Defensive lapses cost Acle dear as rivals run off with the points

Acle's keeper Scott Foreman punches clear a Kirkley cross

Acle's keeper Scott Foreman punches clear a Kirkley cross - Credit: Archant

Acle United stumbled to a 3-2 home defeat against lowly Kirkley and Pakefield Reserves, with defensive lapses proving very costly.

Callum Wiley scores Acle's second goal

Callum Wiley scores Acle's second goal - Credit: Archant

New signing from Wroxham, Jordan Attree, was given the task of leading the attack for Acle.

Both sides showed their attacking intent and it was the visitors who took a shock lead after less than two minutes. Hesitancy in the Acle back four allowed Goldspink to chase unchallenged and beat S Foreman.

The young Royals continued to push forward and Forder headed off the line to prevent the visitors from doubling their lead.

Acle settled down and got a foothold in the game. The equaliser came on 17 minutes. Attree held the ball up and played it to D Foreman on the left and his cross was missed by the home keeper, allowing Sander to stab home from close range.

A minute later, Attree saw his shot tipped over the bar by the Royals keeper as Acle cranked up the pressure.

Acle continued to press forward, but were undone by a free-kick after the half-hour mark.

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A manic goalmouth scramble in the Kirkley penalty area four minutes from the break saw Acle have two penalty appeals ignored by the referee as the visitors went into the break with a slender 2-1 lead.

A change in formation for Acle saw defender Stelzer-Hiller replaced by Gibbons as the visitors pushed for an equaliser. Sanders had a shot well saved, then Attree saw an effort trickle just wide of the target.

However, all the pressure was undone after Wiley lost possession and a quick through-ball saw Patrick outpace Faulkes and fire past a helpless Foreman to double the lead.

It was now all-out attack from the hosts, but once again the keeper foiled Sanders and Attree was just wide. But the pressure finally yielded a goal when Wiley scored after a scramble with six minutes remaining.

A goal-line clearance at the end of normal time kept the one-goal cushion in favour of the visitors.

Acle: S Foreman, Wiley, D Foreman, Stelzer-Hiller (Gibbons), Faulkes, McCabe (Kelf), Forder, Morgan, Attree, Sandell (Peacock) Sanders.

Tomorrow Acle visit Thorpe, to face St Andrews at Laundry Lane at 2.30pm.