Wroxham made the long journey to Essex to take on Essex Senior League Southend Manor in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round on Saturday, writes Harry Cottenden.
With prizemoney of £1500 up for grabs, the Yachtsmen travelled South looking to put one over their opponents and return to Norfolk with a place in the next round and a potential tie with Gorleston.
Unfortunately for Tom Parkes and Ross Potter, that plan went awry as Manor stole a late winner to end Wroxham’s participation in this year’s Emirates FA Cup.
Wroxham lined up with two changes to their midweek starting XI with Ross Gilfedder and Harley Black coming in for Peter Wiltshire and Ben Fowkes.
Wroxham started brightly and in the opening three minutes Harley Black had the first opening as he fired a free kick just wide of the keepers near post following a foul on Shaun Taylor 22 yards from goal.
A second chance came in a matter of minutes for the visitors with Ross Gilfedder beating his defender for both pace and strength before the striker saw his shot from 8 yards kept out by Klinton Makayabo in the Manor goal.
Wroxham goalkeeper Will Viner was called into action with 10 minutes on the clock. Southend Manor’s Bayley Newell had beaten Shaun Taylor to the ball before he fired in a low effort. It looked bound for the bottom left hand corner before Viner got down low to push the ball away for a corner.
The first 15 minutes was very open with both sides getting forward looking to have possession and to create chances.
Just after 20 minutes, Wroxham’s Adam Smith had a chance but he skied his effort from the edge of the box after being tipped up for the volley.
The Wroxham players were incandescent with referee David Moreno-Rojas as he waived away what appeared to be a blatant foul in the Manor penalty area as Robbie Sweeney went down under pressure. It wouldn’t be the last time of the afternoon that the match official made a decision that affected the outcome of the match.
The 35th minute of the game should have seen the opening goal after a cross saw Ross Gilfedder two yards from the goal but the number 9 managed to put his header over the bar rather than in the net.
With no goals at half-time, many felt that the Norfolk side had shaded both possession and chances. The second half showed that the game was still there to be won and it looked likely that a single opportunity may just win the game. Wroxham began the half looking like the same side that had finished the first and created chances. Unfortunately, the Yachtsmen came up against the physical presence of Klinton Makayabo guarding the Manor net. The keeper being a solid wall keeping everything out that the visitors threw at him.
Wroxham had a major let off as a long ball saw the Manor striker through on goal with just Viner to beat. With the keeper advancing to the edge of his area to narrow the angle, the lobbed shot drifted wide of the left-hand post.
The best chance in the half for the Yachtsmen fell to midfielder Harley Black who carried the ball forward towards the Manor goal before letting fly from 31 yards out. It looked like the ball was destined for the roof of the net but the midfielder was denied by a superb diving save from home goalkeeper to keep the game goalless.
Before the next chance came, again the referee’s decision-making was called into question as Wroxham were certain they deserved a penalty. Following the darting run of substitute Pete Wiltshire, the young striker was illegally brought down just inside the box, however it was deemed to be a fair challenge and the referee waved play on.
Shortly after, Wroxham had broken high up the pitch and with a three on two advantage it looked like the goal would come but it turned into a goalmouth scramble with the crossbar being struck, the keeper saving and the hitting the post all of which keeping the visitors at bay.
With just two minutes remaining on the clock the inevitable happened. From a Wroxham attack, Makayabo pushed away another Wroxham cross. The home side managed to break quickly and a ball through bypassed the Yachtsmen defence and Bayley Newell fired home to send the home support and the bench into shouts of delight.
There was still time for Wroxham to pull level as a free kick 30 yards from goal was lofted into the area. Unfortunately no-one in white was able to get their head on it to direct it into the net.
Wroxham: Will Viner, Shaun Taylor, Sam Bryant, Mark Shadrack (Abodunde), Michael Sommerfield, Tom Matthews, Adam Smith (Wiltshire), Joe Manning (Fowkes), Ross Gilfedder, Robbie Sweeney, Harley Black.
Subs: Myron Abodunde, Ben Fowkes, Pete Wiltshire, George McRae, Payton Swatman.
Bookings: Shadrack, Sommerfield, Matthews (Fouls)
Further pictures can be found https://www.flickr.com/photos/156947755@N04/?
Pictures courtesy of Adrian Gowling