Business as usual for Crane Sports, despite winning top-two clash with Achilles

Cranes manager Iain Radnor

Cranes manager Iain Radnor - Credit: James Ager

Crane Sports manager Iain Radnor insisted it was business as usual, despite watching his side take a huge step towards retaining the SIL Senior Division title last night.

The Greshams-based outfit jumped into top spot, replacing former leaders Achilles, after winning the battle of the top-two, 3-2, in a dramatic game.

Nathan Woollard’s 51st-minute penalty secured the points for the hosts, who are now three points clear at the top of the division – both teams having two games remaining.

Achilles twice came from behind in the first half, levelling goals from James Blades and Mark Van Oene, with equalisers from Gavin Van Oene and Kieron Donovan.

Victory for either side was set to be significant, with the duo having winnable games in their final two fixtures of the season.

Luke Hillyard’s Achilles, who have now scored 102 goals this season, travel to fourth-bottom Leiston St Margarets tomorrow night, before finishing their season at home to the division’s basement side, Ipswich Valley Rangers – a team without a win all season and who lost 11-2 at home to Haughley United last night – on Saturday.

With those games very favourable for Achilles, it was vital that Cranes earned a point or three, ahead of their final two games, at home to lower mid-table sides Grundisburgh (tomorrow) and Wenhaston United (Saturday).

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Radnor, who led Cranes to the title last season, said: “I expect Achilles to take maximum points from their last two games, so we have still got business to do and we need to win both our games.”

Last night’s game was watched by more than 200 spectators, who saw a highly-competitive contest, Radnor adding: “It was a decent result for us.

“It was not our greatest performance but it was a big top-of-the-table clash.

“Achilles are a spirited outfit and I thought it would go right to the end, although I think we gifted them their goals.”

Match report in today’s Ipswich Star and EADT

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