Bradenham Wanderers come from behind to win a nine-goal thriller

Dereham's Matty Castellan in action against Boston. Picture: Ian Burt

Dereham's Matty Castellan in action against Boston. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Bradenham entertained Stalham Town at Hale Road and continued their impressive league form as they won a nine-goal thriller.

They had the perfect start when Scott Sutherland-Gray scored in the second minute after meeting Joel Brien's teasing cross from the left with a glancing header.

Stalham's response to going a goal down was remarkable. Two minutes later they worked the ball into the box and from an acute angle Lewis Crosby helped the ball towards goal, with his tame effort somehow squirming between the legs of Jake Cox in the Bradenham goal.

The home side were dealt a further blow in the sixth minute when Crosby converted a cross from close range to put the visitors ahead. Worse was to come for the Bulldogs when Jake Cox made a mess of a back pass and Crosby was brought down and converted from the spot to complete a quick-fire hat-trick.

The remainder of the first half failed to live up to the excitement of the early exchanges but the home side started the second half in impressive fashion.

They started laying siege to the Stalham goal and make a breakthrough in the 52nd minute when Brien received a delightful though ball from Tom Spalding and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

Bradenham were now dominant but had to wait until midway through the second half before they clawed themselves level. A good build-up of short passing found Spalding on the edge of the area and his left footed drive found the bottom corner.

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The hosts didn't have long to wait to go ahead when Spalding once again found himself in the Stalham area. The home defence failed to deal with an aerial ball and Spalding nipped in to head home. Bradenham showed no signs of letting up. Ryan Curtis scored their fifth from close range before the goal of the game from Jack Hood put the icing on the cake.

With five minutes remaining, Bradenham produced a display of superb pass and move football with Hood advancing forward from full back, exchanging passes with Brien, bursting into the box and drilling the ball home in style.

This was an impressive victory from Bradenham given the position they were in after 20 minutes. However the home side will be looking to improve defensively for the visit of Harleston on Saturday which will undoubtedly be a far sterner test.