Battling Wroxham go bottom – but not without an almighty effort

Wroxham manager Damien Hilton.

Wroxham manager Damien Hilton.

Thurrock 1 Wroxham 0

Wroxham dropped to the foot of the Ryman Division One North following their third defeat of the season.

Against the highly-fancied Thurrock, the Yachtsmen put in arguably their best performance of the season but that wasn't enough to save them from defeat.

To compound matters, central defender Ben Lewis was sent off for two yellow cards.


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Manager Damian Hilton made four changes to the side that were dumped out of the FA Cup the previous weekend by lower level Deeping Rangers. Out went Steve Taylor, Ollie Ebbage, Robbie-Lee Sweeney and Jack Guyton whilst their replacements were Aarron Taylor, David Hinton and two new signings, Jake Platten and Cassimiro Datocampol.

Wroxham began slowly with Thurrock having the majority of the possession in the first seven minutes. A few long-range shots and balls into the six-yard box kept 'keeper Elliot Pride on his toes without really troubling him. In the eighth minute a powerful run by Lewis saw his shot spilled by Darren Behcet in the Thurrock goal, but Jordan Rocastle's follow-up was blocked as the 'keeper recovered.

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In the 18th minute Thurrock took the lead. Charlie Stimson dummied the ball in and was played through by Ross Wall. The striker was composed as he slotted the ball past Pride and in off the near post.

Elliot Pride made a great save on 22 minutes as he used his feet to great effect as Ronnie Winn looked odds on to score.

Wroxham had an excellent chance to equalize in the 23rd minute. A wonderful throughball from Hinton to Jordan Rocastle allowed the striker to nicked the ball past the defender. Advancing one-on-one with the 'keeper, Rocastle elected to try to chip the ball over Behcet who had advanced to narrow the angle. Unfortunately, the shot lacked accuracy as it drifted wide of the right-hand post.

Rocastle had another chance a couple of minutes later. A cross by Platten was controlled in the area but the Wroxham number 10 put his shot wide of the far post as he went back across the goal.

On 28 minutes, Jackson Ramm became the first player to enter the referee's book with a blatant trip as the Thurrock winger advanced down the right. From the free-kick, Pride made another good save from Wall as he pushed the header out for a corner.

On 33 minutes, Rocastle and Kyle Baker were set free by a David Hinton pass. Rocastle laid the ball back across to Baker lurking just outside the six-yard area but his shot was deflected away from the goal as Wroxham looked to get the equalizer.

Thurrock then had two excellent chances to increase the score as the half was coming to an end. Goalscorer Stimson played the ball back to Ronnie Winn whose shot was blocked by Taylor. Winn then turned provider as he played the ball to Reece Morgan but the Wroxham defence managed to block it again.

On 43 minutes, Lewis became the second Wroxham player to enter the referee's notebook. The central defender kicked the ball away after a free-kick had been awarded against the Yachtsmen.

The second half began with Thurrock getting the first opportunity to score. Stimson headed wide from a corner when he should have done better.

On 52 minutes, Wroxham's first chance of the second half fell to Baker but his shot from the edge of the penalty area was easily gathered by Behcet. Not long after, Jack Garrod had an excellent chance. A rebound off a defender meant that he was presented with the ball and drove towards the goal. Unfortunately, his shot went wide of the goal.

In the 56th minute, Wroxham were reduced to 10 men. Ben Lewis who had been warned by the referee on a couple of previous occasion since his first half booking slid in to block the ball. The Thurrock defender's momentum took him into Lewis and the referee was left with little choice but to show a second yellow card.

Hilton brought on Ollie Ebbage to play at the back replacing the unfortunate Jake Platten on his Wroxham debut.

With Wroxham a man down, Thurrock were looking to get their second goal. Wall headed over when well placed and Pride made another diving save from Joe Christou to push the ball away, with Wall being called offside as he looked to follow up.

Wroxham made their final substitutions on 67 minutes as Jack Garrod and Jordan Rocastle were replaced by Jordan King and Cruise Nyadzayo.

Wroxham were not playing like a side with 10 men. Baker twisted and turned his defender to get into a shooting opportunity but the ball didn't sit neatly to allow him to get it towards the goal and Thurrock were able to clear.

In the midfield area, David Hinton and Cassimiro Datocampol were playing some nice passes to their team-mates. On 75 minutes, substitute Jordan King had Wroxham's best opportunity of the second half. A Hinton pass set him free on goal and with Behcet rooted to his line and central to the goal, King shot straight at the keeper and the chance was gone.

It looked like a Wroxham equaliser would only be a matter of moments away with Nyadzayo the next player to be set free, this time from a Ramm pass. Unfortunately, the shot was off target. A long throw by Swatman caused problems in the Thurrock area as first Nyadzayo's shot was blocked. Datocampol had a shot blocked from the resultant corner and King's follow up was over the bar although the referee's assistant had raised his flag. Ramm then had an attempt but Thurrock's defence managed to get a block again.

With five minutes additional time signalled by the referee, Wroxham threw almost everything to try to get an equaliser. A last-kick free-kick was delivered into the danger area but Ebbage couldn't get a clear header as it drifted wide. As the ball went out of play, the final whistle was greeted by cheers from the home support as they realised they had gained but not earned all three points.

Damien Hilton will now have to pick up his players as the next game comes quickly on Bank Holiday Monday. Brightlingsea Regent visit Trafford Park with a 3pm kick-off.

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