Ridgeons League roundup: League leaders Wroxham indebted to referee
11:35 16 January 2012
Wroxham may be indebted to their match referee as they maintained their lead at the top of the Premier Division on a day when the three title favourites all won.
The Yachtsmen were leading 2-1 at Haverhill Rovers on Saturday when the hosts launched a late attack – but just as their player rose to head past keeper Michael Hilton for the equaliser, referee Adrian Gillett blew his whistle to signal the end of the game.
Victory leaves Wroxham seven points clear of Brantham and Ely City, who beat Newmarket Town 8-1 and Kirkley & Pakefield 2-1 respectively.
Dereham Town are fourth after a 2-0 home win over Hadleigh, overtaking Norwich United, who were held to a goalless draw at Felixstowe and Walton United.
Wroxham had taken the lead after 16 minutes through a Shaun Howes free-kick. The game looked to have been settled six minutes later when Matthew Daniels burst through the Rovers defence only to be upended by Benstead for a penalty which he duly converted.
Rovers fought back and when Jack Wilkinson rose to head a Jack Higgs cross past Hilton, an unlikely comeback looked on the cards – until Mr Gillett intervened.
Dereham gave a debut to new signing Michael Sommerfield – and the defender got his Aldiss Park career off to a cracking start.
The Magpies took the lead in the 13th minute after Hadleigh keeper Daniel Heath failed to intercept a Gary Starling free-kick from the left and the ball was headed out to Billy Smith, who cracked in a blistering drive via the left-hand post.
Starling nearly caught out Heath with a 30-yard free-kick before the full-back delivered another free-kick into the visitors’ defence. After a series of ricochets, Sommerfield forced the ball home on 24 minutes.
It was stalemate at the seaside for Norwich United, who dropped to fifth, despite having the better chances in what was a poor game.
Gorleston’s home game against Wisbech Town was postponed because parts of the Emerald Park pitch were frozen.
Along the coast, Great Yarmouth Town went down 4-0 at home to Stanway Rovers – taking their goals against column into three figures.
Kirkley & Pakefield’s recent good run of form was halted by Ely City, whose winner came from Nick Impey, four minutes into stoppage time, while Diss lost 3-1 at home to Mildenhall. Former Tangerines striker Andrew Wood scored a hat-trick for the visitors while James Pipe scored his 10th goal of the season for Diss.
There was a shock in Division One, where Thetford were knocked off top spot after losing 2-1 at home to Godmanchester – the first points they have dropped at home all season. March take over after their 2-0 win at Cornard United.
Swaffham Town thumped Stowmarket Town 5-2, Alex Vincent scoring a hat-trick, with an own goal and a late effort from Joe Jackson.
Downham lost 1-0 at home to Fakenham in front their biggest crowd of the season, 125.