Yachtsmen rue missed chances

Wisbech Town 1, Wroxham 0

A controversial early penalty was all that separated Wisbech and Wroxham after a low-quality Ridgeons League Challenge Cup final at Dereham on Monday.

A rock-hard pitch and blustery wind made conditions difficult and chances were at a premium.

The only goal of the game came after 11 minutes when Scott Johnson's corner landed in the heart of the Wroxham penalty area. A defender ended up in the back of the net after being pushed, and Biggleswade referee Rob Mackay blew for a foul.

But, with players from both teams moving into position for a Wroxham free-kick, it became obvious he had given a penalty to Wisbech.


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Callum Reed blasted in the spot- kick to goalkeeper Scott Howie's left, but even Wisbech manager Steve Appleby was surprised by the award.

'We've had a lot of decisions go against us this season but today we got one, even if it was unexpected,' he said. 'The lads said at half-time the referee said he'd given it because Darren Jimson was being held, and they weren't going to argue.'

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For Wroxham boss Dave Batch it was the latest in a string of frustrating decisions which have gone against his team.

'Not one of the Wisbech players even appealed. That's the third time in four games we've been done by a shocking decision. Our player was bundled over, it should have been our free-kick.'

But the penalty should not have mattered. Wroxham dominated but failed to score thanks to some solid Wisbech defending and poor final passes.

Ben Thompson hit the bar from point-blank range in the seventh minute. Andy Eastaugh then wasted an equally gilt-edged opportunity, heading against a post.

Lea Jordan showed lightning reactions to keep out man-of-the- match Gary Gilmore's 38th-minute shot which flew through a forest of legs, then did even better to tip away Damian Hilton's 20-yard piledriver.

Wisbech had chances to wrap up the gamein the second half – but Howie kept them at bay.

To rub salt in Wroxham's wounds, captain Graham Challen was sent off after the final whistle, apparently for comments to ref Mackay.

Even though Batch put the major part of the blame for the defeat at the hands of the referee, he admitted his team had created enough chances to win.

Woodbridge Town 3, Wroxham 2

Wroxham's last league game of the campaign on Saturday required a win to have any chance of overtaking Dereham for second place, and for the Magpies to slip up at home to champs Leiston. But with Dereham winning, the Yachtsmen had to settle for third.

Wroxham were hit by the controversial dismissal of keeper Scott Howie second half.

Gavin Lemmon's shot on the turn was well saved by Elliot Harrison.Woodbridge's Churchyard saw a shot shot crash against the bar.

On 20 minutes Wroxham's pressure with the strong wind behind them produced the opening goal when a cross from Danny Self was flicked on and Andy Eastaugh scored with a diving header from six yards.

The home side got themselves back in the game on 28 minutes through Thomas Trevian.

The second half started badly for Wroxham and the officials when a through ball was played with two attackers looking in offside positions. Bbut when Ben Seaman tried to round Howie he was pulled down by the keeper, who was then dismissed and the home side awarded a penalty.

With arguments abounding Gavin Lemmon took over the gloves and his first action was to pick the ball from the net as Mark Roper converted.

The killer blow came on 70 minutes when a good ball in allowed Liam Scopes to score with a neat header.

Woodbridge were then queuing up to score after a slip from Josh Carus but three shots could not find a way past the impressive Lemmon.

With a couple of minutes remaining Wroxham got a goal back with Thompson's effort blocked but the clearance fell for Damian Hilton who coolly finished from the edge of the area.

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