Crabs dash into championship lead

Cromer Town 1, Hempnall 1CROMER stay one point clear at the top of the Anglian Combination Premier Division table with Hempnall now fourth. This weekend sees a trip to second-placed Beccles who, like the Owls, have started with three wins out of four.

Cromer Town 1, Hempnall 1

CROMER stay one point clear at the top of the Anglian Combination Premier Division table with Hempnall now fourth. This weekend sees a trip to second-placed Beccles who, like the Owls, have started with three wins out of four.

Against Hempnall, Jamie Hunton replaced James Parker, writes Richard Cox.

As expected the visitors made themselves known to the Cromer players with some physical play. But at times it overstepped the mark and they were very fortunate not to be more severely punished.


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It was Cromer who were the more threatening in front of goal. Bugdale put a low ball across the box but it was scrambled away. Osborne's huge kick then saw Durrant through on goal, but he scuffed his lob attempt. Durrant was again involved, he squared the ball into the run of Horton whose goal-bound shot was deflected wide.

Five minutes before the break Cromer were reduced to 10 men after Simon Durrant was shown a straight red card.

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With the man advantage Hempnall came out for the second half trying to make the advantage show.

They had a lot more possession but very rarely called Osborne in the Cromer goal into action.

The visitors took the lead on 67 minutes when Paul Franklin got on the end of a ball forward and lifted it over Osborne.

Despite being a goal behind and a man down, Cromer began to play their best football of the game. The Crabs went 3-4-2 in an attempt to get the equaliser. Hunton beat his marker and cut inside before squaring to an unmarked Harwood who seemed certain to score but Ben Cudden made a brilliant save.

Sean Flint ran past Bradshaw but Osborne saved at the near post to keep the Crabs in the game.

With 10 minutes remaining Cromer got the equaliser they deserved. The ball went to Liam Davies at the back post. He turned and showed good determination to go beyond the defender before blasting across the goalkeeper into the left side of the net.

There was one more chance in the game to get a winner. It fell to Cromer's Eves but he was denied by Cudden's legs.

Deservedly Cromer came away with a point. After the dismissal of Durrant the Cromer players upped their work rate and made it difficult for Hempnall to get shots on goal. Cromer continued to give the Hempnall defence a hard time.

The reserves visited Thorpe Rovers and were 2-0 victors with Liam Walsh grabbing both goals.

On Saturday they are at home to Lacon Arms in the Junior Cup. 2.30pm kick off.

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