Angels facing key fixtures
Wroxham Reserves 4, North Walsham 1NORTH Walsham's recent good form came to a shuddering halt at Trafford Park as a disrupted Angels side were comprehensively beaten by a very competent Wroxham Reserves.
Wroxham Reserves 4, North Walsham 1
NORTH Walsham's recent good form came to a shuddering halt at Trafford Park as a disrupted Angels side were comprehensively beaten by a very competent Wroxham Reserves.
This brought to an end a very disappointing and damaging afternoon or the Anglian Combination championship leaders, but the Angels must now steel themselves and bounce back from this defeat. They have two huge encounters in the coming week as they visit near neighbours Cromer on Saturday followed by a home game against Blofield on Tuesday, March 23.
With Piper, Dunlop and Wheeler already ruled out, Town's preparations or the Yachtsmen were dealt a blow with the unavailability of strikers Fitzgerald - who was offered the chance to test himself at Unibond level with Lincolnshire-based Spalding Town - and Davies. This all led to Palmer coming in at left back, Davidson joining Grand in midfield and Clifton partnering Clarke in attack. The Yachtsmen's second string line-up included ex-Angels Boswell and Lythgoe.
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Town were caught flat-footed and Durrant fired Wroxham ahead within two minutes. Minutes later Boswell got in behind the Town defence and shot past Munday.
The Angels were all at sea and struggling to gain any foothold in the game as Wroxham continued to dominate.
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On the half hour, skipper Muir was forced off with a groin injury and was replaced by Godbold. As half-time approached, Town had a couple of chances but Clifton fired wide and Hinton's strike was smartly blocked by Smith.
The interval saw more changes as Davidson was forced off with a foot injury, the extent of which is being determined by an x-ray. He was replaced by London, who was promoted from the reserve squad that morning. The management asked for more pride and passion, but it soon became apparent that Town were well and truly up against it as Wroxham continued the second half in a similar vein.
Town were dealt a final knockout blow on 60 minutes when goalkeeper Munday was injured in a goalmouth mel�e. Despite bravely attempting to continue he was eventually replaced by joint manager Chase. By this stage, Wroxham had added a third through George.
Walsham continued to battle against adversity and could have grabbed a lifeline, but Clarke and London both wasted glorious chances. Two further openings were missed by London, who was getting into good positions, whilst Wroxham were testing the abilities of replacement keeper Hanby. He was finally beaten by a 20-yard drive from Durrant that left him helpless.
Walsham grabbed a late consolation when Grand escaped a horrific-looking challenge on halfway to release Hinton, who freed James Clifton to fire home.
Congratulations go to fellow Anglian Combination side Mattishall on their splendid efforts in reaching the Norfolk Senior Cup final after winning 1-0 at Ridgeons Premier outfit Dereham Town, who themselves knocked the Angels out in an earlier round.
The Reserves bounced back to winning ways as they disposed of lowly Caister Reserves 4-1 and will be looking to build on this in the next game at home to Martham.
The game saw Adam Ramsbottom make his return in Walsham colours following a serious knee injury and he gained a morale-boosting 70 minutes on the park.
The Sunday side moved in second place of Norwich Sunday League Division 1A as they completed the double over Windmill Wanderers with a 3-1 success (McGilway 2, Tindall).
Next up is a league cup tie against Division 1B side Manor Park.