Wroxham 1, Haverhill Rovers 2THIS Wroxham anorexic exhibition all but ended the league champions' hopes that their visit to Needham Market tonight would yield sufficient points to reinstate Damian Hilton's men as serious title contenders, writes Roy Webster.
Wroxham 1, Haverhill Rovers 2
THIS Wroxham anorexic exhibition all but ended the league champions' hopes that their visit to Needham Market tonight would yield sufficient points to reinstate Damian Hilton's men as serious title contenders, writes Roy Webster.
Saturday's careless display exposed all the serious leaks that have appeared in the Yachtsmen's boat this season that required much more than a few smears of putty and a coat of paint to cover the awful cracks that have led to a series of damaging defeats.
This result was the outcome of the absence of unbridled commitment not to mention the vital work ethic that is accepted as the main imperatives for winning team championships.
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It did not assist Hilton to be without regular keeper Robert Woodcock, still suffering from his ankle injury sustained at Felixstowe. The discerning critics along the touchline rightly pointed to keeping errors that led to the two visitors' goals and it did not help the home case when Gary Gilmore missed what would have been an equalising second-half penalty.
It was possible to select at least three other names who might have made a better job of the spot kick with Lee Gilman and Danny White two of the more obvious candidates.
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The Yachtsmen were all at sea in the third minute when a free-kick by Marc Abbott was left by the keeper for defenders to deal with, but they failed to and Paul Shaw ran the ball into the net from close range.
Chances fell to Wroxham but Miller blasted two feet wide while Gilman and Gilmore sent shots astray.
The reigning champions equalised in the 52nd minute when Matty Eves, who replaced Harley, delivered a perfect through ball for White to score past Smith with a crisp cross-shot.
Eight minutes later the visitors were back in front when Jackson missed the corner and the ball ricocheted from at least two heads with the last touch appearing to come off Andy Keys' head into his own net.
In the 78th minute Wroxham seemed set to earn at least a point when White was felled in the penalty box. Gilmore carefully placed the ball on the spot but then in cavalier fashion drove directly into Smith's waiting arms.
That was game over, along with the home supporters' hopes of retaining the title their heroes had won so handsomely just over 12 months earlier.