Wanderers eye promotion

Bradenham Wanderers 6, Norwich Union 1The win keeps Bradenham top of Dolphin Autos Anglian Combination Division Four with all the sides around them having to play each other.

Bradenham Wanderers 6, Norwich Union 1

The win keeps Bradenham top of Dolphin Autos Anglian Combination Division Four with all the sides around them having to play each other. The only top side Bradenham have to play is East Harling at home, so the ball really is in Wanderers'court with seven of their remaining nine games at home.

After such a good performance the club has decided not to look to strengthen the playing squad by bringing new players as it might upset the balance of a group of players who enjoy playing together. Unfortunately there is again no fixture this week, so next up is Hindringham Reserves at home on February 23.

Both teams on Saturday set out to attack from the off. Both defences worked well coping with each other's attackers and probing midfields.

Bradenham, choosing to attack down the slope first half, were hoping to put extra pressure on the Union defence by having them defend with the sun in their eyes. John Allison worked an opening which brought a good save from the keeper, getting down well to his left and palming the ball out to be cleared by his left back. From the next move he kept the game scoreless with a terrific save, pushing the ball over from a blistering shot from Goodge.

A spell of pressure brought the first goal on 30 minutes when again Allison worked himself space in the box and this time made no mistake in slotting home.

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The Bulldogs were getting into their rhythm and a swift five-man move took the ball from left to right involving Goodge, Garrod, Galer and Craig, who laid the ball into Thurley's path. His first-time cross was met by the inrushing Allison, who headed home.

Second half Union came out on the offensive and forced a couple of corners that were dealt with by sound defending and superb handling from keeper Luke Findlay.

On the hour Bradenham stretched their lead. Jamie Craig's deep right-wing cross was met at the far post by Kyle Goodge, who slammed home. Union were being pushed further back and Allison popped up to lash in his hat-trick goal from 12 yards.

Two substitutions brought on Karl Sexton and Tom Smart for the veteran Les Tufts and Jamie Craig. They slotted straight into the pace of the game, keeping things tight at the back and attacking at every opportunity.

In the last 10 minutes the hard working Rick Forder scored a brace of goals, running onto through balls and coolly slotting home the fifth and sixth goals.

In the last minute home defender Potter gave away a penalty for a push. From the kick Findlay got down to his left and pushed the ball onto the upright, then quickly responded by punching away the rebound. To everyone's amazement the ref blew his whistle and awarded a goal. After twice consulting his assistant he decided to have the kick retaken for encroachment by the home side. There was no mistake from the second kick.

The Man of the Match award, after a lot of deliberation, was given to Rob Thurley, 17, for his flawless display.