Norwich United 0 Waltham Abbey 1: Planters pay the penalty at home
The form book was turned on its head at Plantation Park as the Planters failed to find the net for the first time this season, writes Norman Bygrave.
United went down to a first half penalty against a Waltham Abbey side who started the game in the bottom three.
Darelle Russell calmly slotted home his 30th minute spot-kick sending Andy Wilton the wrong way in the 30th minute, after the Abbey striker had jinked into the area only to be brought down by Josh Carus as he was preparing to shoot.
This gave the visitors a deserved lead at the break, as although Adam Hipperson caused them the occasional problem, it was the visitors who looked the more likely to score, albeit with many shots from distance.
In what proved to be a lacklustre opening period the Planters were unfortunate to lose Remi Gordon to injury after just 21 minutes.
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The Planters showed more purpose and should have equalised early in the second half, Hipperson got free down the right and whipped in a lovely cross to the far post where Shaun Wones' shot flew across the face of goal and wide of the far post when it looked easier to score.
The introduction of new signing, ex-Norwich City Youth Cup Winner, Cameron Norman allowed more openness in the game but whilst this led to more open play this allowed the visitors to threaten on the break and Russell, Romaric Logon and substitute Ryan Flack all had chances to stretch the lead, but Wilton wasn't to be beaten again.
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The Planters almost snatched an equaliser in the closing minutes when substitute Manu Machaya hit a sweet first time shot which was heading just under the bar but Abbey goalkeeper Lewis Lockyer did very well to tip it over the bar and seal a valuable three points for the visitors.
Norwich United: Wilton, Shipley (Machaya 83), Carus, Mason, Eastaugh, Watts, Hipperson, Wones, L Jackson (Norman 61), Henery, Gordon (Bennett 21). Unused subs: Mokake, J Jackson
Waltham Abbey: Lockyer, Spencer, Joynes, Daveney, Harrison, Robbins, Holland (Daniel 72), Blackman, Russell, Logon, Suddell (Flack 70). Unused subs: Coley, Page
Referee: Stuart Franklin. Assistants: Jordan Sandwell & Bradley Mingay