Wroxham 0 Seasiders 4

Thurlow Nunn League

Premier Division

Saturday 7th April 2018

Match Report - Barry Grossmith

Pictures - Stan Baston

 

It was Wroxham who ended the club’s impressive unbeaten home record back on the 27th January, with Gt. Yarmouth and Newmarket adding further misery by completing an unwanted treble of successive home defeats. The Seasiders were victorious away from home at both Newmarket and Gt. Yarmouth in February and It was with that in mind they embarked on the 136 mile round trip to Trafford Park looking for their own hat trick of away victories!

With ex AFC Sudbury boss Jamie Godbold now in charge at Wroxham, none of the management or players approached this fixture believing they wouldn’t have to put in a real shift if they were to come away with three points.

With the jockeying for position at the top of the Premier Division, Friday night’s Coggeshall victory at Stanway and Stowmarket picking up all three points on Wednesday at Walsham Le Willows, the pressure was certainly on prior to kick off on what proved to be a very playable pitch. Once again, the Seasiders had an impressive red & white following, to make up at least 50% of the crowd, with the loyal support travelling fully aware that victory at Trafford Park would go a long way towards securing promotion to the Bostik North next season.

With Sam Ford and Kye Ruel in for Scott Chaplin and Sheridan Driver, the Seasiders lined up with a very strong starting 11 on what turned out to be a pleasant spring afternoon - dry, sunny and warm enough for the bravest of the brave to don a t-shirt or go jacket free.

An early corner to Wroxham came to nothing and at the other end a Miles Powell header was off target, and on seven minutes Kye Ruel headed into the arms of the Yachtsman’s ‘keeper George McCrae. Any thoughts of a convincing start from the Seasiders were soon quashed when Wroxham rattled Danny Crump’s bar with a strong shot from the left.

With 15 minutes on the clock, Wroxham’s no6, Adam Plumstead, was shown a yellow card for a challenge on Ruel which led to an extended stoppage and what was to become very costly later for the Wroxham man. Ruel’s injury forced his early retirement, being replaced by Sheridan Driver, although fortunately it appears the injury is not too serious.

Midway through the first half, a Stuart Boardley free kick resulted in a Joe Francis header going a little wide, and following a near miss by Sheridan Driver from a Joe Francis cross on the half hour, the game came alight on 37 minutes when Ethan Clarke was pulled down in the penalty area by youngster Kieron Smith. Joe Francis stepped up to convert from the spot for his 28th of the season to the delight of the away fans.

With half-time approaching, a free kick from Boardley sailed just over the bar, and a minute later Wroxham’s Adam Plumstead received a second yellow for a foul on Sam Ford on the edge of the box. With the hosts reduced to ten it was always going to be a tough second half for them, but the drama wasn’t over just yet. A Rhys Barber effort was disallowed on the stroke of half time with little complaint from the away side.

Into the second half and Barber was again in the action with a header sailing over the bar from a corner on the right, near misses from both Powell and Francis followed on fifty-five minutes by a corner from the right, and a Powell shot on target from the edge of the penalty area resulted in the Seasiders extending their lead, now two up against ten men and the pressure did begin to show.

Ten minutes later Powell passed Wroxham’s Smith to practically walk in number three for the away side. Stuart Ainsley replaced Ethan Clarke and Wroxham’s Smith was replaced by Reiss Awuah and a few minutes later Scott Chaplin came on for Callum Bennett.

Chaplin and Ainsley were soon to make their mark on the game when Ainsley received the ball from Scott Chaplin following Boardley’s short corner from the left. Ainsley produced a trade mark strike to power the ball into the back of the net from 30 yards, bringing the Seasiders tally to four for the day.

Despite battling with just ten men, Wroxham never gave up and Robbie Sweeney had a shot from close range which Crump dealt with comfortably. Just before full time, Taylor Hastings went down with an injury but was able to see the match out with all three subs used. To the home side’s credit Wroxham did battle on with 10 men, and special praise perhaps goes to Lewis Wallace with fine performances from both Sweeney and Marcus Wilkinson.

   

At the end of the day it was “as you were” with Felixstowe and Stowmarket chalking up wins on Saturday and Coggeshall doing the same on Friday night. The mood after the game, however, did suggest that everyone was looking forward to Tuesday night’s home fixture against Ipswich Wanderers, and hopefully, another important step on the march to promotion to The Bostik North and hopefully a bumper crowd to cheer them on…