Aylsham and Stalham share spoils in derby clash

Aylsham 3 Stalham Town 3

Stalham hit the road, cross country, to play Aylsham and returned with a hard earned point.

Perry Payne was absent from the squad but Nicky Wood returned to take his place on the bench.

Stalham got off to a good start when after eight minutes Lawrence Cheese was on hand to put the Reds ahead from close range following good work from Bailey and Patterson.

This though was as good as it got for Stalham for pretty much the rest of the first half as Aylsham's grit and determination stopped the visitor's from playing.

It didn't take long for Aylsham to draw level when they broke down the right and the pull back was blocked by Nicholls only for the ball to be turned in by Ed Botwright.

Things went from bad to worse when a corner from the left was not dealt with at the near post, allowing a free header from James Oliver to put the home side in front.

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Another ball into the Stalham box caused problems and when it was finally cleared the ball was fired back in by Philip Read only for it to sail over Nicholls into the far corner of the goal to make it 3-1 to Aylsham.

With half-time fast approaching, Stalham grabbed themselves a lifeline when against the run of play. Nick Meale latched on to the ball as it dropped into the Aylsham six yard box and fired home the ball to make it 3-2 at the break.

With the management's half-time team talk still ringing in the Stalham players ears, the second half began with the Reds looking more positive. Cheese and Patterson were now more in the game and were causing the home defence problems with their pace.

Patterson went close with a near post shot but a smart save by the Aylsham keeper kept them ahead.

However, following a great ball in by substitute Daniel Duffield, Stalham drew level when Cheese calmly slotted home from close range.

The remainder of the game was finely balanced with both sides having opportunities to win the match.

The Richardsons Boating Holidays M.o.M went to Lawrence Cheese who worked tirelessly up front with Darren Patterson.

On Saturday Corton visit Rivers Park (2.30pm) while Aylsham will be looking to get back to winning ways when they play host to struggling Hellesdon.