Crabs back on top after hard-fought victory

Spixworth 0 Cromer Town 2

Cromer made their second successive away trip, travelling to face Spixworth, and came away with an important win.

Steve Jordan and Josh Farrow came into the side for the unavailable Liam Davies and Karl Horton, and Chris Bird was in goal.

The Crabs were immediately on the attack with Antoni Fawkes flicking the ball on to Scott Woodcock whose ball across goal was headed off the line. In the fifth minute the visitors did take the lead. Dale Wilton cut in from the left wing and played the ball to Woodcock who turned with the ball and fired first time into the bottom left corner.

On a bobbly playing surface it wasn't the easiest to play passing football but the Crabs did their best to cause problems for the Spixworth defence. Halfway through the half Farrow delivered an excellent cross that found Fawkes who perhaps should have at least hit the target with his header.

It was then the home side who looked to make their mark on the game. The ball into the box deflected up and dropped for Ben Whelham whose header was kept out by the hand of Bird. Shortly after Whelham was again involved, this time delivering a good cross for Roy Bevis whose misdirected header didn't threaten the Cromer goal.

Before the break Cromer had a couple of chances to extend their lead. The first came when David Harwood picked out Fawkes whose powerful header was kept out by the strong hand of Bilham in the Spixworth goal. Bilham was again called upon to keep out Farrow shot from the edge of the box.

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The Crabs had an opportunity at the start of the second half when Farrow switched the play to Woodcock who laid the ball inside into the run of Wilton, who could only find the side netting with his strike.

It's fair to say the second half wasn't one for the spectator as there was very little goalmouth action and neither side looked like creating anything. It wasn't until the final five minutes that the game sparked into life and it was the away side that was threatening. Woodcock made a run down the right and received the ball from Harwood. The Cromer striker then cut inside but could only fire into the side netting.

The hosts were then lucky not to have their goalkeeper sent off after Bilham had come charging out of his box and clattered into Simon Durrant, who had flicked the ball forward. The referee only cautioned the Spixworth keeper who had surely denied a goal scoring opportunity.

Cromer did seal the points in time added on when they scored a second. The home side had penalty claims for handball waved away and from this the Crabs broke quickly. Durrant played the ball forward to Fawkes who closed on goal before putting an accurate pass into the path of Woodcock who smashed the ball into the roof of the net.

The three points took Cromer back to the top of the table as their closest rivals were in cup action.

On Saturday the Crabs are at home to Wroxham Reserves.

Cromer: Bird, Harwood, Groves, Bradshaw, Jordan, Landamore, Wilton, Eves, Woodcock, Fawkes, Farrow (Durrant). Subs Not Used: Winterbone, Freemantle.

Richard Cox