Late drama as Cromer FC clinch victory
Cromer Town 4 Mattishall 3
Cromer played host to Mattishall on Saturday and fielded the team that had beaten Beccles last time out.
The visitors made a bright start and put the hosts under some early pressure. The ball was given away to Watts-Sturrock who sent a curling effort goal bound which Andy Jackson tipped over.
In the ninth minute the away side did take the lead. The Crabs failed on countless occasions to clear the ball from danger and it ran to Duncan Hewitt who fired into the bottom corner.
Mattishall were the dominant side and in the 14th minute they doubled their lead. The ball was delivered into the box and wasn't headed away and dropped to the feet of George Gagen to finish from close range.
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Looking to recover from their slack start the hosts then caused concern to the Mattishall back line. Dave Matthews got the ball at his feet and turned smartly before putting his strike wide of the target. Cromer did pull a goal back on 19 minutes when Shaun Cameron flicked the free kick on and it found an unmarked Matthews who took a touch and finished from 12 yards with an acrobatic overhead effort.
A few minutes later the Crabs had a good claim for a penalty when Matthew Eves seemed to be chopped down in the box but a corner was given. Simon Freemantle then fired just over.
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Before the break Mattishall regained their two goal advantage when once again they made the most of some poor defending. The ball was allowed to bounce around the edge of the box and Watts-Sturrock nicked in to fire into the back of the net.
The visitors deservedly had the lead and Cromer needed to greatly improve if they were going to get anything from the game.
It appeared a completely different Cromer side that came out for the second half. They started playing the ball about with confidence and put Mattishall on the back foot. Successive corners saw Steve Jordan rise highest, with a header hitting the bar and an effort cleared off the line.
There was then a long stoppage following an injury to Mattishall's Hewitt. Shortly after the game restarted Cromer grabbed their second goal when the ball went through to substitute Antoni Fawkes who then turned and finished.
It was all Cromer and it was only a matter of time before they scored again. Karl Horton's shot went to the feet of Dale Wilton who moved into space and then fired over. David Harwood's cross then picked out Fawkes whose header was tipped over the bar by Talbot.
In the final minute of normal time the home side had a legitimate goal scrubbed off for offside, after Steve Jordan had headed home from eight yards. The linesman raised his flag against another attacker not interfering with the attack.
Following the early stoppage there was still several minutes to play. The equaliser finally came in the second added minute. A corner was played short to Liam Landamore who delivered a teasing cross that was headed into the net by Fawkes for his second of the game.
The drama was not quite over and for the second successive game the Cabbell Park crowd were treated to another late Cromer victory when Horton's cross from the right sailed over the head of the keeper and into the opposite side of the goal.
It was a rather fortunate winning goal for the Crabs but after playing some superb football in the second half they certainly deserved it. The second half display showed why they have won successive league titles and proved they have the desire to make it three in a row. The match was kindly sponsored by Paul Warner.
Cromer: Jackson, M. Jordan (Harwood), Applegate, Cameron, S. Jordan, Landamore, Eves, Horton, Matthews, Wilton, Freemantle (Fawkes). Sub Not Used: Cullington