Wroxham 0, Waltham Abbey 3 - Visitors get caught short but still leave with Ryman League points
Wroxham succumbed to their first home defeat of the season in Division One North of the Ryman League on Saturday as a resurgent Waltham Abbey claimed all three points at Trafford Park.
The 15 minute delay to kick off – due to the Abbotts forgetting their shorts – didn't seem to affect the visitors as they came out of the blocks flying. Tom Bruno converted an eighth minute penalty after Andy Howell had been harshly pulled up for handball, with Elliot Pride getting a hand to the strike but being unable to keep it out.
The Yachtsmen couldn't cope with their opponents' pace up top, Jason Hallet almost doubling Waltham's lead after a quarter of an hour, the attacker blazing over when well placed.
Wroxham were creating in fits and starts, getting behind the Waltham back four on various occasions with no real end product.
Jamie Forshaw almost found strike partner Nathan Stone with a ball across the box in their best opening of the early exchanges, only for Waltham's goalkeeper James May to intercept the ball at the opportune moment. The Yachtsmen then found themselves on the wrong end of another refereeing decision as Stone was in the thick of it again on the half hour mark.
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The industrious striker outmuscled Matt Bedford in the final third to present himself with a one-on-one opportunity, only for referee Mark Chalkley to pull the striker back, despite many seeing the challenge as shoulder to shoulder.
With Wroxham huffing and puffing to no real avail, the Abbotts were a constant threat on the break, with Howell making some sort of amends for his earlier handball with two last- ditch blocks to keep the score at 1-0.
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But all his efforts came up short as Waltham doubled their lead just before the break.
Pride made a good save from a James Peagram shot, with the resulting rebound leading to a goalmouth scramble and Jason Hallet getting the decisive touch to poke the ball over the line for 2-0.
There was still time for more drama before the end of the half as Wroxham were once again dealt a harsh hand from the referee, Waltham defender Stefan Szajenski seemingly knocking the ball back to May with the lower part of his arm inside the box, with Chalkley uninterested with the Yachtsmen's protestations.
The second half began in a very compact manner, the visitors happy to close the game out with some accurate passing that Wroxham had no answer to.
And it wasn't long before it was 3-0, the Abbotts punishing Wroxham with a quick break down the right and Peagram getting picked out at the back post to finish neatly and bag the goal his game deserved.
Both sides had half chances after that but nothing of note as the visitors saw the game out with consummate ease, sending Wroxham to their first home defeat of the season and dropping them to ninth in the table.