(Diadora Premier Division) Saturday 4th January 1992
During the summer of 1991 the Dragons saw a mass exodus of players and football management as the club hit financial problems. Wivenhoe had struggled to rebuild a side virtually from scratch but now under the returning Mick Loughton the team was gradually beginning to pick up. The “Saints” had already won 2-1 at Broad Lane and the fact that they had signed five of our summer departures added some spice to this game which encouraged just over 70 fans to make the trip to Hertfordshire despite the fact Wivenhoe had only one win and a draw from their twelve away league games. Although Garry Brooke and (thankfully) 20 goal Steve Clark were missing through injury, Paul Price, John Lacy and Jimmy King were in the “Saints” line up while Loughton sprung a surprise by bringing veteran keeper Gerry Warner out of retirement and gave a debut to new signing Steve Howe.
Despite the Dragons being second to bottom they matched their 11th placed opponents in the opening exchanges and stunned their hosts by taking a 13th minute lead. Shaun Duffett released Mitchell Springett down the right with a defence splitting pass, Springett raced for the by line, cut in and hammered the ball across the face of goal to the arriving Dave McCoy who, totally unmarked, converted at the far post. With Lacy being given the run around by Duffett to the amusement of the travelling fans, Gary Harvey was only inches away from increasing our lead while at the other end striker Danzey missed three good chances and became the target on an increasingly frustrated home support.
(Above. Scott Young who supplied the cross for the winner and was something of an unsung hero throughout the 1991/92 campaign. Indeed, Scott had to double up as sponge man in this game as well !.)
One up at the break we appeared to suffer a massive set back in the 50th minute when Phil Coleman collided with home keeper Hopping and required extensive treatment behind the goal for five minutes or so. With it necessary to administer oxygen and, clearly suffering from a rib injury, it was to everyone’s amazement that Phil was eventually helped to his feet and returned to the fray !.
With Steve Howe getting the better of Jimmy King all afternoon the Dragons were looking solid at the back and a well protected Warner had to make just one decent save in the second half, although he was booked for time wasting at a goal kick having collapsed suffering from cramp. Mark Radford then saw a thunderous 25 yard drive crash against the bar with Hopping well beaten in the 83rd minute as the home fans began to drift towards the exits.
(Above Dave McCoy, two goal hero on the day)
The “Saints” now threw everything into attack and two minutes into injury time Ketteridge supplied the cross for Anderson to head home the equalizer to seemingly break Wivenhoe hearts. However, the Dragons response to this setback was to go back on the offensive and in the 95th minute Springett’s excellent pass set substitute Scott Young away down the right wing. Scotty took on his man before clipping the ball back inside to McCoy who controlled it before squeezing his shot inside the near post to the delight of the travelling support (some of whom wept tears of joy – and I am not talking about the girls either…..you know who you are !). As McCoy celebrated wildly with the fans these goals saw him enter Wivenhoe Town folklore and, not surprisingly, the referee’s notebook !!. This victory really did sum up the players’ terrific team spirit and ability that eventually saw them pull themselves well clear of relegation.
TEAM: Gerry WARNER, Steve HOWE, Joff MARCH, Steve WRIGHT, Phil COLEMAN, Wayne HANNIGAN, Mitchell SPRINGETT, Gary HARVEY, Dave McCOY, Shaun DUFFETT (Sub: Scott YOUNG), Mark RADFORD. Unused Sub; Keith MOORE. Attendance 638
Not surprisingly the Fanzine “Look For Floodlights” took great delight in this victory and celebrated it with the following cartoon and front cover…………….