Wroxham fail to recover from poor first-half display at Waltham Abbey
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
Wroxham's four-game winning streak came to an end as a battling Waltham Abbey completed the season double over the play-off hopefuls at Capershotts, writes Thomas Crabb.
Two set-piece goals in the opening 22 minutes were the undoing of Stewart Larter's Yachtsmen and despite a spirited response in the second half – where they pulled one back through Matt Bedford's own goal – they were ultimately unable to break down a spirited Abbey side to slip to their first defeat in six games.
The Abbots started brightly and found themselves 1-0 up after just 10 minutes, Jason Hallet – who was a constant thorn in Wroxham's defence – nicking in at the back post to provide a deft finish past Elliot Pride for his 25th goal of the season.
The home side were on top and found themselves 2-0 up 12 minutes later as another set-piece paid dividends for the hosts. Jon Docker provided the delivery, whipping in a lovely corner from the left that was nodded to Sam Chaney, the midfielder heading home unmarked from close range.
Wroxham seemed bereft of ideas going forward and were constantly being stretched by an Abbey side full of confidence.
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Larter's Yachtsmen woke up as the second half began, using the wind to their advantage to begin to push Abbey's defence back. Eventually, they pulled one back on 64 minutes as the endeavour of Remy Gordon – one of Wroxham's brightest lights going forward – got them back into the game. The winger chased a Danny White through ball and charged down on the Abbey goal, tussling with skipper Bedford, who eventually got the final touch to divert the ball past Jaydon Purdue and into the net.
This spurred the Yachtsmen on and they became a different animal going into the final 20 minutes, Nathan Stone and Jamie Forshaw both going close – the latter in particular whose well-struck effort just flew into the side netting on 68 minutes.
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And despite the late pressure, a resolute Abbey side managed to hold on with some inspired defending.
Waltham Abbey: Purdue, Kizzi, Bedford, Williams, Szwarski, Chaney (Peagram, 80), Docker, Bristow, Hallet, Attard, Russell. Unused: Hart, Olukoga, Harley
Wroxham: Pride, Taylor, Price, Hinton (Rust, 77), Howell (Guyton, 77), Halliday, Forshaw (Rogers, 77), White, Stone, Finch, Gordon. Unused: None