Aylsham FC clinch promotion

Aylsham footballers shot themselves into the history books when they clinched promotion to the Anglian Combination Premier Division for the first time ever.

Three cracking goals at promotion rivals Sprowston on Tuesday night sent them to the top of the first division – and two points ahead of title hopefuls East Harling with one game to go.

Players and coaching staff cheered and hugged at the final whistle, having won a game they only needed to draw.

But the champagne is on ice until Saturday’s home tie with Bungay, which could see them crowned champions.

No-one was happier than the scorer of the opening goal, midfielder Mark “Gasky” Gaskin, whose vital strike after some brilliant wing work by Bradley Butler, came just hours after he welcomed baby daughter Daisy into the world.

He hit the daddy of all shots to set his team on the way, with a 20-yard screamer into the top corner of the net after Aylsham survived an early Sprowston onslaught in the opening half an hour.

Mark Gaskin _ New dad and opening goalscorer

Aylsham turned the screw in the second half with Phil Read driving home from the edge of the box, and top scorer Jamie George rounding things off with a brilliant piece of control and sweet left foot shot.

The victory – their seventh on the spin – means that Aylsham, so often the bridesmaids in recent seasons, can now take their place in the top league, for the first time since they were formed, in their previous guise as Aylsham Wanderers back in 1947.

After the final whistle club chairman Ian Potter said:  “It’s a dream come true. It’s what we have been towards working towards for years.

“It is an outstanding team effort by the players, coaches & everyone involved in the club to get us to the premier league.

“We should do well. We have a terrific club and ground and 70pc of our squad are Aylsham boys. However, we are focused on winning the league title on Saturday.”


THE HISTORY BOYS: Aylsham teammates celebrate after clinching promotion.
PICTURES: RICHARD BATSON

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