Mattishall Res 3-4 East Harling
The first team made the midweek journey to Mattishall to take on the relegation threatened side but the home side were boosted by the additions of several first team players who were without a game and able to help the club’s cause.
The visiting side were only forced into a couple of changes with Hobley replacing the absent Senior and 16 year old Huey Turner-Saint coming in for Tarft in the midfield.
There was a place on the bench for the returning Dunkinson and he took his place along side Jake Scent.
The visitors could not of got off to a better start when after only 5 minutes Johnson intercepted a short back pass to expertly slot between the legs of the home keeper from a very tight angle for 0-1.
The joy was shortlived however as only three minutes later a through ball found the premier divisions second top goal scorer Huckle to finish past a stranded Woodcock for 1-1.
Bareham then shot powerfully straight at the keeper before Johnson drilled wide.
The 3rd goal of the game soon came when a Pin-point Scent delivery was met by the head of Bareham to head into the far corner of the net for 1-2.
Moments later Bareham had his second of the game when he poked home on his left foot at the back post from another classy Scent set piece.
By now the away side were having it all their own way and Bareham again headed wide in the box as he continued to make a nuisance of himself and Johnson just failed to finish after putting in a lot of work to get in on goal.
The back four of Allin, Laws, Holland and the skipper Durrant kept Woodcocks goal well protected and the midfield of Scent, Barnett, Hobley and Turner-Saint kept such good discipline to hold their shape and continued to dominate the middle of the pitch.
Finally the 4th came when this time Scent found his range from the corner spot for Bareham to stoop low and head home for his hattrick and his 10th of the season.
The second half was to be very different as the away side would now be against the ever growing wind.
Despite the head wind it was the away side who nearly got the next goal as Johnson got away in the clear but his cross into the box was well defended and eventually cleared.
Dunkinson then came on in place of the tiring Johnson.
The visitors were defending superbly up against three very good forwards and in truth didn’t look in much danger until 15 minutes to go when a hopeful long ball found the same striker in an identical position to score a carbon copy of his 1st goal and give the home team hope.
A Dunkinson pass then found its way to Hobley but his strike was well blocked before Bareham headed high and wide from another Scent free kick.
Suddenly out of nowhere the hosts were right back in it when a failed clearance found its way to the Mattishall winger to smash the ball past Woodcock from 25 yards for 3-4.
The last few minutes were very tense with the visitors having to dig very deep indeed to protect the 3 points.
The final whistle blew and a sigh of relief was breathed as a comfortable performance and result somehow looked in danger in the dying moments.
We now move onto another tricky away game at Allendale Road, Caister as we look to finish as high up the table as possible.
Mattishall Res 3-4 East Harling