Aylsham FC go six points clear at the top
Aylsham have moved six points clear at the top of Division Two of the Anglian Combination after seeing off one of their main rivals for promotion.
Brian Clark's side made home advantage tell on Saturday as they beat fellow high-flyers Attleborough Town 2-0 thanks to a goal in each half from Jamie McCann and James Oliver.
With second placed Thetford Rovers on cup duty Aylsham now have some breathing space at the top as they chase a much coveted return to senior football, less than a year after climbing out of Division Three.
Both their nearest challengers have games in hand – in Thetford's case no fewer than three –- but there's no doubt the leaders are in
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the driving seat as the promotion run-in approaches.
'The sides below us have games in hand but we can't worry about that,' said Clark. 'We've got the points in the bag and we've just got to concentrate on our own games.
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'We've got a home match against Thorpe Village coming up and then we have a run of five away games on the trot, so it won't be easy, but we've being playing well recently and the lads are full of confidence. We've put ourselves in a good position and it's going to be an exciting finish to the season, that's for sure.'
Saturday's game was an keenly contested affair, with not much between the sides, but it was Aylsham who emerged with the points.
They went ahead midway through the first half when Cameron Shepherd's cross was headed out as far as McCann, who fired home a superb 25 yard shot into the top left hand corner.
The hosts got the crucial second on the hour mark, with Oliver heading home after Mark Critten's effort had been blocked, and then saw out the game to maintain their superb start to 2012.
A hamstring injury picked up by skipper Stuey Mack, which will keep him out for several weeks, provided the only sour note of the afternoon.
Since losing 4-2 at East Harling before Christmas Aylsham have won five and drawn one, with a home win against Thetford Rovers setting them on the road to an impressive sequence of results which has seen them score 10 goals and concede just three.
'I must admit that when we lost to East Harling I thought our chance had gone but the lads have done really well since then and deserve a lot of praise,' said Clark.
Saturday's home match against Thorpe Village kicks off at 2.30pm.
In Division One Holt United return to action this Saturday after a blank weekend when they travel to fifth placed Hellesdon.