Bradenham Wanderers unable to stave off defeat
Bradenham Wanderers 2, Long Stratton 3
BRADENHAM'S revival came too late against Long Stratton as the visitors claimed victory in Anglian Combination Division One.
The hosts had an early chance when Ricky Forder glanced his header wide from a Karl Bush free-kick.
Then a minute later Bradenham nearly went behind when keeper Scott Cruickshank mis-kicked a clearance only to make a good recovering save.
On 20 minutes Long Stratton went ahead when their forward easily headed home from an accurate right wing cross.
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Play from both sides continued to be lively but neither side came close to scoring again before half-time.
The early stages of the second half saw most of the play in midfield, and the main incident was the sending off of home defender Stuart Woodcock after two yellow card offences.
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Then on 68 minutes the referee awarded the visitors a penalty which was easily converted. Just two minutes later Stratton went 3-0 up after a good run and finish by one of their forwards. They continued in the ascendancy and squadered another couple of chances.
Cruickshank in the home goal also made a couple of good saves.
Having appeared to now be out of the game, Bradenham were awarded a penalty just 6 minutes from the end when Tom Spalding was up-ended in the box, with the away keeper sent off for the offence. Spalding dusted himself down and scored from the spot.
The hosts managed a second goal when Bush scored from a 22-yard free kick.
However it was all too late for an equaliser, and the hosts will no doubt wonder whether the result could have been more in their favour but for the earlier sending-off.