Race for Sterry Cup a close-run affair
Cromer Town continue their quest for the Sterry Cup on Saturday when they host Loddon United. They top the Anglian Combination after a 0-0 midweek draw at Acle.
Cromer Town continue their quest for the Sterry Cup on Saturday when they host Loddon United. They top the Anglian Combination after a 0-0 midweek draw at Acle. Rivals North Walsham, Blofield and Hempnall all moved up the Premier Division table after victories.
The Angels were 5-0 winners over Wroxham Reserves, Blofield - with games in hand - beat title rivals Beccles 4-2 and Hempnall beat Mattishall 1-0.
Cromer have 56 points from 27 games, North Walsham 54 from 29, Beccles 53 from 27, Hempnall 52 from 26 and Blofield 50 points from 25 games.
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Brandon Town 0, Cromer Town 3
CROMER travelled to Brandon, a ground where in recent years the Crabs have come unstuck.
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With Gray and Harwood both unavailable, Tom Davies and Gavin Morais came into the side.
The visitors made a perfect start, taking the lead after 11 minutes. Pauling's kick forward was flicked on by Terrington into the run of
Pipe, who then coolly lifted the ball over the keeper and into the back of the net.
The roles were later reversed when Pipe fed the ball through to Terrington, whose first-time strike beat Hovell but came back off a post.
The home side then had a spell of pressure. A long throw was flicked on at the near post and went to Porter, who volleyed over.
Then, from consecutive corners, Brandon came close to equalising. Birch on both occasions rose highest.
His first header was cleared away by the defence and his second was pushed over the bar by Pauling.
Before the break Cromer had an excellent chance with Pipe to extend their advantage. Terrington played the ball across goal to the back post, where Pipe seemed destined to score with a simple left-foot tap-in, but he tried to strike it with his right foot and he scuffed the ball wide.
Brandon then had an opportunity to draw level when Peckham played the ball inside to Waites, whose first-time left-foot effort was brilliantly saved by Pauling low to his right.
Immediately after the restart the Crabs made it 2-0. The ball was played over the defence into the run of Pipe, who slotted the ball past Hovell into the bottom corner.
Cromer continued to push forward, with Morais, Terrington, Pipe and Sharman all having chances.
In the 68th minute, Cromer sealed the victory with a third. Pipe received the ball wide and then cut across his marker before crossing low to Terrington at the front post, who smartly finished.
A couple of goal-line clearances in the closing minutes ensured another clean sheet for the Crabs and another comfortable victory.
With the other sides at the top all winning, it's as you were.
Cromer Reserves got all three points away at Easton with an emphatic 9-2 victory. Antoni Fawkes grabbed four and there was one goal apiece for Shaun Cameron, Paul Spruce, Liam Walsh, Paul Winterbone and Sonny Atherton.
Cromer Town 4, North Walsham Town 1
For the visit of North Walsham on Tuesday last week in the vital top-of-the-table clash, the Crabs made one change, with Liam Davies returning to the defence after injury and Harwood moving into the midfield, with Durrant dropped to the bench.
A Cromer victory would move them to the top of the Anglian Combination Premier Division table and at the same time seriously damage North Walsham's title challenge.
The hosts set the tone early, keeping possession and applying pressure to the Walsham goal.
Their first chance came to Terrington, who turned well on the edge of the box and fired low but was denied by a good Munday save.
Then on 20 minutes, Gray's long throw was flicked into the centre of the goal and went to Eves, who blasted over from eight yards.
A few moments later Cromer did take the lead. Gray's corner from the right was knocked down and fell to the feet of Eves, who fired into the back of the net from close range.
The Crabs continued to dominate all over the pitch and went in at the break with the lead.
Shortly after the restart, Cromer extended their lead. Horton made
a determined run down the left into the box and was then brought down by Lown.
From the resulting penalty, Harwood stepped up and sent Munday the wrong way.
Some good link-up play between Harwood and Pipe saw the latter through on goal but Munday was out quickly to block the effort.
On the hour mark, Munday made an excellent save to push Harwood's free-kick on to the bar.
Cromer added a third on 67 minutes when Gray's corner was met by Daniel Cullington, who headed home from close range.
Almost immediately North Walsham did grab a goal from their first real effort. A quickly-taken free-kick went to Dale Wilton, who went in towards goal before his shot deflected kindly off Sharman and past Pauling in the Cromer goal.
Any risk of a late Walsham comeback was soon extinguished, with Cromer adding a fourth with their next attack.
Harwood delivered a free-kick from deep and picked out Liam Davies, who rose well and headed across the goal into the left corner.
This capped a superb display from Cromer, who moved into pole position.
The Crabs dominated all over the field and thoroughly deserved the win. They must show similar commitment and determination in their final games, as there are a few teams looking to capitalise on the smallest of slip-ups.
On Wednesday, Cromer Reserves picked up an excellent 1-0 win away at Aylsham, thanks to a goal from Antoni Fawkes.