Junior football notes

AFC HOXNE took a massive step towards promotion with a battling performance against a strong and well organised Tackett Street side. Hoxne knew they had to start fast on a boggy pitch and that's exactly what they did, getting early challenges in and pressuring high up the pitch.

It took only six minutes for the home side to take the lead when a long throw by Colin Mayhew was headed against the crossbar by Ryan Halil and the rebound was smashed into the net by Mark Ismay via the keeper to make the score 1-0. The visitors were looking shaky at the back and the goalkeeper was spilling crosses and it didn't take long for Hoxne to double their lead. It came when a long ball forward from Wayne Kerry wasn't cleared properly by the keeper and it fell to Mayhew on the edge of the area and he finished well to make the score 2-0. Tackett slowly started to get into the game and got themselves in a dangerous position and fizzed the ball across the box, but Ian Edwards palmed it wide. Minutes later the visitors had another chance from the edge of the area but again Edwards held the shot. Hoxne were playing on the counter-attack and almost scored again when good work from Reece Palfrey saw the ball fall to Mayhew, but his shot was well saved. Just before half-time Tackett had another chance to get back in the game when a set-piece fell to the forward, but Ian Edwards saved with his feet. The second half was more of the same with Hoxne sitting back and defending well looking to hit on the counter-attack. The visitors started the half well and only a smart piece of handling by Ian Edwards kept them out. On 56 minutes, Hoxne scored what looked to be the game killing goal. It came when Gary Marcks found Martin Kent down the left who cut inside and took a shot which deflected into the path of Jon Abbott who calmly slotted the ball into the roof of the net from 12 yards for his 15th of the season and to make the score 3-0. The game was ticking away with the visitors pushing everyone forward but the backline of Halil, Wayne Kerry, Steve Garland and Gary Marcks were clearing everything and defending brilliantly. On 69 minutes the Tackett central midfielder went on a driving run and unleashed a superb shot from 20 yards that was somehow tipped wide by Edwards. From the resulting corner Wayne Kerry cleared well, but the ball was volleyed back in and turned into the net from four yards to make the score 3-1. The home side attacked straight away and almost scored when a superb left volley from Jon Abbott went inches past the post. The visitors were pushing hard and some excellent last ditched defending from Hoxne kept the two-goal advantage. With 10 minutes to go Tackett were awarded a free-kick which broke in the box to the forward, but Edwards was again on hand to turn the ball away with his feet. In injury time Tackett saw a free-kick cannon back of the crossbar for the forward to turn the ball into the net only to be flagged offside leaving the final score 3-1. An excellent battling performance but man of the match went to Edwards for a string of fine saves.

FT: AFC Hoxne 3 Tackett Street 1.

HETHERSETT ATHLETIC LADIES HEARTS team are in second place in the Norfolk Women's League Division One after a 3-0 win in the derby against Wymondham. Lisa Ferdani was on target twice and Hethersett's other goal came from Rhianne Brister. Hethersett Athletic Ladies first team's match at home to Stevenage Borough was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

HETHERSETT ATHLETIC Saturday came up against a strong Northwold Sports and Social Club in the first round of the Crown Fire Ambulance Cup and went down 5-2. Hethersett's goals came from Rickie Allen and Matt Molloy.

HETHERSETT ATHLETIC Sunday Reserves made it four league wins in a row with a 3-2 home victory over Spixworth Reserves. Hethersett's goals came from Jack Rushden, Paul Martin and Jamie Wright.