Its was a bitterly cold morning that greeted players and spectators alike as 2018 swung into action and the game between the top two in the Premier Division lived up to expectation.
Riverside Rovers travelled to league leaders Schoolhouse and took an early lead through Jamie Riley before the home side levelled, then went ahead. Jordan Rocastle then restored parity but with a couple of minutes left the home side went back in front. But the drama was not to end there as a penalty given in injury time allowed Connor Delaney to step up and level the scores. Dale Simpson 2 and Callum Burke scored for the home side. A Tom Pitchell free kick just before half time put Poringland Wanderers ahead at home to Sprowston Wanderers but the visitors equalized in the second period to take a point. Sprowston opponents in next weeks Senior Cup Quarter Final, Horsford ran out 2-0 (Scott Lindsay, Shaun Plant) winners at Farmhouse, whilst Trimingham Pilgrims scored four without reply as they beat Bungay Town.
In Division 1, Brooke missed the chance to return to the top of the table as they went down 2-0 at Phoenix FC who now leap frog Brooke into third spot. Windmill Wanderers gained their first victory of the season as they beat Aslacton 3-1.
Woolpack FC remain a point clear at the top of Division 2 after winning 4-2 (Aaron Bartram, Tom Blake, Liam Moriarty, Payton Swatman) at Vale Longo. They are a point clear of Drayton Dazzlers who were 7-1 victors over Barracks FC and who have a game in hand. Marlborough scored five without reply as they beat Sprowston Athletic Wildcats and Briston beat Mad Moose by the odd goal of five. There was a point apiece for Mettingham and Hethersett Athletic as they shared six goals. Joshua Bullen Parry, Jacob Hulme and Matthew Staff on target for the home side, Adam Waters 2 and Blair Luther-Veitch replying.
Brooke Res started the New Year in a six goal thriller as they drew with MC Rovers after giving away a three goal lead but they remain four points clear of DCS Rapid who beat Acle Rangers Res 4-0 to remain in second spot. Norman Wanderers A were 5-2 winners at East Tuddenham, whilst Silver Fox beat Bungay Town Res 3-1. Dynamo gained a good 2-1 (Adam Preston 2) win at Hempnall and Newsman Celtic gained a point as they drew 2-2 at Harleston Town with Noah Downes scoring twice.
AFC Norwich got 2018 off to a good start as they stayed six points clear at the top of Division 4, Ryan Bensley grabbing a treble as they won 3-0 at Rackheath Rangers. Hethersett Ath Res are second after beating Woodton United 4-1, whilst Josh Edge, Ian Beeden and Craig Beeden 2 scored for FC Viking as they won 4-0 at home to Rose Ath Res. Cellar House and Eaton Park Corinthians had to settle for a point each after a 2-2 draw.
In Division 5, Qube FC moved to within a point of leaders Easton as the put seven (Shane Gammage 2, Ryan Higgins 2, Luke Johnstone, Simon Walsworth, Scott Allen) passed Firside, whilst Aylsham Sunday moved up to third spot courtesy of a 5-1 (Owen Collier 2, Tobias Oliver 2, Jake Bonner) win at AG Athletic.
Old Catton still lead the way in the Under 19’s. Their 3-0 home win over Cringleford sees them stay four points ahead of Scole United who won by the odd goal of five at Hellesdon. Scole have two games in hand on the leaders, whilst third placed Long Stratton has three. Their 3-1 win at Hethersett Athletic keeps them in third spot a point behind Scole. Could be a very interesting run in. St Andrews scored five when winning at Heigham park rangers whilst Acle Rangers hit ten in a big win over Mulbarton Wanderers.
The draw for the second round of the League Cup is now complete as goals by Theo Chamberlain 2, Luca Elia and Tommy Miller helped Mischief FC progress at the expense of Norman Wanderers. Mischief now face a trip to Aslacton.