Ryman North: Wroxham feeling positive ahead of clash with leaders

Norwich United are hopeful Adam Hipperson will be fit to face Romford this afternoon. Picture: ANTON

Norwich United are hopeful Adam Hipperson will be fit to face Romford this afternoon. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Things are looking up at Wroxham after two wins belatedly got their season up and running.

The Yachtsmen hadn't tasted victory before last Saturday's 3-0 home win over Godalming in the FA Trophy, which was followed by a 2-1 success at Witham in midweek.

'It was a big relief to get that first win but it had been building for a while,' Wroxham boss Damian Hilton said. 'In our last six we've had three draws, two wins and one loss and we've been really good now we've got a more settled side. If we'd have had this squad from the start of the season, we would have been much better off than we are.'

Continuing that form, and earning a first Ryman League Division One North home win of the campaign, is unlikely to be easy today however.

League leaders Phoenix Sports head for Trafford Park looking to get back on track after a shock 3-0 home loss to Haringey Borough on Tuesday.

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'We'll go about the game in the same way,' Hilton continued. 'We played Bury Town when they were top (losing 3-0) and Bowers & Pitsea (drawing 1-1) when they were top as well I think, and there's not a massive difference between top and bottom.

'It's a strange league, any team can win on their day. Haringey beat Phoenix 3-0 on Tuesday so it's one of those leagues where you can beat anyone if you take your chances.

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'Even early in the season when we were shuffling the side about, we were still creating chances. We've got a more settled defence now and we're in a better position.'

With defender Adam Plumstead due back from suspension and Matt Cook impressing in midfield since joining from Dereham, Hilton feels his young squad is progressing well.

'We knew it was a massive rebuilding job,' he added. 'I think six of our players were under 20 the other night and only two were here playing last season (Elliot Pride and Matt Halliday). So it's taken a little time to gel but when we took the job myself and David (Coyle, coach) knew how difficult it was going to be.

'There are still a lot of people here at the club who work really hard who were here during my playing days, the reserves are doing really well, we've got young boys representing the county and the academy is getting stronger – so there's lots of positives.

'But the catalyst is the first team and that was falling short of the standards needed, so we're getting there now.'

• Norwich United travel to Romford having bounced back from their FA Trophy elimination with a 3-0 victory against high-flying Bury Town at Plantation Park on Tuesday, with goals from Shaun Wones, Jamie Speller and Emmanuel Machaya moving the Planters move back into the top four.

There are injury concerns for manager Steve Eastaugh however. Matt Brown joined Remi Gordon and Joe Jackson on the absentee list on Tuesday and the Planters also saw influential winger Adam Hipperson limp off, although it is hoped he will be available this afternoon.

Romford are languishing in 20th position but registered a 3-1 win at Ryman South side Molesey in the FA Trophy before going down 2-1 at second-placed Cheshunt on Tuesday, and are unbeaten at home.

• Dereham travel to struggling Thamesmead looking to win a fifth league match on the bounce.

The Magpies were beaten 2-1 at Brightlingsea in the FA Trophy preliminary round last weekend but stayed on track in the league with a 2-0 home win over Soham on Tuesday, thanks to goals from Joe Gatting and Ryan Crisp.

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