Yachtsmen hit rough waters
Are Wroxham's young Yachtsmen heading for the rocks just as Sterry Cup glory is in sight?With their mainsail in tatters following the 2-0 defeat in their home derby against North Walsham - their second reverse in seven days - the rumblings felt at Trafford Park are not entirely dissimilar to the 5.
Are Wroxham's young Yachtsmen heading for the rocks just as Sterry Cup glory is in sight?
With their mainsail in tatters following the 2-0 defeat in their home derby against North Walsham - their second reverse in seven days - the rumblings felt at Trafford Park are not entirely dissimilar to the 5.2 Richter Scale disturbance that rattled the subsoil of the hallowed turf last week, writes Roy Webster.
There was not too much manager Mark Wilkinson could do to prop up his young Wroxham Reserves squad whose most influential players have been unavailable due to first team call-ups.
With important performers such as Ben Furlong, Matthew Eves, Colin Wines and Paul Cook out of the team they were always likely to struggle against the workmanlike Angels, whose two first-half goals from Darren Miller and Scott Woodcock settled the issue.
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While Wroxham's first XI will be without Shaun Howes for the rest of the season, Ben Furlong will be the automatic replacement. And until other senior players are available from the team pool the reserve squad could still suffer.
On the plus side Damien Hilton's team captain Graham Challen made a welcome return on Saturday and Ben Carver came out of retirement to help out, so Wilkinson may have more selection scope in the coming weeks.
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Saturday's defeat left the league's leaders 10 points in front of Norwich Union, but it is lower down the table where Cromer Town have emerged as Wroxham's main Sterry Cup challengers.
A brace of goals from Simon Durrant clinched a 2-1 victory for the Crabs over Hindringham and Cromer are up into fourth spot, 15 points adrift of the leaders who have played four games more.
Cromer have dropped 23 league points so far while Wroxham's leakage is now 20. Acle, Hempnall and Blofield respectively have wasted 24, 25 and 26 points respectively, so it's not difficult to see why the Wroxham team manager has been urging caution.
“Six points have got away in successive games through no fault of our own, we were just forced to field makeshift teams. And until the problem of unavailable players is resolved I fear we shall be seriously exposed again,” he declared.
Meanwhile, Cromer's team boss Chris Wigger, who must have believed the club's season was over following the team's exit from the league's senior cup, is more optimistic. “We well may have something to play for again,” he said.
Sheringham, with thoughts focused on their Carrow Road Norfolk Senior Cup final against Wroxham, lost 3-1 to Acle.
In Division One, Holt drew 0-0 at Dereham Reserves to keep their promotion hopes alive while a youthful Stalham team lost 1-0 on the breezy Wells Town Beach Road.
In the Ballyn Trophy semi-finals, junior team Reepham went down 3-2 to Caister (aet) while in the CS Morley Cup semi-finals for reserve teams North Walsham Reserves beat Caister Reserves 3-0 and Sheringham Reserves lost on penalties after holding Acle Reserves to a 1-1 draw.
In Division Six, Hoveton - who beat Easton Reserves 6-0 - will become title favourites if they beat main challengers UEA on Saturday.
In the Premier Division there are derbies: Sheringham v Wroxham Reserves and Cromer v North Walsham, whose results could greatly influence the destination of the Sterry Cup.
In Division One, Holt will aim for a win at Stalham while Reepham travel to Beccles Caxton and Aylsham Wanderers to West Lynn in Division Two.