Debenham's deadly duo all fired up

DEBENHAM Leisure Centre have their deadly duo back in action - and they are firing on all cylinders again as they seek promotion from the First Division of the Ridgeons League.

Elvin King

DEBENHAM Leisure Centre have their deadly duo back in action - and they are firing on all cylinders again as they seek promotion from the First Division of the Ridgeons League.

Stuart Jopling and Ian Gedny topped the scoring charts with a remarkable 33 goals apiece last season.

They are back in action after missing six weeks through injury and they both netted as Debenham beat Gorleston on Tuesday to make it two wins in four days.

Debenham may have slipped down the table to ninth place, but they are still only three points adrift of a promotion place and a win over Halstead tomorrow will see them leap frog the fourth-placed Essex club.

Jopling has netted 19 goals this term - four behind top First Division marksman Tom English (Tiptree) - with manager Mel Aldis saying: “With our front two back in action we are looking for a strong end to the season.

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“If the opportunity is there to progress to the Premier League naturally we would take it.

“But I am not going to break the bank to do it. It would not be the end of the world if we didn't go up for a couple of years.”

Aldis has done all the necessary paperwork and was talking to Stowmarket Town's Warren Taylor-Holt yesterday about a transfer that could see the forward thinking midfielder make his Debenham debut tomorrow.

Aldis was also pleased to have seven players from the village in his side that beat Gorleston. “We also had three promising teenagers in Jason Palfrey (18), Jamie Abbott (18) and Tommy Smith (17).

“Warren is a player I have admired for a long while, and hopefully we can get him onboard.”

Stowmarket are away to March Town, while Hadleigh United, who have taken local youngster Chris Cowans on loan from Wivenhoe Town, are at home to Fakenham Town. Whitton United take on Ely City at King George V Field, Old Norwich Road, Ipswich.

Striker Andrew Claydon has joined Felixstowe and Walton United from Mildenhall, and the ex-AFC Sudbury man will be out to make a potent strike force with the Premier Division's leading scorer Danny Phillips.

Steve Potts' Seasiders travel to Mildenhall while Woodbridge Town are away to King's Lynn reserves and Walsham-le-Willows are at home to Lowestoft Town.

N (SQUARE) CAN Stuart Jopling and Ian Gedny take Debenham Leisure Centre to the Premier Division? Have your say. Write to sports desk, Evening Star, 30, Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail



OLD Newton manager Colin Macrow is rooting for Brantham Athletic - the team that 'beat' them in the third round of the Metaltec SIL.

Brantham were subsequently thrown out for using an ineligible goalkeeper; reprieving First Division Newton and giving them a second chance to achieve some giantkilling when they take on in-form Senior Division Capel Plough in the fourth round at home tomorrow.

“We have been given a second chance, and we will be out to make the most of it,” said Macrow, who is looking for further 'favours' from Tony Hall and his Brantham side.

“If Brantham do well and gain promotion to the Ridgeons League it will mean the likelihood of three clubs going up from the First Division.

“We are one of at least six teams in the mix - and having an extra team go up this year could prove another bonus for us.”

Macrow is still recovering a nightmare final game of last season when his side was twice in the lead but lost 3-2 at Bramford United.

“Victory would have seen us First Division champions, a draw would guaranteed us promotion, and a defeat left our fate in the lap of the Gods,” said Macrow.

“In the end we missed out, and we paid a high price for a late dip in form after sitting apparently pretty - like Woodbridge Athletic are now - 12 months ago.”

Macrow has Stuart Ager back after injury and Nick Zarkos and Adam Rickwood scoring goals. The manager is hoping 18-year-old Sam Bobby recovers from illness in time to play.

Fourth Division Trimley Red Devils are the lowest team left in the competition, and they take on Second Division Bacton at Stennetts Field.

Somersham from Division Three visit Thurston, the Division One who also received a reprieve after Crane Sports used an ineligible player in the previous round.

Saxmundham, from Division Two, take on Senior Division leaders Melton St Audry's, who suffered their first league defeat since September 15 when beaten 2-1 at Capel Plough on Saturday.

Framlingham Town will relish their chance of gaining a senior scalp against treble-seeking Leiston St Margarets.

Grundisburgh, also in line for three trophies, meet Stonham Aspal, while Coplestonians are at home to East Bergholt.

Leighton Smythe is out with an ankle injury but otherwise Coplestonians should be at full strength with Jimmy Quantrill having recovered from a thigh injury.

Ian Matthews' side has been in good form over the past couple of months, picking up 19 points from the last 24 on offer. The winners have a home fixture against Thurston or Somersham in the quarter-finals.

There are two top-of-the-table clashes with Division One leaders Woodbridge Athletic hosting St Johns and Parkside United visiting Elmswell in Division Three.



BRANTHAM Athletic will have some youthful support when Tony Hall's side takes on Stowupland Falcons in the Senior Division of the Metaltec SIL.

Members of the club's Under-eights will be acting as mascots for the day. They will walk out with the team, be introduced to the match officials and also have a penalty shoot out competition at half-time.

Brantham intend to use all remaining home games to allow the younger members of the club to become involved - giving them an insight into what goes on at a first team match.

Brantham will be looking for revenge after a 5-0 drubbing against Falcons earlier in the season. Manager Tony Hall should have a full squad to choose from for the first time for months.

On Tuesday Brantham lost 3-1 to Walsham le Willows in a friendly and showed up well with Kieran Lawler scoring their goal.


RIDGEONS League Premier Division championship-chasers Needham Market are at home to United Counties League St Ives in an FA Vase fifth round replay with a quarter-final place at stake.

Needham have a full squad to select from and have called on support from the local football fraternity to cheer them on to become two wins from a Wembley final. Schoolchildren will be allowed in free with a paying adult.


Metaltec SIL recent transfers: Ben Arnold (BT Trimley to Woodbridge), Paul Bugg (Haughley to Ransomes), Connor Cawston (Willis to Sproughton), Anthony Cole (Stanton to Thurston), Kris Howlett (Westerfield to Ransomes), Luke Mulley (Westerfield to Ransomes), Jamie Tynan (Claydon to Crane Sports).

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