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COUSINS DOUBLE GIVES FARMHOUSE CHRISTMAS CHEER

This weekend saw the last fixtures of 2-016 played and proceeded to produce one or two surprise results.

In the Premier Division, Acle Rangers missed out on the chance to close the gap at the top of the table after two Rhys Cousins goals helped visitors Farmhouse to a 2-1 victory. In the other game played in the division, Dilham Cross Keys moved further away from the foot of the table after a 2-1 (Dan Duffield, Robert Highe) home win over Bungay Town.

Norman Wanderers go into the New Year as leaders of 1A after a 2-1 home victory over Brooke. Wanderers are a point ahead of The Middle Green who were 2-0 winners at Warwick St United and Longdale rovers who were inactive. The "Wall Rd Derby" between Windmill Wanderers and Mischief ended all square with a goal apiece, whilst New Buckenham had a good 5-1 win at Bungay Town Res. The divisions bottom two, Newsman Celtic and Constable Crusaders faced each other at Eaton Park and both came away with a point as they shared four goals. 1B leaders Sprowston Wanderers travelled to struggling Binham Village and scored fourteen times to remain five points ahead of Aslacton who beat Hethersett Athletic 4-2 thanks to a hat trick from Jutty Womack and a Dean Mortimer strike. Phoenix are third after beating Acle Rangers Res 7-1, Oliver Woodhouse 2, Matt Jillings 2, Scott Starling, Charlie Lambe and George Tallent scoring and lead Trimingham Pilgrims on goal difference after Jack Crane and Antoni Fawkes hit a double each in their 4-0 victory over Silver Fox.

After suffering their first defeat of the season last week, 2A leaders Hewett OB's got back to winning ways as they beat Winfarthing 5-1, all goals coming from Callum Speck, whilst Norman Wanderers stayed in touch by scoring five (Jason Fuller 2, Richard Hughes, Jordan Kenny, Blake McGhee) as they won at DCS Rapid. Micawbers Tavern stay third after winning 2-0 (Josh Ford Liam Pye) at MC Rovers and SNS FC moved up to fourth, Ben Morgan scoring twice in a 2-0 win at Warwick St Utd Res. Mettingham also go into next year on the back of a victory after beating Dynamo 4-2. In 2B, Norwich Ceyms were 5-1 winners over Sprowston Athletic and Hellesdon moved to within three points of leaders after scoring a dozen when beating FC Viking. North Walsham also hit the goal trail as they thumped Harleston Town and Barracks FC continued their good recent form, beating Sporting Iceni 8-1.  Blofield United scored five of the eight goals in their game with Bunwell AFC.

In 3A, Norman Wanderers A took advantage of leaders Woolpack's inactivity to draw level on points after a 4-2 (Luke Southgate,  Shane Empson, Reece May, OG) home win over AFC Norwich. I saw the game between third placed Marlborough and Hempnall. This was a good even contest with the 0-0 scoreline probably a fair reflection of a game where Shaun Kelly of Hempnall had an outstanding game at the back of the visitors defence. A single Mark Cornfield goal was enough for fourth placed Drayton Dazzlers to take the points against Cotman United and Mad Moose Athletic scored nine as they won at Woodton United.

The two games played in the Under 19 A Division both brought about away wins. Grasshoppers were 6-2 winners at Heigham Park Rangers and Reepham Town recorded at 7-2 victory at Swanton Morley.

With B Division leaders Aylsham not playing, Acle Rangers drew level on points with them after winning 2-1 (Jack Bucklee, Alex King) at Old Catton. Third placed Cringleford were held to a 2-2 draw by Rockland United, who will be encouraged with that result,  and St Andrews scored seven without reply as they beat Happisburgh Hammers. Ben Peters, Bailey Pittaway and Ryan Curson all scored for Hellesdon in their narrow 3-2 win over Easton.

As mentioned earlier, these were the last fixtures of 2016, so I would like to take the opportunity to wish all Clubs, players, officials, volunteers, referees and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Keep up the good work and let's help keep grassroots football alive and kicking in 2017