Wroxham pulled off a 3-1 win to leapfrog their Suffolk opponents on Saturday afternoon, writes Darren Wiseman. The weather seemed to have a distinctly Spring feel at Trafford Park as the Jockeys trotted in for what on paper looked nothing more than a mid-table season closer. After the noise of the Seasiders the previous Saturday, Trafford Park had a lot more sedate feel about it as 3pm approached. The teams however had different things in mind as a very competitive encounter was about to ensue.
The Yachtsmen lined up with George McCrae in goal, Tom Matthews and Lewis Wallace at full back flanking Reiss Awuah and skipper Joe Manning in the centre. Midfield was Shaun Taylor and Harley Black with Craig Bussens and Robbie Sweeney on the flanks. Pete Wiltshire was up front supported by number 10, Jordan Bond.
Newmarket got us underway defending the Kenny Cooke stand. It was an energetic start from both sides and it was the Yachtsmen who forced the first corner. Robbie Sweeney took on his full back down the left, who was able to force his cross out for the set play. It came to nothing, but Wroxham were playing some nice football, mostly on the deck, and they were troubling their visitors.
The Jockeys first chance came again from good work on the left. The ball was delivered into the danger area but Matthews was able to get it away at the near post for a corner. The delivery was cleared away by Taylor and the danger was gone.
On 11 minutes the Jockeys fashioned the first genuine goal scoring opportunity. A long throw into the Yachtsmen area was flicked on for Lewis Whitehead to aim a glancing header towards goal. Luckily for the home side his effort was just wide of the up right.
It was proving to be a very even contest, but Wroxham looked to have opened up their visitors when Sweeney played a ball into the area, where the ball dropped to Bond with his back to goal. He attempted to shot at goal by flicking the ball back over his head, where the keeper dived to save and then the resulting bouncing ball was hacked clear by the defence.
The game was very open, with both teams pushing to open the scoring, but as time ticked by you felt that Newmarket were starting to take a little bit of control of proceedings. Newmarket seemed to have more of the ball, but Wroxham were able to hold out and then break at pace to create for themselves. It was high entertainment for a game that had the ring of mediocrity when viewed on paper.
On 25 minutes Wroxham put a great passage of play together. Crisp passing got Bussens in down the right, his cross went all the way over to Sweeney on the left who passed inside to Matthews, but his effort was just over. This action seemed to act as a wake up call to the visitors. A tough tackle by visiting midfielder Michael Shinn saw him get a booking, but this tough edge showed through as the Jockeys really looked on top for 10 minutes or so. On 33 minutes this dominance earned a chance as Shinn played in Rhys Thorpe who passed to Steve Spriggs, but his effort was over.
Then Newmarket Town carved an even better chance, with a ball into the near post, along the ground, being picked up by Spriggs, but luckily for the Yachtsmen McCrae was able to save the resulting effort with his feet.
Wroxham were struggling to hold the ball for any length of time, but when they did get the ball they broke quickly and with real cutting edge. Wiltshire, who was working well as an outlet for a busy defence, played the ball out to Bussens, who ran at the full back and then pulled the ball back to Taylor 25 yards out, but his curling effort was over the bar.
Just before half time Robbie Sweeney picked up a knock and was replaced by Marcus Wilkinson, who was straight into the action. He linked well with Bond down the left, and his curling cross was cleared behind for a corner. The corner tried to pick out Wiltshire at the back stick, but the Jockeys defence stood firm and got the ball away.
On the stroke of half time, Bond went on a mazy run into the Newmarket area, where he looked to be shaping to shoot only for Harley Black to take the ball of his toe. The attack looked as if it was petering out, but Bond then tried to run at the by-line, but his initial touch was a little heavy and the ball rolled out of play. With Awuah then limping off to be replaced by Shadrack, an all action first half came to a close, somehow 0-0.
The second half got under way, and Newmarket Town got out of the traps quickly. The pace was frenetic with the Yachtsmen struggling to get on the ball. The Jockeys made the first chance, Thorpe crossing for Spriggs to turn and hit a rising effort that went just over the Apex of the goal. It was a close call, but Wroxham responded perfectly.
Black broke down the right on 50 minutes, beat his man before crossing for Wiltshire who had an easy finish as he rolled the ball into the net for 1-0.
The lead on lasted for 5 minutes as the Jockeys regrouped to hit back. The ball was played nicely down the right and crossed into the box, where the ball picked out Michael Shinn to glance the ball into the corner of the net. 1-1 had a fair feel to it, and set us up for a gripping last half hour.
Newmarket Town tried to take the initiative, but the Wroxham held firm. A series of probing attacking runs were repulsed with the loss of a corner, but no real chances possible apart from one effort by Lewis Whitehead, but his shot from 10 yards was straight at McCrae. Wroxham were stretched, but they looked to be holding on.
On 71 minutes, the storm looked to have been weathered as the Yachtsmen retook the lead. Bond won a free kick in midfield, and he played this out quickly to Marcus Wilkinson on the left. He battled his way into the area past his full back, and then rolled the ball to Harley Black who blasted the ball into the net past the despairing Alex Archer.
Wroxham stood firm against the visitors now, who although still in the game looked to be running out of ideas. The next real chance came the Yachtsmen’s way as Wilkinson again got in down the left, and again fed Harley Black. His effort from the corner of the box was tipped over by Archer.
On 86 minutes the game was put to bed. Wilkinson again, who had made the left side his own since coming on, jinked his way past a flagging Scott Paterson to roll the ball to a free Wiltshire who tapped home his second of the day at the near post.
It was a great victory for the home side, which could have only been improved if Wilkinson could have got himself a deserved goal, but his effort after again beating Paterson, struck from all of 25 yards beat the keeper, but could not drop low enough and it bounced behind off the top of bar.
A lovely day was enjoyed by all, proving that spring weather really is perfect to play football in!
Photographs courtesy of DM Photography.