Crane 4 Norwich Union III 1

Division 4NE Crane 4 Norwich Union III 1Crane effectively ended Norwich Union III's promotion hopes while keeping theirs alive with this vital win.

Division 4NE

Crane 4 Norwich Union III 1

Crane effectively ended Norwich Union III's promotion hopes while keeping theirs alive with this vital win.

The hosts put an end to their recent sluggish starts and went at Union from the start. The home team pressed on and several penalty corners went close while Union showed how dangerous they were on the break, forcing Crane keeper Dan Murray into making a string of saves that saw Crane defenders Lee Hadley, Andy Hicks and Revan Jones having to make several clearances to relieve the pressure.

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It became clear that the first goal would be very important and, with Union operating a man marking system with a sweeper, they were proving tough to break down. All this changed after 20 minutes when Andy Hicks' accurate hit out went to Bristow ten yards inside the Crane half. With such tight marking and a high defensive line, Union had left acres of space in behind and Bristow accelerated goal wards, beating both his marker and the sweeper, before drawing the goalkeeper and slipping a pass to Ali Black who scored the open goal.

Union were deflated and this was compounded shortly afterwards when Andy Elden played in Bristow whose attempted pass to Bloomfield was initially cut out by the keeper only for Bloomfield to recover the ball and flick it home to double Cranes lead.

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At the interval Crane knew that they were by no means home and dry and the pressure began to tell in the second half as both teams received warnings and cards from the umpires. Again it was a piece of individual brilliance that allowed Crane to make it three, this time Bloomfield and Dawson combining on the right before some mazy dribbling from Dawson took two players and the keeper out of the game and allowed Bristow to sweep the ball high into the net.

There was no way back for Union after this and despite pulling a goal back from a penalty corner and Revan Jones ending his participation in the game by charging down a goal bound drag flick, there was an inevitability about substitute Paul Murthwaite's poachers goal that rounded off the scoring minutes from time.

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