Wroxham manager Jordan Southgate pulled out a pre-kick off coup when he named his starting XI for the 2nd round Norfolk Senior Cup clash with Fakenham Town, writes Aston Cosford. Wearing the familiar number 9 shirt on his debut for the Yachtsmen was former Norwich City Legend, Grant Holt. The place for his debut was the 2nd round of the Norfolk Senior Cup when Fakenham Town were the visitors to Trafford Park.
A good friend of Assistant Manager, Adam Drury and midfielder Simon Lappin, Holt had signed for Wroxham earlier this week. The announcement had been kept quiet until the teams were announced just prior to kick off and was a surprise for the crowd of 89.
Wroxham lined up with Connor Milligan in goal, a defence of Mac Gee, Chris Skipper, an appearance for Isaac Burrage and a first team debut for Wyatt Hill. In midfield it was the familiar sight of Simon Lappin, Marcus Wilkinson, Cruise Nyadzayo and Harley Black. The latter taking on the captain’s armband and duties. Up front was Grant Holt who was supported by Jordan Bond. On the substitutes bench were Kieran Smith, Damon Cooper, Joe Keeley, Shaun Taylor and goalkeeper Ryan Howard.
The Yachtsmen started on the front foot and had an early attack. New striker Grant Holt going close with a cheeky flick towards the far post which went just wide. The level of skill shown by the number 9 was obvious and impressed the watching crowd on a filthy wet afternoon. The most pleasing aspect for Southgate was having a player of Holt’s calibre in his side was how the young players in his side was also lifted.
Fakenham were giving the game a go and went close on occasions. Connor Milligan had to dive full length and push a fizzing shot out for a corner. The Yachtsmen were looking the most dangerous and took the lead in the 15th minute. The ball was worked into Jordan Bond in the penalty area who hit a low shot towards goal. It wasn’t the most powerful of drives and looked a simple take for Fakenham keeper Tom Coombe, but it squirmed beneath his body and into the net. Slightly fortuitous but the adage goes, if you don’t shoot then you don’t score.
Wroxham were now on the front foot and some neat interplay between Holt, Nyadzayo and Bond led to Wroxham’s chance for a second goal. Jordan Bond skipped past two defenders and a bad challenge on the edge of the area resulted in referee Peter Venables awarding a penalty. Simon Lappin stepped up, but his powerful spot kick was too high and struck the crossbar.
As the half went on, a fizzing low cross by Holt was just out of the reach of both Nyadzayo and Black who had tried to get to the back post.
Fakenham ‘keeper Coombe made some amends for his earlier mistake early in the second half as Nyadzayo took aim at goal. He got down well to save in the wet, windy conditions.
Nyadzayo was looking full of confidence in the game and he struck a shot just wide of the post after a powerful run. After skipping past the full back, he held off the other defenders but unfortunately his shot flew narrowly wide of the far post.
Fakenham had a glorious chance to draw level. Some miscommunication in the Wroxham defence saw a Fakenham attacker miss an open goal from the left side of the area. Connor Milligan had tried to clear the ball but found himself stranded after failing to get enough power on the incoming ball.
Fakenham were starting to put some pressure on Wroxham’s defence and a fabulous acrobatic save from Connor Milligan ensured that the goal was kept intact as Fakenham shot from distance.
The game and result were soon put to bed and it was a goal that the whole crowd had been anticipating and waiting for since kick-off. A corner on the right from Simon Lappin was cleared back to the midfielder who put in a delicious ball to the danger area. Lurking at the far post was Grant Holt who got above the defender to nod the ball down and past the keeper. It was a goal born on the training pitch at Colney and was celebrated by the home support to secure the 2-0 home win.
Wroxham now go into the third round of the competition with the draw to take place live on BBC Norfolk Local Report in the near future.
A double visit to Great Yarmouth this week awaits the Yachtsmen this week. First up in the league on Tuesday night followed by the FA Vase on Saturday afternoon. Those of the blue and white striped persuasion will be hoping for more goals to come from Grant Holt.