Young Harleston side claim excellent win on the road

Harleston Town manager Adam Gusterson. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Harleston Town manager Adam Gusterson. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

A headed goal in each half gave Town an excellent away win at an in-form Blofield side, a result that kept their faint title hopes alive.

Town were without the trio of Sam Willis, Olly Willis and Ben Furlong who were away for Sam's wedding.

With Will Viner moving on, Billy Johnson was signed on loan from Norwich United to play in goal as a youthful Town squad including four teenagers came back with all three points.

Town showed high energy and work rate from the start and Connor Delaney beat three players on the left before picking out Nicky Howell inside but he couldn't get anything on his shot.

After 30 minutes Harleston created an excellent chance but were denied by two vital interceptions by Matty Banham. A long ball into the area was controlled by Nathan Russell who back heeled to Delaney, but Banham intercepted Marley Flute's effort.

The visitors deservedly took the lead after 37 minutes when Matt Howard's pass found Howell and he chipped the ball beautifully across for top scorer Russell to head home.

It was 2-0 after 56 minutes when the ball came over from the left and Howard headed the ball back across John Howes and into the back of the net. Five minutes later Dan Stobbart had a goal chalked off for Blofield and the score remained 2-0.

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James Pipe went close after another good cross from the left and Harleston ended the game on the attack, with only a great save by Howes preventing a third after the ball was flicked goalwards by Jordan Blyth from the impressive Flute's cross.

Harleston's desire and work-rate was impressive, restricting the hosts to rely on bits and pieces from free-kicks and long throws into the area, Brendan Burke and Nathan Page were excellent for Town and keeper Johnson did not have to make a save on debut, with his kicking impressive.

Town have no game on Saturday but head to third-placed Mulbarton on Easter Monday. With six games remaining, they require just one point to ensure a second placed finish, while they remain 11 points behind leaders Spixworth with two games in hand.

Harleston: B Johnson, C Hitch, B Burke, N Page, M Howard, M Flute, N Howell, S Roberts, J Pipe, N Russell, C Delaney. Subs: J Blyth, K Harris, C Russell (all used).