Bradenham entertained Stalham Town at Hale Road looking to continue their impressive League form and had the perfect start when Scott Sutherland-Gray scored in the second minute. Bradenham’s No 9 met Joel Brien’s teasing cross from the left to glance a header past the opposing goalkeeper and in to the back of the net. Stalham, who came into the game with a less than impressive defensive record could quite easily have thought ‘ here we go again’ but their response to going a goal down was remarkable. Two minutes later, the visitors probed down Bradenham’s left with a long ball which wasn’t cleared by the home defence. Stalham worked the ball into the box and from an acute angle Lewis Crosby helped the ball towards goal. What looked like a tame effort that would be easily dealt with somehow squirmed between the legs of Jake Cox in the Bradenham goal and ended up trickling across the line to make the scores level. The home side were dealt a further blow in the 6th minute when the Impressive Stalham No 11 crossed from the left and Lewis Crosby converted from close range to put the visitors ahead. Worse was still to come for the Bulldogs, when Jake Cox made a mess of a back pass which allowed Crosby to get a toe to the ball, the resulting impact from Cox saw the referee point the the spot and that man Crosby was at hand again to convert the penalty and complete his hat-rick in a comical 15 minute spell from the home side. 3 -1 down and with barely 20 minutes on the clock Bradenham had to dig deep and settle into their rhythm. The remainder of the first half failed to live up to the excitement of the early exchanges, however the Bulldogs were slowly but surely starting to get some form of control of the game. Sutherland-Gray and Watts-Sturrock missed opportunities to get back into the game but as half time came it was clear that the result was far from being decided. Half Time Bradenham 1 Stalham 3.
Bradenham started the second half on fire with the attitude of having nothing to lose and everything to gain. Immediately the Stalham goalkeeper saved well from Sutherland-Gray. The home side started laying siege to the Stalham Goal and make an important breakthrough in the 52nd minute when Joel Brien received a delightful though ball from Tom Spalding and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the net. Game on!! Bradenham were now very dominant, but had to wait until midway through the second half before they clawed themselves level. A good build-up of short passing found Tom Spalding on the edge of the Stalham area and his left footed drive found the bottom corner of the goal to the delight of the home crowd. Bradenham didn’t have long to wait to go ahead when Tom Spading once again found himself in the Stalham Area. The home defence failed to deal with an aerial ball and Spalding nipped in to head home from all of 4 yards. Stalham’s resistance was broken and as their heads dropped, Bradenham showed no signs of letting up. Ryan Curtis scored Bradenham’s fifth from close range before the goal of the game from Jack Hood put the icing on the cake. With 5 minutes remaining, Bradenham produced a display of superb pass and move football. The number of passes was too many to count but Hood, who advanced forward from full back exchanged passes with Brien, burst into the box and drilled the ball home in style. In conclusion, this was an impressive victory from Bradenham given the position they were in after 20 minutes. The home side however will be looking to improve defensively for the visit of Harleston next week which will undoubtedly be a far sterner test. Full Time Bradenham 6 v Stalham 3.
Res progress in the Junior Cup winning 2 – 3 AET against UEA Res.