Saturday, January 29, 2011

Football: Stalemate as Falcons double points tally

Cockfield United 0 Stowupland Falcons 0
A dogged defensive performance from Stowupland brought them their second draw in a week to double their season's point tally in Division One of the Kingsley Healthcare Suffolk & Ipswich League.
The Falcons withstood a first-half bombardment with a mixture of determined defending, a watertight offside trap and some woeful finishing from the hosts but in the end looked the more likely winners.
Merrill Clarke was as busy with his body as his hands, keeping shots out with whatever he could get in the way. After seven minutes he denied Carl Newdick at point-blank range but was grateful to right-back Luke Edgar soon after when he cleared off the line.
Callum Lee had Stowupland's first effort but his 20th-minute 15-yard effort was straight at keeper Connor Harrod.
Newdick looked to be in position to give the hosts a 30th-minute lead when he got on the end of an excellent flowing move but Clarke was alert to the danger to block at close range.
Another goal-line clearance kept the Falcons net protected when a corner was allowed to ping about the six-yard box and Stowupland twice withstood intense pressure as Cockfield pushed for a breakthrough.
But it was Stowupland who came closest to breaking the deadlock five minutes before half-time when Dan Lewis beat the offside trap but his 20-yard effort was tipped onto the bar and over by Harrod.
The second half was a more even affair. Clarke did well to paw away a swerving free-kick after 50 minutes and did even better to again throw his body in the way to block the follow-up.
Clarke then denied Newdick with the help of a post and that proved to be the hosts' last clear chance of the game as Stowupland started to find space to mount attacks of their own.
The best chance came with nine minutes to go when Dean Gridley's shot was fumbled at the foot of his post by Harrod but he recovered to keep out captain Blake Richards' attempts to convert the rebound.
Incredibly, this was the first league clean sheet Stowupland have kept  since March 2009.
Cockfield: Harrod, Chaplin, Pettitt (Grant, 76), Emms, L Newdick, Whight, Grove, C Newdick, Norman, Deeks, Gay.
Stowupland: Clarke, Edgar, Double, Dye, Richards, Taylor, Fruppell (Paton, 62), Gridley, Lee, Hilton (Godbold, 58), Lewis. 
Substitutes (not used): Al-Aride, Mower.

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