Acle in top-table head to head

Acle United 0, Sheringham 0Bridewell Lane was bursting at the seams with a crowd of over 250 on Tuesday to witness a clash between two sides with ambitions of lifting the Sterry Cup.

Acle United 0, Sheringham 0

Bridewell Lane was bursting at the seams with a crowd of over 250 on Tuesday to witness a clash between two sides with ambitions of lifting the Sterry Cup.

Leaders the Shannocks have the advantage of two games in hand over Acle, who may be pipped at the post by neighbours Blofield for the runners-up spot in the Anglian Combination Premier Division as the Beavers have an easier run-in than Acle, and games in hand.

Acle's manager Tony Ward seemed to pull off a master stroke by preferring fit-again Lee Rathbone to Louis Holsworth in the starting line-up.

Rathbone tormented and out-manoeuvred the visitors' right side with his speed and continually went past Lacey, Carver and Easteaugh who found it difficult to cope with his speed.

Gleave and Jordan were given no respite as Acle's diminutive front men more than made up for their lack of inches with their ability to win balls in the air. And leading scorer Ben Morgan proved a handful for his marker Timm.

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Ollie King and the long-ball tactics employed by the visitors were the only danger to the home back four. Daniel Foreman again showed what an asset he is to Acle as he marshalled his back line with consummate ease. And when the visitors did breach the line they found young Scott Foreman in Acle's goal more than a match, playing with confidence that belies his years.

Midway through the game Acle had the ball in the net, but a keen linesman saw an offside that ruled out the effort from captain Nichols, who was back to his best in midfield, supported by Crosbie and Melo.

A second half of nip and tuck saw neither side give an inch, but two half-chances remain the talking point.

Morgan's effort for Acle found visiting keeper Jackson in exactly the right spot. At the other end Scott Foreman saved point-blank a one-on-one when King broke through with Acle pushing forward late in the game.

Acle's slim chance of silverware has slipped away for this season but 2008-9 has been a hugely successful season with the progress made under manager Tony Ward.

Acle United 4, Hindringham 1

SATURDAY'S was a routine victory against a relegation-threatened side side that performed with credit, attacking at every opportunity - an attitude that belies their position.

Goals from John Curtis (2) Ben Morgan and Warren Nichols ensured a victory. Acle went ahead after only four minutes when Curtis poked the ball home. This spurred the visitors on and they matched United with the quality of their gamey. Acle spurned chances before scoring their second when captain Nichols picked out Curtis with a free-kick that was excellently headed in.

The second half saw Acle given a shock when the Villagers halved their deficit. However, in the 56th minute Morgan from 30 yards left Defew and Cameron in his wake before shooting across hapless keeper Elliott.

With time running out Acle scored a fourth. Nichols latched onto a square ball and coolly volleyed home into the corner following some good interplay between Holsworth and Morgan.

Robin Tungate

Blofield's title hopes were boosted by a ruling that their 0-0 draw with AFC Norwich must be replayed because their opponents fielded a suspended player. Blofield won 5-4 at Watton on Wednesday night.