshine and a competitive spirit. Boro had several chances before Sherral Williamson deservedly put them ahead. The visitors' goal was leading a charmed life before Boro went further ahead through Becky Humphreys to lead 2-0 at half-time. It was the visitors who were the first to show after the restart as a goalmouth scramble was not cleared and they pulled a goal back. This gave them a lift and they used it to their full advantage as they pushed forward for the equaliser, which came from a rasping shot giving stand-in keeper Julie Neeve no chance. Boro now had to dig deep and get their game going again. They brought on Laura Hudson for defender Sam Howard and a change of formation to hopefully cause the visitors some problems. This finally worked as some good inter-play between Lucy Kean and Laura Hudson ending with Sherral Williamson striking a well-taken goal to put Boro back in the lead. They still had keeper Julie Neeve to thank as she pulled off two good saves as the visitors went looking for another equaliser. Boro finally held out to reach the final, a very good team effort. Mom Harriet Butler. They will play Costessey Sports Ladies in the final on a date to be arranged.
ATTLEBOROUGH TOWN RES travelled to Aylsham hoping to extend their good run of late. Playing down hill and facing a stiff breeze the visitors pressed forward without causing the home defence many problems as the final ball was found wanting. As the game approached half-time the home side were making things difficult for the Boro and the back four and keeper had to be alert. Just as it looked as though it would be goalless at half-time, Aylsham managed to get behind Boro's defence and opened the scoring. All credit to Boro they came out for the second half looking to get back on level terms. They had to keep a watchful eye on the home side breaking forward, but this threat was usually cut out, with young Carl Whitman outstanding. The Aylsham goal led a charmed life as Boro pressed forward time after time, but were unable to find the net, with Scott Browne hitting the crossbar. Boro deserved something but it was not to be. This Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm) they are home to champions-elect Saham Toney, who will out for revenge as Boro are the only side to beat them this season so far. Aylsham Res 1 Attleborough Town Res 0.
HETHERSETT ATHLETIC MEN'S SATURDAY finally found some form to beat West End 3-2 at home. Scorers were Gary Davis, Nick Shorten and Paul Grimwood with one of the goals of the season.
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HETHERSETT ATHLETIC LADIES produced one of their best performances of the season to beat Stevenage Borough 3-0 thanks to goals from Sophie Lubbock, Grace Birchall and Emma Mulley.
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