Cromer FC hit back to take point
Spixworth 2 Cromer Town 2
The Crabs returned to action following three weeks without a game with a trip to Spixworth to face a side just one point behind them. There was one change from the team that had defeated Blofield last time out with David Harwood coming in at right back for Matthew Jordan.
The visitors started the game like a side that hadn't played for a couple of weeks and the hosts looked to punish this. In the second minute Spixworth created a great chance to take the lead when a deep cross was knocked back into the danger area but Harwood was fortunate enough to be in the right place to get the ball out of the danger zone. Jason Armes then saw his long range strike parried out and the ball was allowed to be gathered with ease at the second attempt as no Spixworth attacker had followed in.
The home side took the lead in the 18th minute. They looked to counter attack, whilst the Crabs midfield seemed slow to get back, and Danny Pennell picked out Danny Brown at the back post where the former Blofield man headed home from close range under no challenge.
Four minutes later they made it 2-0. Again the Crabs looked poor in defence and Pennell was allowed to cross. Again he picked out Brown whose header this time was slightly off target and it came back off the bar and Matthew Elwin made no mistake with the rebound.
After spending most of the half on the back foot the Crabs seemed to spark into life in the final 10 minutes of the half. They were passing the ball about with much more conviction and in the 42nd minute they pulled a goal back. A cross into the box was only half cleared by Bilham and it went to Antoni Fawkes who headed into the back of the net.
The goal had given Cromer an unlikely route back into the game and after the restart they appeared to be a completely different side. Halfway through the second half the ball dropped kindly to Dale Wilton but he lashed over from inside the box.
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In the 75th minute Cromer did get their second goal. Karl Horton's corner was flicked on by the defender at the near post and it found Wilton who scored with his head at the back post. There then looked like there was going to be only one winner.
Minutes after drawing level Matthew Eves broke quickly before cutting into the box. He then played it back to Wilton whose trickery caused panic in the Spixworth back line and ended up with the Crabs winger being bought down in the box by goalkeeper Bilham.
Spixworth's Adam Ferguson made it clear that he disagreed with the award of a penalty kick and earned himself a second yellow card and a resulting dismissal. Harwood took responsibility from 12 yards but saw his effort saved by Bilham.
Spixworth did have their own opportunity to grab a winner when Elwin made a superb run down the left wing before coming into the box and seeing his driven strike pushed away by Andy Jackson, and the Crabs then scrambled the ball clear.
There was one last chance for a side to take all three points and it fell to Cromer's Fawkes. Harwood's ball forward was misjudged by the Spixworth defence and allowed Fawkes in behind and he was through one on one with Bilham. Unfortunately for the visitors their forward lacked the composure he has shown on other occasions this season and last and smashed the ball well wide of the goal.
A draw was probably a fair result on the day but the Crabs will be disappointed not to have come away with the win given the chances they had. But after an awful display in the first half they can also consider themselves fortunate that they got one point.
Cromer: Jackson, Harwood, Applegate, Cameron, S. Jordan, Landamore, Eves, Horton, Matthews, Fawkes, Wilton. Subs Not Used: Davison, Cullington, Anselin.
Cromer's next competitive game is on Saturday January 5at Diss Town in the quarter finals of the Norfolk Senior Cup. They will however have a run-out before then when they go to Holt United in a friendly on Saturday, December 29 (2pm).