Last day defeat can’t spoil Wroxham’s Ridgeons League celebrations
Andrew Wood rained on Wroxham's parade with a clinical treble to sink the newly crowned champions.
Party fever gripped Trafford Park before kick-off as the Yachtsmen were presented with Ridgeons Premier Division trophy, but Mildenhall were in no mood to join in with the celebrations.
Wood, the league's top goalscorer this season with 33 goals, 30 of them in the Premier Division, quelled the party atmosphere by condemning Wroxham to their heaviest defeat of the season.
Retiring goalkeeper Scott Howie, made captain for the day, could do little about the Mildenhall goals and boss David Batch said: 'None of the goals were down to Scotty. He goes out on a high and with the respect of everybody at this football club.'
He couldn't deny the fact, however, that it was a disappointing way for the league champions to sign off – and denied that staging the trophy presentation before the game had a detrimental effect on his team.
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'It's an easy and obvious excuse to make, and I do think (the presentation) has had a bit of an impact on our performance,' said Batch. 'We got the trophy because we deserved to win it and I was hoping we would then go out and put in a display that befits the team that has just won the league but unfortunately we didn't.
'We should have been better than what we were, but I can't dwell too much on this performance as we have been magnificent this season.'
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The hosts looked sluggish from the start and Mildenhall took a deserved lead through Steve Holder's glancing header at the near post from full-back David Cooper's 16th minute corner.
Striker Paul Cook, despite appearing to foul Cooper in the build up, bundled home from close range for an undeserved equaliser. However, the Wood show was about to come into force - first the Mildenhall hot-shot cut through a static Wroxham defence to duly regain the visitors lead, and just before half-time he turned his marker inside out before unleashing an unstoppable low drive.
Batch brought off the ineffective Gavin Lemmon and Ross Durrant at the the interval and this sparked Wroxham into life as substitute Ben Thompson fed Matt Blake to pull a goal back in the 54th minute.
But a fine breakaway move by Wayne Proctor teed up strike partner Wood to complete his hat-trick.
• While the champions signed off with a shock home defeat it was the opposite story for the team at the other end of the table as Great Yarmouth finishing with only their second win of the season 3-1 at home to Newmarket – the team which finished one place above them.
Goals from Aaron Hanks and Charlie McAra in two first half minutes, along with a penalty from George Barnden, secured a winning end of a traumatic campaign.
Wisbech missed out on a chance to leapfrog Brantham into third place when they were held 2-2 away to their Essex rivals.
Their hopes were not helped by the dismissal of Chris Bacon for two yellow card offences, though his day later got better when he was named as the Fenmen's player of the season after scoring 25 league goals. Ollie Gale took the young player of the season award at the evening presentations. Gale and Adam Millson scored the Wisbech goals with Kieran Lawlor scoring both for Brantham.
Another award winner, manager Paul Tong's player of the year Kyle Baker, was on target as Kirkley & Pakefield finished with a 3-0 thumping of Haverhill, Ryan Crisp and M Kirkby completing the scoring.
Neighbours Gorleston, however, lost by the same score at Hadleigh.
Diss Town slipped to 16th after losing 1-0 at Clacton – one of three teams to move above them. Lee Peacock headed the winner just before the interval.
Dereham also finished on a low note after losing 2-1 at Felixstowe, Francis responding to goals from Jamie Cole and Ben Garnham.
Norwich United went down 2-1 at league runners-up Ely, Adam Murray scoring the decider in the 89th minute