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Cromer FC held to goalless draw at Mattishall

PUBLISHED: 19:08 31 January 2012

Mattishall 0 Cromer Town 0

Following last weekend’s postponement the Crabs returned to action with a trip to Mattishall.

There were two changes to the side that had defeated Wymondham in the last outing with Antoni Fawkes coming into the side for Josh Farrow (injured) while Nathan Pauling was in goal.

In the opening period it was Cromer that had a majority of the possession but they failed to threaten the Mattishall goal until the 22nd minute. David Harwood’s shot deflected towards Scott Woodcock who should have beaten the keeper to the ball and got a shot away. Shortly afterwards Harwood played the ball into the feet of Woodcock whose shot took a deflection and fell at the feet of Paul Bradshaw who was denied by a fine diving save from Matthew Powleyl.

Just after the half hour mark the home side had their first opportunity when Christian Harbour got between the two centre halves and got onto the through ball, but Pauling was out quickly to prevent the striker from getting his shot away.

On 35 minutes the Crabs had a goal disallowed when Liam Davies volleyed home Harwood’s cross from close range but the assistant judged the Cromer skipper to have been in an offside position. Dale Wilton took a quick free-kick and passed to the feet of Woodcock who then laid it to Harwood whose first time effort seemed to be heading for the top right corner but it was superbly saved by the fingertips of Powley.

The Crabs continued to get themselves into some good positions with some excellent one touch passing and Wilton got in behind the Mattishall defence before appearing to be pushed to the ground by Harwin, but penalty appeals were waved away. More good link up between Wilton, Fawkes and Woodcock resulted in the latter getting another shot on goal but it was straight into the hands of Powley.

The game remained goalless at the break and despite some good play at times Cromer needed to find that cutting edge. However just three minutes into the second half the home side were awarded a generous penalty when the referee judged that Davies had fouled Sam Applegate in the box. Conner Delaney stepped up and saw his strike from 12 yards kept out thanks to an excellent save from Pauling down to his right.

Delaney was again the threat, this time from a free kick from 30 yards that rattled the upright. The rebound came to Gillen who saw his header pushed on to the post and the ball was scrambled clear.

But it was the visitors that had most of the ball and looked most likely to grab a winner. Karl Horton fed the ball to Matthew Eves down the left who then found Woodcock on the edge of the box. The Cromer striker lifted the ball over the defence into the path of Wilton whose first touch for once deserted him and Powley gathered before the Crabs winger could get his shot away.

In the 72nd minute Liam Landamore won back possession on half way and played it through to Woodcock who squared it to Fawkes, but he put his shot well wide. With 10 minutes remaining Cromer finally had Powley beatenl, but Horton’s free-kick from 20 yards came back off the post.

So it was two points dropped for the Crabs, who at times lacked a cutting edge despite having a lot of the possession. They were up against a well organised side who seemed happy taking a draw from the outset.

The Crabs are away to Acle on Saturday (2). Richard Cox


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