Saturday, March 26, 2011

Football: Narrow derby day defeat for Stowupland

Stowupland Falcons 0 Mendlesham 1
An 18th-minute goal from Ben English was enough to earn Mendlesham the SIL DIvision One derby honours and leave the Falcons still looking for their first win of the season.
After a rocky start, the hosts hit back well to take a fair share of the possession, albeit without carving out many good opportunities to grab an equaliser.
The visitors should have scored inside the opening minute when a deep free-kick picked out the unmarked English but his header hit a post with goalkeeper Merrill Clark well beaten.
Gary Newland sent a 25-yard effort swirling narrowly over the bar but it was the hosts who came closest to breaking the deadlock after 15 minutes.
Dean Gridley led a Stowupland counter attack and his powerful 18-yard effort looked destined for the top corner until Nick Ridley flung himself high to his right to tip away the ball.
Mendlesham made the most of that let-off with the only goal of the game when a long ball released Nathan Sykes on the left wing and his cut-back picked out English to divert the ball into the net.
Clarke was off his line quickly to deny English a second soon after but then needed a stroke of luck to keep out Matthew Lockwood's full-blooded 30-yard drive after 35 minutes which he seemed to have let though his grasp only for the ball to wedge between his feet.
Clarke won a one-on-one to thwart Lockwood again early in the second half and, with the Falcons camped in their opponents' half in search of an equaliser, had to be alert to deny English on a counter attack.
Home captain Blake Richards cleared off the line from Lockwood and then Clarke pulled off a great save to keep out English's towering header.
The last chance of the game saw Stowupland substitutes Dan Lewis and Luke Godbold combine on the edge of the area but Godbold's shot drifted over.
Stowupland: Clarke, Double, Taylor (Lewis 56), Dye (Johnson 81), Richards, Wearing, Stuart (Godbold 80), Edgar, Lee, Binns, Gridley. Substitute (not used): Al-Aride.
Booking: Lee (90, foul).
Mendlesham: Ridley, S Brundell (Toner 80), Bockett, Newland, Lummis, Luciano, Lockwood, Eustace, English, Sykes. Substitue (not used): A Brundell.
Scorer: English (18).

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