Bradenham go top
Bradenham 4, St Johns Reserves 2BRADENHAM Wanderers went back on top of Dolphin Auto's Anglian Combination Division Four as Loddon Reserves were without a fixture.
Bradenham 4, St Johns Reserves 2
BRADENHAM Wanderers went back on top of Dolphin Auto's Anglian Combination Division Four as Loddon Reserves were without a fixture.
One change to the squad saw Karl Sexton return, missing last week because of his wedding, and the only change to the starting line up was Richard Dickinson coming in for Kyle Goodge to add some experience.
St Johns kicked off down the slope, but Bradenham came out of the blocks quickest. On eight minutes a ball was played up to Rick Forder, whose turn gave him space to beat his defender and go around the keeper to tuck the ball away to open the scoring.
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Play evened itself out as the tackles started to fly in, but the game was superbly handled by the referee, who allowed play to continue as much as possible.
In the 30th minute St Johns grabbed an equaliser with a well-worked move. The Bulldogs' heads never go down, and they were soon celebrating re-taking the lead.
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From a corner the ball eventually came out to Marc Galer on the edge of the box. He controlled the ball, and with everyone thinking he was going to blast it, he lobbed it over the advancing defenders and the keeper into the back of the net.
St Johns thought they had equalised on the stroke of half-time but the outstretched hand of keeper Findlay prevented a certain goal.
Bradenham going down the slope second half started cautiously but gave the ball away rather too cheaply. However, the defence held firm and they never really looked in danger of conceding.
The Bulldogs gradually got back into their stride and extended their lead when a long ball from the defence should have been cleared but spun off a defender's foot into the path of Forder, who claimed his second and Bradenham's third goal.
He didn't have to wait too long to complete his hat-trick as he seized on Garrod's superb through ball, waited for the keeper to commit himself and planted the ball into the bottom corner for his eighth goal in the last two games.
Bradenham brought on all three subs, but the changes upset the flowing movement which allowed the visitors to grab a second goal in the last minute.
With four games to play it is as tight as it could be at the top of this division, so full concentration will be required for the visit of Blofield Reserves on Saturday, ko 2.30pm.
The first team management congratulate the reserve team and managers Jack Russell and Paul Sanford for securing promotion from the Crown Fire Division Four with their win over Great Cressingham on Saturday.
They still have a few games to play, and catching Thetford at the top will be a big ask. But the runners-up spot will be a terrific achievement in their first full season back if they can keep up their momentum.