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Acle United out of luck as visitors leave with all three points

PUBLISHED: 09:24 22 December 2017

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Acle United lost 2-1 to Long Stratton after having what looked like an excellent claim for a penalty turned down.

Acle remain in the bottom two in the Anglian Combination Premier League table but deserved a share of the points in a match that was a great advert for local football.

Luke Thacker, back in United colours, dispossessed Ross Bilham in the away goal early on but couldn’t quite get his shot away. Colclough was busy in midfield along with the impressive Taylor and Peacock’s header saw Bilham touch the ball over as Acle began to take control.

Acle then gave away a cheap free-kick and from the goalkeeper’s long kick into the box the ball was headed firmly into the top corner to put the visitors in front on 25 minutes.

Acle could have got back on terms early in the second half when Peacock tricked his way into the box before unleashing a rasping drive that looked a goal all the way until Bilham flung himself to his left to somehow keep the ball out.

Then from the best move of the game a quickly taken free-kick saw Forder play in Garner who squared the ball to Tooley who slid the ball home for a 1-1 scoreline.

Then came the big talking point when Bilham slipped and lost control of the ball on his own goal line wide of his post. Tooley took the ball towards an empty net before Bilham pulled his man down but referee Mary Harmer gave nothing.

Then came a bout of pressure from the visitors as their slick passing created a number of late chances, all of which were brilliantly dealt with by Chris Purton-Turner in the Acle goal who surely rivalled Bilham for man-of-the-match.

At the other end Acle were intent on finding a way to take all three points and Tooley again brought the best out of Bilham with another spectacular save. Colclough set up Tooley and as the game flowed from end to end there just had to be a winner, and after a goalmouth scramble the ball broke loose to a Stratton forward to edge them in front.

With time running out it was all Acle and from Colclough’s long throw Forder had just Bilham to beat but once again the imposing keeper stood his ground.

Acle United: C Purton-Turner, C Wiley, S Garner, T Clark, M Hoeppner, J Bibby, S Peacock, B Colclough, L Thacker, R Forder, M Taylor. Sub used: H Tooley.

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