Hot-shot Garrett keeps Caister on track for promotion to the top flight

Hot-shot: Garrett Ward

Hot-shot: Garrett Ward - Credit: Archant

Hindringham 0 Caister 3

Caister moved eight points clear of the third-place side in the Anglian Combination Division One promotion race, thanks in the main to a masterclass of centre forward play from Garrett Ward.

Two weeks without a game, the long trip, freezing temperatures and gale-force winds had the Caister management of Mason and Thompson marking this fixture down as a potential banana skin for the promotion candidates.

Any nerves were settled quite early when good ball retention from Robson and Nichols set James Hunt ,who was making his first start in senior football, free on Caister’s left- hand side. Hunt found the run of Danny Heller who on the run turned in a precise shot to beat the keeper low to his right from 25 yards.

Soon after a break from nothing showed the class of young striker Garrett Ward. Caister cleared the danger from a Hindringham corner and he picked up the ball deep in his own half facing away from goal.

Not only did Ward hold the ball up but he skipped past his marker and accelerated into the Hindringham half ripping past three defenders. With Danny Heller joining in Garrett squared the ball but Heller pushed it too far wide and covering defenders managed to get back.

Then on the break Caister were almost made to pay for this miss as the swift Hindringham striker ran clear one on one with Caister’s keeper Liam Hembling. Hembling stood tall until he was called upon to make an astonishing save to keep the score at 0-1.

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Caister again upped their game to re-stamp their dominance.

On the edge of the Hindringham penalty box good work from Nichols set up Garrett Ward who smashed home an excellent volley to seemingly put Caister two up but the referee called play back for a foul on Nichols.However from the resulting free-kick Anton Ward smashed home his 27th goal of the season.

The mercurial Garrett Ward was a thorn in the side of the home defence all afternoon and deservedly made it 0-3 before half time.

He raced clear in the Hindringham half and with the keeper racing out to meet him his mind was made up.

Ward curled the ball around him from 40 yards with the ball rolling into the open net for an instinctive striker’s finish to take his total to 18.

In the second half Caister made three early changes to give Macmillan, Macgregor and Barrett deserved minutes and saw some further good chances to increase their lead.

However with the conditions decreasing and the snow now laying, Caister dropped a gear and didn’t add any more to their tally.

In fact the best chance of the remainder of the game came as Hindringham hit the post from 30 yards with a free-kick which was cleared to safety eventually.

Caister face top of the table Norwich CEYMS tomorrow with a chance to go level on points and mount a real title challenge. With a 3rd of the season and 30 points to play for including five games in 12 days Caister will be looking to keep the focus which has seen them so far produce the goods.

Caister: Hembling, Armes (Macgregor, 45), Blake, Robson, Rowley (Macmillan, 50), Turner, A.Ward (1), Nichols, G.Ward (1), Heller (1) (Barrett, 60), Hunt.

Up Next: tomorrow Norwich CEYMS (a) 2.30 KO, Monday Aylsham (a) 11am KO.