Mundford return to top

IN the only match in the division to survive the frost, Mundford were looking for their 10th consecutive win in all competitions and a return to the top of Division Three.

IN the only match in the division to survive the frost, Mundford were looking for their 10th consecutive win in all competitions and a return to the top of Division Three.

They were up against a Martham side who had frustrated them for long periods in the away fixture only two weeks before.

But Mundford battled well to get a 2-0 win over the east Norfolk side.

With Groves replacing the unavailable Barnes, Mundford looked in control during the first half, as Martham were content to defend deep and allow the Stags territory.


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This allowed Sirrell and Smith to push on, and brought wide men Maslin and Hawkins into the game in more advanced positions than normal. Groves smashed the bar and Gary Hawkins twice forced the keeper into smart saves, but Mundford could not find the breakthrough and half-time came with no goals.

The second half was a story of three crucial turning points.

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The Stags were again dominate but on the hour, a Martham counter-attack saw a striker wriggle free in the area and only a low, smart stop from Brown saved the home side.

With the game getting more than a little tetchy, Sirrell's misjudged sliding challenge brought a strong reaction from the Martham players and a straight red from the referee.

Groves was replaced by Gooderham, who dropped straight in at full-back as the Reds left Burton as the lone striker, and Mundford's towering run of wins looked on the verge of collapse.

But, extraordinarily, this galvanised the home side, and the 10 men finally found the break through.

Mundford had spoken before the game and at half-time about the importance of the midfield running through the front line and this proved to be true.

From a goal-kick, Burton did brilliantly to win a ball he was second best for, and looking up fed Wisbey through on goal, who finished with an exquisite chip.

Mundford were then content to play keep-ball, and from one such play on the left, where Burton, Wisbey, Gooderham, Ramage and Hawkins had played more than 20 passes between themselves, suddenly Wisbey broke free again.

With Martham expecting to be rescued by the linesman's flag, as had happened on many occasions in the previous 80 minutes, Wisbey ran clear and slid the ball home from an acute angle.

The entire Mundford team joined the celebration and the game petered to a close.

A highly-charged game came to an end with the Stags 2-0 winners, having earned a third clean sheet in a row in the league for the first time since their Division Two title-winning season.

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