Wroxham and Fakenham fought out a 1-1 draw at Clipbush Park with an equalizer on the hour from Adam Smith having gone behind just before half-time from Shane Akers’ shot from outside the penalty area, writes Adrian Gowling.
The Yachtsmen lined up with George Macrae in goal, a defence of Tom Matthews, Mark Shadrack, Adam Plumstead made his return to the first team after injury, and Joe Manning. A midfield of Marcus Wilkinson, Shaun Taylor and Adam Smith and a fluid front three of Connor Ingram, Robbie Sweeney and Jordan Bond. On the bench for the side were Harley Black and Craig Bussens.
On a perfect playing surface conducive to the Yachtsmen’s neat passing play, Fakenham kicked off in bright sunshine. The home side were quickly on the front foot and earned an early free kick just to the right of the Wroxham penalty area after the returning Plumstead mis-timed his tackle. The Ghost players being vociferous towards the referee wanting more than just a free kick. The kick eventually being wasted as it was overplayed.
Wroxham’s first attack came courtesy of the dangerous-looking Robbie Sweeney. A long ball over the top looked like it would fall to the pacey winger as Ghosts ‘keeper Tommy Rix showed nervousness and failed to initially move towards the ball. Unfortunately, Sweeney’s shot was blocked by a covering defender.
On 15 minutes, Connor Ingram had his first sight of the Ghosts goal. A ball from Adam Smith played in Ingram, who turned the defender. His low shot had power but Rix got down low to gather.
Fakenham had an opportunity on 21 minutes when a Lewis Sturman free kick was launched into the Wroxham area. Unfortunately for Luke Grey, George Macrae was determined to reach the ball. Grey landed awkwardly and that was the last action of the game that he saw. Adam Reeve joined the game soon after.
Marcus Wilkinson had an excellent chance to break the deadlock on 26 minutes. A lovely 1-2 saw him through on goal but his shot was placed just wide of the right post.
Wroxham were continuing to press forward as Fakenham were allowing the visitors to play the ball around whilst waiting for that misplaced pass to enable them to go on the attack. Half chances for Sweeney, Tom Matthews and Ingram came to nothing. A drilled ball across the area by Matthews was deflected by Jimmy Williams. The Fakenham defender fortunate not to see it in his own net.
For all their attacking play, Wroxham fell behind just before half-time. Ricky Claxton took hold of the ball to the right of the Wroxham area and he found Shane Akers lurking nearby. The defender’s well-placed left foot shot evaded the dive of George Macrae and flew into the top right of the goal.
Fakenham were making some questionable challenges and the referee eventually decided that enough was enough. In injury time, Jordan Cantwell being the recipient of George Laflin’s first yellow card of the afternoon.
Fakenham made their second change of the afternoon early in the second half as former Yachtsman Lewis Sturman was replaced by Andrew Skipper.
Wroxham continued to make all the play in the second half, George Macrae having a quiet afternoon in goal. Robbie Sweeney shot from the edge of the area after running across past several defenders. Tommy Rix just managed to hold on to the ball. A six-yard box scramble looked like it would end up in the Fakenham net but Joe Manning was unable to get his shot on goal and the ball was cleared for a corner.
It wasn’t long that the Wroxham pressure did eventually bear fruit. Robbie Sweeney tormented the Fakenham defenders as he brought the ball in from the by-line. His low cross into the centre was met by Adam Smith who flicked the ball into the Ghosts’ net.
Almost immediately, Wroxham had an excellent chance to go ahead. Some lovely control of the ball by Connor Ingram saw the striker poised to blast home but his shot sliced off his foot. Wroxham then had an excellent shout for handball as Andrew Skipper controlled the ball with his arm but the referee ignored the appeals.
Another chance fell to Connor Ingram after 66 minutes. The forward easily turned his defender and his shot was fired towards the goal. Unfortunately, it smashed off the face of the crossbar rather than nestled into the net.
There was a scare for Wroxham after 68 minutes when Adam Plumstead went down. Rather than take any chances, the defender was replaced by Harley Black. This would give the Yachtsmen the opportunity for even more incisive passes from the midfield.
Tom Matthews was next to have a shot on goal. A powerful drive from the edge of the area could only be pushed out by Rix and was eventually cleared for a corner. His interplay with Black and Sweeney on the right-side was causing headaches for the Fakenham players as they couldn’t get to grips with the Yachtsmen passing play.
Lawrie Blythe was next to see the referee’s yellow card after a foul on Marcus Wilkinson who was looking to cause more problems for the home side.
It was looking as if the Yachtsmen would get the winner that their possession and performance deserved. A long ball found Connor Ingram in the area but his shot was across the face of the goal. Jordan Bond then just failed to get his toe on the end of a ball from Harley Black.
As the game entered the last 5 minutes, a run from Marcus Wilkinson got the ball into Connor Ingram’s feet. His shot going just wide of the post as he looked to place it beyond Rix. Ingram had the final chance of the afternoon. A Robbie Sweeney cross was met by the head of Ingram but his header fell just wide left of the goalpost.
The referee brought the game to an end and Wroxham were disappointed to only come away with a single point. A visit to Gorleston on Friday evening will hopefully see a similar performance and that Connor Ingram has been saving up all his goals against his former side.