Acle beat rivals Stalham to boost Anglian Combination Premier Division survival hopes

Acle United now appearing to be moving in the right direction under manager Robert Taylor, the forme

Acle United now appearing to be moving in the right direction under manager Robert Taylor, the former Manchester City and Wolves player. Picture: Archant - Credit: EDP / Archant © 2004

Acle United beat local rivals Stalham Town to give themselves a little breathing space at the foot of the Anglian Combination Premier Division table.

Rivers Park was hardly the place for the feint hearted, as the two relegation threatened clubs played out a proverbial six pointer in freezing conditions and with persistent rain adding to an already slippery surface.

Manager Robert Taylor opted for three at the back, and his preference for an attacking formation paid off as early as the second minute as man-of-the-match Brett Colclough crashed home a free- kick from 35 yards out.

Playing against the strong wind the home side caused plenty of problems for the United defence and Mickleburgh had to give away a free-kick to prevent a goal scoring opportunity. Stalham were intent on levelling matters and Bean was equal to the task as he flung himself to his left to prevent an equaliser.

Watling fouled Seamus Bobby in a challenge that could have seen the Stalham midfielder see red, but after a five-minute stoppage and a prolonged discussion with his assistant the referee chose yellow.

Colclough was using his long throw to good effect as Hoeppner glanced on for Peacock to shoot, only for the keeper to beat away, and only into the path of the busy Bobby, who calmly stroked home to double the Acle advantage.

Stalham responded when Camish looked to have pulled one back as his header looked destined for the top corner until Bean brought off another top quality save.

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Stalham had worked a number of first half chances and Bean pulled off another magnificent save from Gainsford to keep the Acle lead intact at the break.

Early in the second half Town had the ball in the net but were denied as the official blew for a foul on the keeper. Colclough beat his man and then fed Wiley, but his shot was put out for a corner.

Acle were now in complete charge. Mickleburgh headed home but was denied for an infringement, before the best football of the game saw Garner find Hudson who in turn played in Colclough who buried the ball past Nicholls for 3-0.

Acle United: Archie Bean, C Wiley, S Garner, R Mickleburgh, D Foreman, M Hoeppner, R Forder, B Colclough, C Hudson, S Peacock, S Bobby. Subs all used: M Taylor, H Tooley, G Miller.