By Rob Binns
Woodbridge Town fell to a narrow 3-2 defeat to high-flying Harleston Town despite a spirited second-half fightback.
Goals from Asa McGeachy, George Barber and Josh Durham saw the visitors enter half time with a 3-0 advantage.
Luke Hyam made four changes at the break which led to an inspired second-half performance as Ryan Keeble and Billy Clark pulled goals back for Woodbridge. Sadly, an equaliser proved just out of reach in the end.
The Pecker’s first opportunity of the game came in the 13th minute when Jamal Wiggins’ shot from the edge of the box took a deflection to initially wrong-foot Elliott Pride but the keeper reacted well to save.
Less than a minute later they fell behind after being caught in possession at the back by McGeachy who rounded the keeper and slotted home despite the best efforts of Daniel Leggett’s late challenge.
The visitors doubled their lead in the 25th minute when a long ball over the top from Pride sent Barber in behind the defence who calmly slotted past the onrushing Alfie Stronge.
Harleston extended their advantage in the 36th minute when McGeachy broke down the right and drilled in a low cross which was tucked away by Durham at the back post.
The Peckers went close in first-half stoppage time when Evan Bolt found Kelsey Trotter who tried an acrobatic effort from a tight angle which struck the outside of the post.
A rejuvenated Woodbridge almost pulled a goal back when Keeble crossed for Trotter who headed towards the bottom corner but was brilliantly denied by Pride at full stretch.
They got a deserved goal from the resulting corner as Keeble’s initial ball in failed to be cleared twice before the Peckers number 11 ran onto the loose ball himself and thrashed home.
Town went close again 10 minutes later when substitute Andrew Crowe went through on goal and fired an effort goalwards which was well saved.
The Peckers got right back into the game in the 81st minute when a long free kick sent into the box wasn’t cleared by Harleston which allowed Clark to smash home an effort into the roof of the net.
Despite late pressure, Woodbridge fell just short of completing the comeback but there were many positives to take into Wednesday’s rearranged League Challenge Cup tie against Long Melford.
Woodbridge: Stronge, Rea (Barber 45), Blackburn (Schaar 45), Southgate, Leggett, Bak (Allen 45), Harvey, Wiggins, Trotter, Bolt (Crowe 45), Keeble (Clark 56)
Harleston: Pride, Wells, Manning, Cook, Barber, Durham, Page, McGeachy, Stone (Crisp 82), Borrer (Ebbage 82), Henderson Subs: Hide, Russell, Jackson