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Acle early leaders in title race

PUBLISHED: 11:58 10 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:59 03 July 2010

Acle United 4, Mattishall 3

A DEPLETED Acle went clear at the top of the Anglian Combination Premier Division Saturday night.

They were playing catch-up as early as the third minute when a meaningless ball hit forward by the visitors' defence should have been easily cleared by United's full-back Hodds.

Acle United 4, Mattishall 3

A DEPLETED Acle went clear at the top of the Anglian Combination Premier Division Saturday night.

They were playing catch-up as early as the third minute when a meaningless ball hit forward by the visitors' defence should have been easily cleared by United's full-back Hodds. But he fluffed his attempt by trying to head the ball to safety, setting up Wooden to give home keeper Scott Foreman no chance.

After nine minutes Wooden should have doubled the lead but wasted the excellent opportunity by shooting wide of the gaping goal.

It was fitting that Hodds should pull his side level when Acle won a corner after 24 minutes. Ritchie Fruin curled in a vicious corner to Hodds on the six-yard box and he was relieved to make up for his earlier mistake by slamming home the equaliser.

Four minutes later the visitors had regained their lead when Harbour scored through a crowded goalmouth past an unsighted Foreman.

James Foreman, Lee Rathbone and Dean Crosbie all had to receive lengthy treatment following tackles unpunished by the official.

Despite the early setback Acle were exerting pressure on the Mattishall defenders, and the individual strike of the game came with half-time approaching. Ian Morgan got the goal his high-octane performance merited as he fastened onto the ball just in the Mattishall half and went past two defenders before drawing Bottomley off his line and chipping into the net.

Within a minute he doubled his tally when Fruin hit a free-kick that Bottomley could only palm out. Morgan reacted like lightning and steered the ball over the line.

An excellent team goal put United almost out of sight when Ben Morgan and reserve full-back Bradley Hyde combined well for the latter to slide the ball across the face of Bottomley's goal to find Nathan Thompson in exactly the right spot to put the ball in the net and give Acle a 4-2 lead.

The visitors were to have the last say when Hall scored with a header from a long throw taken by Brett, but the final whistle was blown immediately.


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