Ridgeons League round-up

THE title chase is down to a virtual three way chase although fourth-placed Kirkley & Pakefield still have an outside chance as all the top four sides made it a maximum point weekend.

THE title chase is down to a virtual three way chase although fourth-placed Kirkley & Pakefield still have an outside chance as all the top four sides made it a maximum point weekend.

It was a frustrating afternoon for leaders CRC at The Abbey Stadium as they created a host of chances but looked like dropping two points against a battling Hadleigh United until 13 minutes from the end when the deadlock was finally broken. Luke Berry fired home from 15 yards when the visitors failed to clear a corner and Igglesden secured the points with five minutes left with his second goal in five games. The defeat cost The Brettsiders one place as they dropped to 17th while the Scholars ensured the Status Quo was maintained at the top.

Second-placed Needham Market did what they had to do, win, and with the victory end any Stanway hopes of a top-three finish. It was a tight affair at The Hawthorns with a late double from Parker sealing all three points for the visitors. All square at the break McCloskey rifled an 18-yard volley past Gay in the 55th minute to put the home side ahead but Parker levelled from the penalty spot in the 77th minute and grabbed the winner with just four minutes of normal time left. The win kept The Marketmen five points behind CRC but cost Stanway the fourth spot they had regained in midweek as they slipped back into fifth.

Third-placed Leiston put six past Dereham at Aldiss Park in October and hit another three here as they kept in touch with the top two. Sillett gave the home side a 23rd minute lead and Brothers made it two in time added on at the end of the first half.

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Sillett hit his second to secure the points with 15 minutes left. They are just two points adrift of second place but have played four games more than the top two. The defeat cost Dereham one place as they dropped to 10th.

Kirkley & Pakefield made it three straight wins as they retuned to fourth at the expense of Stanway but it was closer than the two previous games. Jeffers, Stone and Henderson were on target for The Royals while Cousins twice replied for the Fenmen. Defeat cost the visitors two places as they dropped to 13th while the home side opened a three-point gap over Stanway with a two-game in hand cushion.

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Mildenhall retained sixth spot despite losing at Trafford Park as the Yachtsmen scored the only goal of the game through Gilmore just before the break. The home side had plenty of games to make up due to their cup exploits and gained one place with this win to move into 11th place and within catching distance of the five clubs immediately above them.

Haverhill went down 3-1 at Walsham-le-Willows but remained seventh while the home side moved into eighth and within two points of Rovers. Haverhill opened the scoring through Wardley as they tried to extend their four-match unbeaten run but the lead lasted less than a minute as Bolton drew the sides level and within two minutes Tatham hit his 12th of the season to put the home side ahead. Bolton made sure of the points with his second of the game after 55 minutes to make it three straight wins for the Willows.

Felixstowe & Walton were left fuming after travelling to Ely City's Unwin Ground only for the game to be called off by match referee Mr Sprague an hour before kick-off as he deemed the pitch to be in a dangerous condition. Their inactivity saw them drop one place to ninth and Dereham down to 10th.

With Wroxham up to 11th, big movers of the day were Newmarket Town who climbed four places into 12th following their 3-0 win over relegation battlers Woodbridge Town at Notcutts Park. Vowden opened the scoring after 22 minutes and a 25-yard volley from Bell added a second before the break. The scoreline was settled on 83 minutes when Baillie hit a rasping 30-yard free kick past Wilson to leave the Woodpeckers 17 points adrift of the side immediately above them.

Wisbech dropped two places following their defeat while Ely City remained in 14th after having their game called off.

Debenham LC started the day in 13th but lost two places as they ended well beaten at Plantation Park allowing Norwich United to close to within three points in 16th place. Blythe scored the first of a hat-trick after just four minutes and quickly added a second with just seven minutes on the clock. Atkins headed them into a 3-0 lead on half time, Gedny pulled one back early in the second half but Blythe completed his hat-trick in the 66th minute to lift his side two places.

Hadleigh United dropped to 17th with Histon dropping to 18th without playing as their match at Broad Lane fell victim to the weather leaving Wivenhoe still rooted to the bottom of the table in a battle with Woodbridge to avoid the one relegation spot left.

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