Norwich United 2 Witham Town 0 – Planters bounce back to move into top half of table
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016
Norwich United bounced back from a Boxing Day defeat at Wroxham with an impressive victory at home to Witham Town in Ryman League Division One North.
In front of 164 spectators, their biggest attendance of the season, they rose to the occasion and Tim Henery and Liam Jackson notched second-half strikes as Steve Eastaugh's men moved back above their visitors into the top half of the table.
The Planters were forced into changes, with Christy Finch stranded by fog and Matt Brown through illness, meaning recalls for Liam Jackson and Kierron Rose, whilst Steve Shipley returned after illness and Ben Jones and Nathan Stewart replaced Shaun Wones and Joe Jackson, who both dropped to the bench.
Witham were the first to press, with Usman Adeniji shooting wide from a Ryan Charles cross. It didn't take long for the Planters to settle and Henery tested keeper Sam Soutar with a 25-yard drive.
The hosts came close when Lee Mason intercepted in midfield, setting up an attack which saw Henery's cross met by Nathan Stewart's far-post header which was cleared off the line.
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Liam Jackson was next to threaten, but his overhead shot from Adam Hipperson's cross was well saved by Soutar. Henery then drove into the area before squaring to Hipperson who shot over from near the penalty spot.
The visitors posed a threat on the break and Tim Monsheju shot over from distance and Andy Wilton claimed the ball at the feet of Max Bradford when a free-kick wasn't fully cleared. Wones, a first-half substitute for the unlucky Rose, saw his header go wide of the far post from a free-kick early in the second half.
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Stewart and Henery combined well down the left to set up Hipperson, but his shot at the far post was blocked.
The Planters weren't to be denied and in the 62nd minute Hipperson cut back from the bye-line to find Henery who composed himself before firing his shot home off the underside of the bar.
Hipperson then went close when his shot at the near post was pushed onto the woodwork by the impressive Soutar.
The Planters effectively sealed the game in the 69th minute, Hipperson's floated cross from the right saw Liam Jackson stretch to get an important touch at the far post.
Substitute Jamie Speller's stinging drive was deflected wide, while at the other end Wilton preserved a clean sheet, turning wide a drive from Monsheju. Witham substitute Michael Osei was given a straight red card for violent conduct deep into added time.
Norwich United: Wilton, Shipley, Rose (Wones 24), Mason, Eastaugh, Watts, Stewart (Machaya 78), Jones, Hipperson, Henery (Speller 72), L Jackson. Unused subs: J Jackson, Mackie
Witham Town: Soutar, Anderson (Imbert 67), Mallet, Watson, Green, Regis, Koranteng, Bradford (Osei 62), Monsheju, Charles, Adeniji (Whipps 76). Unused subs: Payne, Robinson
Referee: Mr A Sannerude