Courageous Hadleigh fall just short against leaders

ON TARGET: Aaron Churchyard struck to draw Hadleigh United level against table-topping Norwich United on Saturday but it was not to prove enough as the league leaders claimed all three points with a 2-1 success
ON TARGET: Aaron Churchyard struck to draw Hadleigh United level against table-topping Norwich United on Saturday but it was not to prove enough as the league leaders claimed all three points with a 2-1 success

THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE

PREMIER DIVISION

Hadleigh United 1

Norwich United 2

Hadleigh United head into tomorrow evening’s (Friday) Thurlow Nunn Premier Division clash away at Brantham Athletic having given a good account of themselves against Norwich United last time out.

Ian Brown’s side faced the league leaders on the back of consecutive victories over Mildenhall Town and Saffron Walden Town, but it was a brace from Norwich’s in-form Matthew Blake that ultimately settled the contest at Millfield.

In upcoming hosts Brantham, Hadleigh will take on a team that currently sit two places and two points above them.

However, the Essex-based outfit have been on a poor run of form in recent weeks, collecting maximum points from only one of their last six league outings.

During that same period, the Blues failed to find the net on four occasions.

Against Norwich, Brown had to make do without the services of the unavailable Liam Scopes, Anton Clarke and David Lorimer, yet his men still pushed the visitors all the way during an entertaining encounter in wet and muddy conditions.

The deadlock was broken in the 42nd minute when a centre from the Norwich left was volleyed beyond the reach of Hadleigh goalkeeper, Ben Nower, by the lurking Blake.

Scott Chaplin went close to firing in an equaliser shortly after, but the scoreline was eventually evened up 11 minutes after the restart.

Danny Thrower’s corner from the right caused confusion in the Norwich box and the ball was touched home by Aaron Churchyard from close range.

As the half wore on, Thrower almost turned scorer with a powerful strike, only for Norwich goalkeeper, Tom Wright, to turn his effort around the post.

Yet, just when it appeared that the spoils were going to be shared, Blake struck again 15 minutes from time to seal all three points for the Planters.

Again the cross came from the left flank, which the striker duly converted to score his 27th goal of the campaign on what was his 21st outing.

Hadleigh pushed forward as the clock ticked down, but they were unable to peg Norwich back for a second time.

Hadleigh: Nower, Chester (Knight, 85), Stafford, Rose, Jennings, Spindler, Churchyard (Mead, 80), Mrozek (Garnham, 55), Downey, Thrower, Chaplin.

Attendance: 93