Bloomfield proves to be the difference
NON-LEAGUE sides stepped up their preparation ahead of the new season on Saturday.
Kirkley & Pakefield 1 Needham Market 3
DANNY Bloomfield proved to be the difference for Needham Market, scoring twice in a 3-1 victory.
Against the run of play, Kirkley struck first on 16 minutes as Ross King chipped the ball through to Ryan Crisp, who expertly finished into the far corner past Alex Archer.
However, Needham provided an instant response as Kirkley could only hold the lead for three minutes as Bloomfield controlled well inside the box and turned to fire past Jordan Smith.
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The away side upped the tempo and took the lead on the stroke of half time as Bradley Barber headed home from a tight angle at the far post.
Both sides predictably made changes in the second half but it was Needham who took the initiative and added a third on 57 minutes. Bloomfield was again on target, heading a left wing cross into the top corner to seal the win.
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Hadleigh Utd 3 Leyton Orient XI 0
NEW Hadleigh United striker James Blades showed a cutting edge as he netted twice in this comfortable victory for the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side.
Neil Calver put the home team in front from the penalty spot in the 15th minute after Blades had been upended by the visitors’ goalkeeper, and five minutes later Blades exchanged passes with Ollie Canfer before firing home the second.
Blades, signed from SIL Senior Division side Leiston St Margarets, sidefooted home the third from Jamie Cowan’s right-wing cross in the 28th minute.
Although Orient, who fielded an under-20s side, came into the match more in the second half they were unable to breach the Hadleigh defence.
The match, which was in aid of Help for Heroes, attracted an attendance of 147, who were treated to a fly-past by a search and rescue helicopter from nearby RAF Wattisham just before the final whistle.
Felixstowe & Walton Utd 2 Ilford 1
A GOAL in each half got The Seasiders off to the perfect start to their pre-season matches with the new strike partnership of Ben Cranfield and Danny Smy both on target.
Ryman League Ilford were a big and physically strong side that kept the ball well when in possession but they got little joy from the Seasiders’ defence in the opening half as the home side saw plenty of the ball.
The Seasiders had worked a couple of decent openings before grabbing the lead in the 24th minute when Cranfield forced his way into the Ilford area before being hauled down. Referee Quick had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Cranfield got up to guide the ball wide of the visiting keeper. Remi Garret might well have doubled the lead within two minutes as the Seasiders built a flowing attack but saw his effort cleared off the line by Dawkins.
With 20 minutes left close-season signing Smy ended a flowing move by slotting the ball wide of Simpson to double the tally.
Steve Pitts in the home goal could do little to prevent Harvey-Wilson reducing the deficit in the 80th minute when looking suspiciously offside as he found space to score at the near post.
Gorleston 0 Lowestoft Town 5
BLAKE Saker made his debut for Lowestoft Town as two Portuguese trialists got on the scoresheet for the Blues at Gorleston.
Former Leiston right back Saker was due to play for Brantham Athletic this season, but has left the club and turned out for Lowestoft at Emerald Park instead.
Goals from Chris Henderson and a Dale Cockrill penalty put the visitors 2-0 ahead at half time, before Portuguese trialists Osiris Gomes and Bofuki Alves both got on the scoresheet. Robert Eagle completed the scoring with a 25-yard piledriver.
Long Melford 1 FC Clapton 1
NEW Long Melford manager Rob Benson will have been impressed with the improved performance from his understrength team.
The visitors had more of the play in the first period but found home custodian Floyd Croll, and the Melford central pairing of Errol Durrell and Justin Crissell in outstanding form. The visitors went ahead after 48 minutes when Wayne Grant took advantage of a defensive mix up to net from close range.
Within three minutes Melford were level when a fine ball from Paul Barnes put Carl Daw in on goal and he shot past keeper George Dawson, to give Melford a deserved equaliser.
Jamie Slabber recorded a second-half hat-trick for a Chelmsford City XI as his trio, as well as strikes from James Walker, Aiden Palmer (a penalty) and Craig Parker, saw the hosts breeze past Mark Wright’s Essex United side 6-0 in an exhibition match at Melbourne on Saturday.