Star is born as Wroxham get back to winning ways
Wroxham boss David Batch was happy to see his side put their October 'blip' behind them with a convincing 3-1 win at Mildenhall on Saturday.
A defensive crisis forced the Yachtsmen to blood 16-year-old debutant Rio Starkings at centre back, but he responded with a superb performance as two Matt Daniels penalties and a Ben Thompson goal ensured victory.
'It was a very good performance, bearing in mind we had a whole back four missing for one reason or another,' said Batch, whose side only won one of their four league games last month.
'Every team has two or three weeks in a season when you're not playing as well as you can and when you're playing Tuesdays as well that can add up to four or five games. All teams have a blip, you're not going to play well every week.
'We went through October not doing as well as we had been doing, but we came out of it second in the league and that's not a bad position to be in.
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'There were some harsh decisions against us last month as well – you can say four points and the FA Cup defeat could be levelled at bad decisions, but that happens and it will happen to other teams as well.'
Thompson's first half opener was cancelled out by Mildenhall's Andrew Wood. After the break Gavin Lemmon was brought down in the box and Daniels put the Yachtsmen ahead. Thompson was then brought down after rounding the keeper, allowing Daniels to score from the spot again.
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Batch had special praise for Starkings, adding: 'We've had our eye on him for a while and he was involved with us during pre-season. He probably would have made his debut before now had he not been injured.
'To play at centre back at 16 years old and be as calm as he was against two lively forwards was a great reflection on him.'
Wroxham will now go top on Tuesday if they beat struggling Great Yarmouth – but Batch is refusing to take victory for granted against the Bloaters: 'Sometimes a battling performance against a side like us can help a side turn their form around, so we're not going to count our chickens,' he said. 'If you want the points you have to earn them – in our case more than most because teams tend to raise their game when they play against us.'
Batch hopes to have most of his defensive unit back for the trip to Yarmouth, adding: 'Graham Challen, Josh Carus and Danny Self should be available and Damian Hilton is 50/50, so it's getting better.
'But we haven't been shouting from the rooftops about our injuries or using that as an excuse – no-one cares if you've got a lot of injuries.'