Caister Lifeboatmen are riding the crest of a wave

Anglian Combination senior award-winners Caister before their 5-2 Norfolk Senior Cup victory over Sheringham. Back: Anton Ward, Dean MacGregor, Danny Heller, Thomas Rowley, Kieran Hack, Tom Bevan, Chris Hollis. Front: Lee Turner, Nicky Crawley, Ben Ford, Lee Gillary, Mark Blake (captain), Matt Lines, Warren Nichols, Allen Barrett. Not in picture Garrett Ward. Anglian Combination senior award-winners Caister before their 5-2 Norfolk Senior Cup victory over Sheringham. Back: Anton Ward, Dean MacGregor, Danny Heller, Thomas Rowley, Kieran Hack, Tom Bevan, Chris Hollis. Front: Lee Turner, Nicky Crawley, Ben Ford, Lee Gillary, Mark Blake (captain), Matt Lines, Warren Nichols, Allen Barrett. Not in picture Garrett Ward.

Friday, November 2, 2012
5:00 PM

Caister have underlined their emergence as a senior football force to be reckoned with by picking up a coveted award for the first time.

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Caister defenders Dean MacGregor, Lee Turner, Thomas Rowley and captain Mark Blake, who helped to secure five clean sheets in the opening seven games.Caister defenders Dean MacGregor, Lee Turner, Thomas Rowley and captain Mark Blake, who helped to secure five clean sheets in the opening seven games.

The Lifeboatmen, charting a course towards one of the most successful seasons in their 100-plus year history, have been named as the Anglian Combination senior team of the month for August and September.

The accolade came after a club record-breaking flying start which has seen them make their mark on league and cup campaigns.

The seasiders, based at their fortress-like Allendale Road ground – went unbeaten for the first two months and won six from seven games, keeping five clean sheets and scoring 28 goals.

They have been riding the crest of a wave since the new management team of Adam Mason and David Thompson took over and brought in a crop of summer signings.

Danny Heller's free kick which hit the bar.Danny Heller's free kick which hit the bar.

The duo, who ran the club’s reserves last season, have rewarded the vote of confidence shown in their abilities, with a string of stunning results.

Two of their seven new signings to catch the eye are midfielders Danny Heller and Warren Nichols, who have quickly made themselves at home after stepping up from Yarmouth and District Saturday League sides Caister Community Centre and Catfield respectively.

“Danny has looked outstanding,” said former Yarmouth Town midfielder Mason. “Warren has given us some stability in midfield, he has got an excellent range of passes and starts things off from deep.”

The Ward brothers Anton and Garrett have been in full flow in attack, while the club’s longest-serving player, skipper Mark Blake, with around 15 years service under his belt, has been orchestrating affairs in a defence not known for its generosity.

Since September Caister have claimed the scalps of Wroxham Reserves and Sheringham as they marched on in the league’s Mummery Cup, and the Norfolk Senior Cup.

Friday evening’s Norfolk Senior Cup draw saw the only Anglian Combination Division One side left in the contest book a trip to Premier Division Spixworth, with a place in the quarter-finals the reward for the winners of the November 24 (ko 1.45) clash.

“It’s a tie we feel we are capable of winning. We have beaten two sides from the Premier Division already so we certainly feel we can give them a decent game,” said Mason. On November 10 Caister have another yardstick with which to measure their progress when they travel to Premier Division title hopefuls Acle’s Bridewell Lane ground for a Mummery Cup quarter- final derby. The progress does not come as a surprise to Mason, who says he has always believed in the club’s potential.

“I think Caister were in Anglian Combination Division Two for around 25 years.

“We have only been in senior football for a short time but we are looking to push on,” he said.

Caister’s first team earned promotion to senior football and Anglian Combination Division One for the first time under the management of Paul Brooking in the 2008-2009 season.

Caister had finished 4th but gained promotion due to senior sides above them moving into the Eastern Counties Reserve League. Last season they finished seventh.

In 2006-07 Caister won their first major trophy – the Norfolk Junior Cup – with a dramatic 1-0 win over Mattishall Reserves at Carrow Road.

In the 2007-08 season they were beaten 1-0 by Corton in the final of the league junior cup (Cyril Ballan Trophy) at Wroxham.

The club’s Saturday Reserves, managed by Danny Parker, are flying high in fourth place in Anglian Combination Division Four and the third team run by father and son David and Mathew Finch are top of the Pub on the Shrubs Yarmouth and District Saturday League Division Two.

“With all three sides doing well at the moment there is a really good feeling around the club,” commented Mason.

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