Sudbury hang on against basement side

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EAST MEN’S LEAGUE DIVISION TWO NORTH

Sudbury 5 Dereham II 4

Sudbury just about held their nerve against bottom side Dereham II to get their 2015 campaign off to a winning start as the league resumed.

Brendan Mayers broke skilfully down the left flank, beating four defenders to cross for Leigh Bevan to open the scoring.

The lead was doubled soon after when a quick ball from Blackburn in defence found Tarrant on the right and he fed Bevan, who smashed the ball home.

Play became scrappy from thereon until half-time as Sudbury repeatedly turned over possession with careless passing.

The second half saw Dereham dominate the middle third of the pitch and they repeatedly cut out slack passes from Sudbury to increase pressure on the Sudbury goal.

They pulled a goal back from one raid, but Sudbury woke up to use the width wisely with Sam Clarke and debutant Alfie Lawrence shackling their wingers and feeding Mayers and Alex Tarrant in midfield.

Will Crystal was a constant threat up front and played a neat one-two with Bevan before hammering the ball into the roof of the net to restore their two-goal advantage.

Back came Dereham as they forced a series of short corners to eventually beat the brilliant Chris Smith in goal and score their second from a rebound.

The attack-minded game continued with Sudbury scoring next, Crystal setting up Bevan to tuck the ball home into the bottom corner.

He scored his fourth of the game when a short corner routine was expertly finished off after great work by Nick Keefe.

The finale was set up with five minutes remaining as Dereham were awarded and converted a stroke after Smith collapsed on the ball having stopped the initial shot with the only part of his knee not protected by his pads.

A pulsating end-to-end game finished with no further goals despite Dereham throwing numbers forward in the final minutes.

n Sudbury Ladies III continue to head Suffolk Ladies Division One after beating Felixstowe II 6-2 in the club’s only ladies match to beat the weather.

The visitors cruised into a 4-0 lead by half-time after goals from Meg Hopkins, Jess Frank, and Liz Spencer (two).

Despite Felixstowe pulling two back after the restart, sandwiched between Frank’s second, Stacy Howlett added a sixth.

For her thoughtful reading of the game, Josie Partridge was deserving of her player-of-the-match award.