The first league local derby of the season for Wroxham was scheduled for a Friday night at Trafford Park. Great Yarmouth Town were the visitors who have had a poor start to their season and this was seen as a good opportunity for the Yachtsmen to gain their first three-point haul. A healthy crowd of 260 were looking forward to the evening and that included several “ground-hoppers” who had travelled far and wide from Hampshire, Kent and even Norway to name but three.
Wroxham lined up with Connor Milligan, Kieran Smith, Mac Gee, Adam Plumstead and Chris Skipper at the back. A midfield of Simon Lappin, Sonny Carey, Harley Black and Jordan Bond while Ryan Miles was supported by Cruise Nyadzayo up front. On the bench were Isaac Burrage, Joe Keeley, Josh Pond, Matt Doyle and Pete Wiltshire.
Wroxham started the game on the front foot and Harley Black took the first aim at goal, but it was wide of the upright. As in many local derbies, the game was fast and frenetic and a close affair. Tackles were strong and in the main fair, although referee Matt Morrison did on occasion have to take action to take the sting out of it. Mid-way through the 1st half, Wroxham took the lead. A long ball down the middle was chased by Ryan Miles. The youngster managed to get ahead of the Bloaters defender, and as he turned the defender, he also turned former Yachtsmen keeper Kingsley Barnes. Miles was able to coolly finish and pass the ball into the back of the net.
Wroxham were on the front foot now and Cruise Nyadzayo was set free by a Kieran Smith pass. Nyadzayo did all the hard work by holding off the defender and chipped over the advancing Barnes. Agonisingly the ball drifted just wide of the post as the crowd held their breath. Goalscorer Miles was forced off on 37 minutes and replaced by Matt Doyle following a twinge to his hamstring. On 42 minutes, a cynical foul by Lee Roots on the advancing Nyadzayo which resulted in a yellow card for the Bloater.
As first half injury time ticked over, Simon Lappin’s pinpoint ball was met powerfully by the head of Chris Skipper. The centre-back was unfortunate to see the ball hit the top of the net.
A half-time change by Wroxham saw Pete Wiltshire enter the fray as Sonny Varey was withdrawn. On 49 minutes, Yarmouth got back level. Milligan came to save the ball and managed to get his hand to it but in doing so, the referee upon consulting his assistant, pointed to the penalty spot to the astonishment of all the crowd who had expected a corner to be awarded. Yarmouth weren’t complaining. Haydn Davis stepped forward to make it 1-1. The set-back brought out the fight in Wroxham and a Wiltshire shot was just over whilst Lappin played a ball across the penalty area but just out of reach of any attacker.
On 68 minutes, Matt Doyle advanced down the left. As he reached the penalty area, he was crudely scythed down by the Yarmouth defender. It was one of Matt Morrison’s easiest decision of the night to make. Simon Lappin took responsibility and restored the Yachtsmen lead. Wroxham certainly had their heads up as they looked to make the result certain. Pete Wiltshire had 3 excellent opportunities but saves by Barnes and desperate blocks prevented the substitute scoring. The next opportunity fell to an unlikely source. A rasping shot by Kieran Smith was to test Barnes but his shot went just wide.
On 86 minutes, Wroxham made the points safe and it wasn’t without a little controversy. Milligan had gone down injured in his area and the referee called a halt to play. The restart saw Wroxham pass the ball back to Barnes in the Bloaters goal. The keeper made a hash of his clearance playing the ball straight to Matt Doyle. He advanced and played in Jordan Bond, who made no mistake to put Wroxham 3-1 ahead. This prompted complaints from the Yarmouth bench and support but ultimately the mistake was down to the visitor’s keeper.
There were still two close opportunities for further goals. The first fell to Yarmouth and a great block by Skipper saved a certain goal. Wroxham had another opportunity to make it four as Doyle gain advanced on the area. On this occasion Barnes did well to save. The referee brought the game to a finish and the first three points of the season for Wroxham.