Sporting ‘87 hearts are broken in 30th year as Hoxne grab last promotion spot
- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
Sporting ‘87 were unable to mark their 30th anniversary with a win against Claydon, allowing AFC Hoxne to claim the final promotion place into the Senior Division, with a 3-1 win over champions Benhall St Mary.
This was a fitting end to Hoxne boss Jamie Scales’ time in charge as he achieved his third promotion at the club, the club entering senior football for the first time next season.
Sporting had to switch the game to Rougham Community Centre because of cricket at the Victory Ground in Bury, but this seemed only to enhance the party atmosphere with a large crowd of around 120 in attendance.
However, it soon became clear that fourth-placed Claydon were going to prove difficult opposition, despite a poor recent run which led to them slipping out of the promotion picture.
The home side had an early scare when Liam Woodhouse fired narrowly wide from a Danny Knock corner, which was only partially cleared. Sporting replied with a series of deep free kicks which came to nothing before their experienced striker, Sam Marsden, showed great control only to have his goal-bound effort cleared by Elliot Blackman.
You may also want to watch:
The sides were proving evenly-matched, though the Sporting defence were being troubled by the trickery and guile of Stephen Cole.
Claydon full-back Josh Dowsing then forced Floyd Croll into two fine stops as the game remained in the balance at the break.
- 1 Matchday Recap: Plenty of positives despite Palace defeat
- 2 How bride paid £1 for vintage wedding dress
- 3 Eagle-eyed plane spotter saves pilot's life
- 4 5 places to avoid the crowds in Suffolk this summer
- 5 Machinery to be sold following the loss of 'passionate' farmer
- 6 How the Ipswich Town players performed in their friendly clash with Crystal Palace
- 7 Ipswich Town 0 Crystal Palace 1: Zaha makes Town pay the penalty
- 8 Leisure centre closes after travellers park up on site
- 9 Town coach on Palace display, fans' return, transfer business and Evans' absence
- 10 7 pretty villages in Suffolk
The second period continued to be a tight affair with chances at a premium.
Cole fired two efforts straight at Croll while at the other end, Marsden’s pace was proving Sporting’s main threat.
It was Marsden who got through in the right hand channel on 70 minutes but he drilled his shot narrowly wide.
Almost immediately Croll pushed away a powerful drive from Dan Parsons.
Sporting then pushed forward for the goal they desperately needed, leaving more gaps at the back.
Knock forced Croll into action again as the game went into injury time and then, with time almost up, Parsons grabbed the winner as he drilled in a 20-yard effort which deflected into the top corner, to break Sporting hearts.