Angels claim derby honours

North Walsham 3, Cromer Town 1NORTH Walsham Town played host to north Norfolk rivals Cromer and, following a scintillating first-half performance, inflicted the first league defeat on their opponents.

North Walsham 3, Cromer Town 1

NORTH Walsham Town played host to north Norfolk rivals Cromer and, following a scintillating first-half performance, inflicted the first league defeat on their opponents.

Angels' manager John Musgrove changed his shape to 4-3-3 for the game with Boswell making his first start with the unfortunate Clarke dropping to the bench.

The Crabs were hoping to bounce back to winning ways. Stuart Parsons was in goal and Dale Cooper started at centre half with Osborne and Harwood on holiday. Eves started up front in place of the suspended Durrant and Terrington returned to the squad on the bench.

Walsham started like a house on fire and were ahead within five minutes. Wilton broke free and saw his rasping drive rock the crossbar. But Adam Ramsbottom was on hand to bundle the ball home, although he was rewarded with a blow to his head for his efforts.

Against the run of play Cromer pulled the scores level. Tom Parker made a good run past the left back and crossed into the six-yard box where Tom Davies bundled the ball into the goal.

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From that moment though, Walsham ran their illustrious opponents ragged with some breathtaking football.

The second goal duly came. A wonderful flowing one-touch move involving Hinton, Ramsbottom, Miller and Landamore was concluded when Wilton threw himself at Hinton's cross to crash the ball into the roof of the net. The roars of approval from the Greens Road faithful were deafening and seasoned spectators Yaxley and Alexander commented that it was a best goal seen at the home of the Angels for many a year.

Soon after it was three as Town carved open the Cromer defence. Miller's through ball released Wilton who sidestepped the keeper with his disco feet, composed himself and slotted into an unguarded net.

In the final moments of the first half Cromer looked like they may pull a goal back. Parker headed over and Ryan Honeyman had his shot saved. Then Cooper and Eves both fired high.

Cromer needed to start the second half better than the first, and they did. Parker got onto a through ball but fired straight at Kellett. Cromer had a penalty appeal waved away after Terrington was pushed in the back. Terrington then laid the ball back to Parker whose shot was blocked.

The second half was nowhere near as dynamic as it's predecessor, but Cromer came more into the game and the Angels were thankful for thir keeper being at the top of his game as he made a number of fine reflex stops to preserve the two goal advantage.

Walsham made a quick counter attack through Wilton but he shot just wide. There was then a scramble in the Cromer box but somehow the defence got the ball away.

Despite the chances Cromer created they failed to score and lost their first league game of the season.

The second half display was much better but after the first half performance it was always going to be an uphill task to get back in the game. Credit to North Walsham who attacked with pace and caused problems to the Cromer defence with some sharp play. Although Cromer were improved in the second half North Walsham still deserved all three points.

As the second half progressed Walsham had chances to increase their lead but Wilton screwed wide and Davies blazed over with the goal at his mercy.

Walsham introduced their three subs with Gainsford replacing the impressive Hinton, Clarke coming on for the hard-working Ramsbottom and the match winner Wilton was afforded a round of applause when he made way for Lythgoe who made an instant impact before the referee brought the proceedings to an end.

The Angels must make sure that they recreate this level of performance on a regular basis as they have proven that they are among the best sides in the league on their day.

With things tight at the top after this result Cromer will be looking for nothing less than victory against Loddon on Saturday (2.30pm).

North Walsham Sunday faced Angel Gardens and bounced back from consecutive defeats with a 3-2 win, although their early dominance shouldn't have led to the nervy closing stages.

Town took the lead when Clarke raced onto Lown's through ball and finished clinically. It was two soon after when Lown released Ellis and he crossed for Clarke to volley home.

Angel Gardens pulled one back with a long range effort before Hinton restored the two goal advantage.

The Angels never matched the dominance of the first half and were clinging on at the end as their opponents pulled one back, but they held on for a richly deserved victory.

Cromer Reserves got another superb win in the second round of the Junior Cup at home to Diss Reserves. Goals from Tim Sayer, Liam Walsh and Simon Robinson saw them progress with a 3-1 victory. This weekend they travel to Sprowston Ath Res (2pm).