Acle Reserves fail to fire as they go down at home to the bottom side

Acle Reserves' keeper Cannon's missed punch leads to Mattishall's opening goal on Saturday. Photo: R

Acle Reserves' keeper Cannon's missed punch leads to Mattishall's opening goal on Saturday. Photo: Richard Giles. - Credit: Archant

The Reserves were back at home on Saturday, losing 2-1 to Mattishall Reserves in Anglian Combination Division Two.

With the visitors bottom of the league, it was a perfect chance for Acle to move further away from the drop zone.

The game started slowly, with neither team able to take control. The nerves were clear to see, but five minutes in, the home side found the net. For the second week in a row, an early goal was disallowed. Tooley thought he’d scored, but the referee had deemed him to be offside.

Acle started to turn the screw and in the 20th minute they could, and should, have taken the lead. When the ball fell to joint top scorer, Guyton, unmarked at the far post, with only the defender to beat on the line, a goal looked the most likely outcome. Unfortunately, Guyton’s effort was soft and he hit it straight at the defender on the line, who was able to clear.

Shortly after, the home side hit the bar. A goal was inevitable and it came shortly after, but it wasn’t at the end everyone was expecting. Against the run of play, Mattishall made the most of a long throw into Acle’s box. Cannon came rushing out to punch the ball away, but despite his presence, he was nowhere near the ball which looped over him.

With the A’s shellshocked, a second followed soon after. Again, coming from an Acle error. Trying to play from the back, Gibbons’ misplaced pass fell to the Mattishall winger, who skipped past the flustered full back. With the visitors the only ones to react to Acle’s poor play, the ball was played into the box where their striker was waiting unmarked to coolly extend his side’s lead.

With 20 minutes remaining, Hawkins was moved from centre back to centre forward. Within minutes he almost scored, but he dragged his shot wide.

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A goal did come, but it was too little too late. Carpenter was the scorer, on his home debut, after Hawkins did well to find him at the far post. With only minutes remaining, the visitors held on and claimed all three points.

Acle Res: Cannon, Gibbons, Colk, Sadler, Hawkins, Collins-Reed, Sayer, Robinson, Tooley, Marshall, Guyton. Subs: Tomasso, Copeland, Carpenter.

A tough game is in store tomorrow with a trip to Watton (2.30pm).