Rare setback for Attleborough
- Credit: Joe Dent/JMP
Attleborough Town 0 Blofield Utd Reserves 1
Attleborough Town were looking to extend their recent run of good form with a home game against Blofield United Reserves on Saturday.
The visitors had been struggling in the bottom half of the table for most of the season with their last win coming back in November but came away with a shock win.
The home side were able to name the same starting 11 and substitutes that were present for the 8-0 demolition of Caister Reserves the previous week.
However, stark contrasts from last week were clear from the start as the visitors pressed Boro into making some sloppy mistakes. It took Boro 15 minutes to register their first chance of the game when G Mann's shot was blocked inside the Blofield penalty area.
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Despite struggling to get through the gears, the hosts could have taken the lead after a fine cross by Pallant found the head of S Mann. But the striker could only divert his header narrowly wide of the post from eight yards out.
Blofield continued to nullify the Boro midfield and limit the supply line to the strikers. And it was they who took the lead midway through the first half to silence the Rec. A cross-shot from the left hand side was deflected by the on-running Hilburn past Guinness.
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Boro looked to respond as a S Mann shot was tipped away as the Blofield goalkeeper was tested for the first time.
The rest of the half continued to be played out in a frustrating manner for the home side, as clear-cut opportunities were very much at a premium. There was plenty of work to do in the second half.
As expected, the league leaders were enjoying the majority of possession and territory at the start of the second half as Blofield were content to sit on their one-goal advantage. S Mann had a good opportunity from a Flynn cross but he couldn't keep his volley down at the back post.
A bouncing ball fell to Whitman in the penalty area but he was also unable to keep the ball down as it went well wide of the goal. With Guinness a mere spectator down the other end, the home side continued to press but the quality of the final pass continued to let them down time and time again.
Miles was introduced from the bench and nearly found himself through on goal, only for the nimble Blofield keeper to pounce on the ball first. A K Brown free-kick on the left hand side was met by the head of G Mann at the near post but the skipper was unable to get the desired contact as the ball agonisingly drifted past the post.
Boro were throwing men forward in a desperate attempt to find that elusive goal, but the Blofield defence continued to deal with everything that came their way. Even Guinness strode out of goal to join a late attack from a corner, only to be penalised as he launched himself at the loose ball.
Overall, this was a thoroughly disappointing performance from the home side which resulted in only their second league defeat of the season. The league leaders still have a 14-point lead at the top of the table, but will be extremely cautious of teams having games in hand below them.
All credit to the visitors for their extremely well organised and disciplined display, which should go a long way in helping them secure their Division Two status for next season.
Another tough fixture awaits on Saturday when Boro travel to sixth-placed Easton (kick-off 2.30pm).
Attleborough Town: Guinness, Pallant, Smith, Beales, K Brown, Dolan (Fuller 71 mins), Wright, G Mann, Flynn, S Mann (Miles 62 mins), Whitman (Kassaga 76 mins). Subs: Fuller, Kassaga, Miles.