Burgh Town 3 Manby AFC 2

Burgh Town had to come back from behind to take the three points in this top of the table clash.

Indeed, the game was only minutes old when Town found themselves behind. Sloppy play in midfield allowed the Manby player to pick the ball up in his own half and run at the heart of Town’s defence. He knocked the ball wide to his team mate and his cross from the left was met by the unmarked forward, who headed his team into the lead.

Burgh were clearly shaken by this setback and Manby bombed forward again.

Central defensive pair Shaun Wathall and Mark Pellow showed their years of experience by keeping their goal intact.

Gradually Town started to play their football and Herbie Nicholls and Charlie Carter were at the heart of things in midfield.

Although Burgh were having the lion’s share of possession, a well organised Manby back four was proving a tough nut to crack and it wasn’t until five minutes before the break that they drew level. Top scorer Jordan Houlston spun and smashed the ball into the bottom corner from 12 yards after good work by Carter and Jamie Kilner.

The second half proved to be just as tight with these second and third placed teams knowing how important a win would be as they both push for promotion.

Town then took the lead as Josh Whittam produced a bit of magic on the edge of the Manby box, twice turning defenders before putting his cross into the danger area.

This was headed clear, but marauding full back Gino Lanzetta rifled an unstoppable shot into the top corner on the half volley.

Burgh appeared to believe the job had been done, but Manby had other ideas. Their midfielder picked the ball up midway in Burgh’s half and rode a couple of challenges. The same player seemed to catch Ben Taylor on the wrong foot as his long range shot squirmed underneath his right hand and into the net for 2-2.

Town gathered themselves again as influential skipper and man-of-the-match Darren Murphy took the game by the scruff of the neck, driving forward his troops.

His strong challenge won the ball back on the half way line and he made an inch-perfect pass into Carter’s path. His turn of pace deceived his marker and he was tripped just inside the Manby area. The referee pointed straight to the penalty spot. Houlston stepped up to take the spot kick but was unfortunate to see it hit an upright and bounce out to safety.

This gave Manby players the lift they needed as they peppered Town’s goal with shots and crosses. Wathall and Murphy won some important headers and clearances as Burgh weathered the storm.

They were rewarded when Ross Muirhead grabbed the winner, nipping in front of his marker to put his team in front after good work by Whittam on the right.

Manby had a late chance to equalise but Taylor made a magnificent stop to earn his team all three points.

Taylor, Muirhead, Pellow, Wathall, Lanzetta, Nicholls, Kilner, Murphy, Carter, Houlston, Whittam, Maycock, Scutt, Jackson.

On Saturday Burgh are at home to Alford Town in the Town Trophy (kick-off 2.30pm).