Crabs and Shannocks both need points from local derby
North Norfolk rivals Cromer Town and Sheringham are preparing for an intriguing derby clash in the Premier Division of the Anglian Combination.
Weather permitting, Saturday's encounter at Cabbell Park (2.30pm) will see the hosts aiming for three points to boost their bid for a third successive title – and their neighbours looking for something to move further away from the drop zone.
Cromer go into the game sixth in the table, but they have games in hand on all the teams above them – and know if they keep winning they will be champions again. That's a huge ask, with 13 matches to be crammed into around seven weeks, but they'll regard a win against the Shannocks as crucial to mounting a title bid.
Sheringham, beaten 5-0 by Cromer earlier in the year, are currently five points clear of second from bottom North Walsham, having played the same number of games. Any positive result against the Crabs would give them a little more breathing spaceg, with the Angels not playing at the weekend.
Following two postponements Cromer took to the field at Thorpe Rec. to face St. Andrews on Saturday and came away with a precious 1-0 win.
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There was one enforced change to the side that was defeated by Norwich City's youngsters' last time out with David Harwood starting in midfield in place of the injured Simon Durrant.
The first meaningful attack in tough, windy conditions came from the hosts after 11 minutes. Charlie Aulert cut into the box but was denied by Andy Jackson. Aulert once again came face to face with the keeper with Jackson again coming out on top.
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It was then the turn of the visitors to cause some problems. Dale Wilton played the ball inside to Karl Horton but the Cromer skipper fired over. Then Craig Terrington clipped the top of the bar with a free-kick.
Cromer finished the half on top and they began the second half in a similar vein.
Antoni Fawkes turned his marker to get into a superb position but unselfishly chose to square the ball rather than shoot and the ball was cleared. Despite the adverse conditions the Crabs were playing some nice football at times. Some short, sharp passing in and around the box saw Matthews Eves get into space just inside the box but he fired straight at Fish.
Cromer's front two then linked up well with Fawkes chesting the ball into the path of Dave Matthews but he put his shot over. The crucial goal finally came in the 80th minute. Horton put the ball into the danger area and Matthews brought it down for Fawkes who laid it to Wilton who forced a smart reaction save from close range. The ball then
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roke kindly for Fawkes to have a simple tap in.
Despite grabbing the late goal the Crabs didn't sit back and looked like adding to their lead. Matthews and Horton both failed to test the St. Andrews keeper. Then Matthews turned provider with a superb cross field ball with the outside of his right boot for Wilton but the Cromer winger blasted over.
The final whistle then came and it was an important victory for the Crabs as given the conditions and the opposition it was a potential banana skin in their quest for a third successive title.
Cromer team: Jackson, Applegate, C. Terrington, Cameron, S. Jordan, Harwood, Wilton, Horton, Matthews, Fawkes, Eves. Subs Not Used: Davison, M. Jordan.