Plain sailing for Yachtsmen
Wroxham came out on top in the big derby clash in the FA Cup at the weekend, beating rivals Dereham Town 3-1 at Trafford Park – but manager Dave Batch is refusing to get carried away by his team's early-season form.
The Yachtsmen earned themselves a home tie against Ridgeons League Division One side Long Melford in the next round after a victory that made it 12 goals and three consecutive wins.
It's the sort of form which sends out a clear message to their closest rivals, but Batch is refusing to get carried away.
'I can't make a judgment on how other people view that,' he said. 'Obviously some will see it like that, but ultimately the game was a one-off. Yes, we have started the first week of the season well, and yes, because we won it might send a message out, but it is just one football match from our perspective – and I have to say credit to our squad of players because they have been excellent thus far in doing this - they haven't been carried away with any of the results. They have just won the game and said, 'right, let's go and win the next one. I think it is far too early to make any bold predictions about anything. We are just going to try and win our next football match.'
It was Dereham, without Adam Smith with an ear infection, who were first to show, forcing home keeper Michael Hilton low to his right to keep out Kenny Reeve's drive on five minutes.
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The breakthrough came with a freak own goal on 15 minutes. Shaun Howes punted a long ball into the Dereham box which Olly Willis managed to head back and across the goal line and into his own net.
Paul Cook then set Ben Thompson away with a neat pass in the 22nd minute, with Marshall forced into a good save from the striker's drive.
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But the powerful Thompson made it 2-0 in the 23rd minute when he beat Jay Eastoe-Smith and from a central position struck a powerful 25-yard shot in the bottom right-hand corner.
Kyle Downes lacked composure and fired straight at keeper Hilton. But Wroxham looked stronger and Marshall had to make a fine flying save to keep out Daniels' long-range drive.
Dereham needed a quick response after the break and got it when Gary Starling produced a trademark curling free-kick – a goal which gave the Magpies some belief. Starling delivered a dangerous free-kick across the home box that Hilton claimed before opposite number Marshall acrobatically leapt to tip Matt Daniels' left-footer over the top.
But Wroxham wrapped it up in the 78th minute when Andy Easthaugh netted from close range having received Durrant's square pass.
'I think it was probably a little bit more comfortable than the scoreline suggests because we didn't score the third until about 15 minutes before the end,' added Batch.
'I think it was a little tighter than it should have been for us. We had a lot of chances. We have all the stats on every game done and our entries into the final third, the amount of crosses we had in, the amount of shots we had on target, the amount of shots off target as well, it was all really high. And if I am being critical I would say two things about our team: one, maybe we should have finished some of our other chances better, although I thought their goalkeeper played quite well and made some good saves, and two, we just had a little 10-minute spell where we lost a little bit of concentration and gave away too many set-pieces - and the only way we thought they were going to score was from set-pieces so we succoured ourselves into it a little bit really.'