Local clubs face a break after new lockdown measures
- Credit: Archant
Local football teams look set to begin a month of inactivity later this week after the government re-introduced lockdown measures to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Whilst elite football continues, anything below National League level looks to be on hold again after November 5.
A statement on the FA website said: “We acknowledge the government’s announcement today regarding Covid-19 restrictions and are awaiting further information before we can confirm how this may affect non-elite football across England. We will communicate any necessary updates in due course.”
However, it seems clear that football’s non-elite is once again at a standstill, although there are games scheduled before November 5 – Lowestoft are due to host Biggleswade in the league tomorrow, while there are five in the Thurlow Nunn Premier and eight in the First Division North scheduled before Thursday.
It will be bad news, in a sporting sense, for teams who are in form.
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Gorleston boss Ricci Butler, for example, has seen his side win four games in a row, the latest a 4-2 home win over Baldock Town in the first round of the FA Vase. Fakenham Town, top of the First Division North, are also in the second round draw after beating Crawley Green 2-1, and will be joined by Mulbarton Wanderers and Norwich CBS.
Norwich United’s scheduled tie at home to White Ensign was postponed due to a high number of positive Covid-19 cases at the Essex club as well as several others with symptoms.
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Gorleston came from two goals down and were thankful for an inspired performance from goalkeeper Joe McLoughlin.
They were two down before the half-hour mark, but Butler’s players are made of stern stuff and 10 minutes before the break were back in the game when a Christy Finch free-kick was lofted in to the back post where Connor Deeks guided his header home.
Four minutes later they were level thanks to another Finch free-kick, which he placed around the wall and into the bottom left corner through the keeper’s legs.
McLoughlin came to the rescue a minute later to ensure parity at the break.
The Greens went ahead just after the hour mark – Chris Henderson was fouled in the area and Connor Ingram converted the penalty. Baldock were reduced to 10 men on 83 minutes and three minutes into stoppage time Finch also scored from 12 yards to send the Greens through.
Fakenham were indebted to goals from Josh Youngs and Ashley Jarvis, while Ben Thompson, Ben Jones, Danny Beaumont and Callum Olpin were on target for Mulbarton Wanders in a 4-0 home win over Newport Pagnell Town. Norwich CBS came from 2-0 down to beat Ipswich Wanderers 3-2, thanks to goals from Valter Rocha (two) and Jamie North.
In league action, Wroxham went top of the Premier after a 1-0 home win over Godmanchester, Matt Ward scoring in the first half.
Swaffham Town went down 3-2 at home to Woodbridge Town while Thetford lost 1-0 at home to Brantham.
In the First Division North, Downham Town thumped Great Yarmouth Town 6-0, King’s Lynn Reserves were on the end of a 5-0 defeat at Lakenheath, Sheringham had Tim Carey sent off but beat visiting Needham Market Reserves 3-0 and, in the surprise of the day, Diss lost 4-3 at Wisbech St Mary, who had lost all their previous 11 games.
In the FA Trophy third qualifying round, Lowestoft Town beat visiting Lewes 3-1, while Dereham were beaten 5-0 at Mickleover Sports.
Lowestoft defied the wet and stormy weather to put on an excellent display and make progress for the first time in five years.
Rossi Jarvis played in Jake Reed for the opener on 16 minutes and it was 2-0 three minutes before the break after a fine team goal featuring Jacek Zielonka, Reed and Kieran Higgs before the ball was played across goal for Connor Parsons to net his first Lowestoft goal at the far post.
Any hopes of a comeback by Lewes were dashed after just nine minutes of the second half. Higgs was played through the inside left channel and after carrying the ball forward he unleashed a tremendous strike screaming into the roof of the net. Lowestoft managed the rest of the game well until a casual clearance allowed Cosgrave to set up a chance for Gary Noel to score.