Fawkes is hat-trick hero for Cromer Town

St. Andrews 2 Cromer Town 4

Looking to bounce back from their midweek defeat, Cromer made the trip to face St. Andrews. There was one enforced change, with David Harwood coming in for the absent Steven Jordan.

It was a wet and windy afternoon at Thorpe Rec. so conditions weren't going to help towards a pretty game. Despite having most of the early possession the Crabs went behind on 11 minutes when a long ball forward took three players out of the game and Spooner coolly finished.

In the 21st minute St. Andrews had an opportunity to double their lead when they nicked possession on the half way line, and Spooner played the ball through to Bulman who put his shot just wide.

Cromer did then become more of a threat. Dale Wilton played the ball inside to Scott Woodcock who turned smartly before seeing his left foot strike bouncing back off the post. Just after the half hour mark the visitors equalised. Woodcock played the ball into the run of Matthew Eves who then picked out Antoni Fawkes to finish from close range.

The Crabs continued to press. Sam Groves' cross found Karl Horton on the edge of the box whose deflected shot was saved. Then, on 38 minutes, the away side took the lead. Play was switched to Wilton who played a one two with Woodcock and Wilton finished smartly.

Cromer were now well in control and came close to grabbing a third before half-time. Eves made a good run down the wing and pulled the ball back for Fawkes whose shot was cleared away off the goal line.

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On the hour mark Cromer made it 3-1 when the ball across found its way through to Fawkes to head home. The visitors then seemed to take their foot of the gas a little and allowed the home side to grab a goal back when Spooner was allowed to run through with ease and then lift the ball over the onrushing Nathan Pauling.

This sparked Cromer back into life and they looked like extending their lead once again. Woodcock's corner went to Wilton at the back post whose header went into the side netting. Josh Farrow then delivered a superb cross that found Fawkes, whose shot was easily saved by Cane.

Substitute Simon Freemantle then showed some trickery to beat his man and put the ball through the legs of the keeper, only to see his shot then cleared by a defender on the line.

In the 84th minute Cromer got a fourth to seal the victory. Some good work from Sam Groves won the ball and he gave it to Horton, who spread play wide to Farrow. He then put in a cross for Fawkes who controlled brilliantly before firing into the back of the net to complete his hat trick.

Cromer played much better at times throughout the game in some unfavourable conditions. With the other title contenders continuing to also pick up points, it's becoming more and more important that Cromer continue to do the same.

Cromer: Pauling, Harwood, Groves, Davies, Bradshaw, Landamore, Wilton, Horton, Woodcock (Freemantle), Fawkes, Eves (Farrow). Sub Not Used: Winterbone.

Richard Cox