(Ridgeons League Premier Division 25/9/2010)
The Dragons had put together a decent eight match unbeaten run which had just been ended four days previously in a highly charged local derby at FC Clacton. With us in 7th place in the table and our visitors in 8th the “SOBS” were a little apprehensive as we went into this game without the services of Max Egbuna and the Odedoyin twins, Wale and Tola who were both keeping the Essex County F.A Disciplinary Committee in full employment !!.
Norwich for their part included former ‘Hoe midfielder Gareth Simpson from the “Carter” Fantasy Football days and looked far more experienced than our own side that included 8 players of 19 or under in the match day squad. The Dragons were quick out of the blocks and their early pressure paid off as TJ Amass swung in a corner from the right which was met by Ryan Brown and his resulting header looped over visiting keeper Nower to put us into a 4th minute lead. The ‘Hoe were playing some good stuff with Markel Greenidge and Jonathan Carr creating real problems for the Norwich defence. Reece Keating was putting himself about in the midfield stopping Simpson from imposing himself on the game. Indeed, it was Keating who set up the second goal in the 20th minute when he won a tackle, advanced forward and put a cross into the area which Carr met with an acrobatic bicycle kick to score in spectacular style. Norwich gradually battled back into the game and Adam Wilding made a couple of decent saves to keep them at bay before United pulled a goal back just before the interval when a corner from the Wivenhoe left was scrambled home from close range.
Left to right; Bryan Turner, TJ Amass, Tom Cutts, Joe Hawkins, Reece Keating, Ben Lampon and (insert) Andy Gibbons all played their part in an impressive victory.
After the break Tom Rogers ventured up field from centre back and saw a header hacked off the line while at the other end he, along with Tom Cutts, Joe Hawkins and Ben Lampon protected Wilding against a period of sustained Norwich pressure. Wivenhoe restored their two goal advantage on 64 minutes when Markel attacked the visitors down the right and delivered the perfect cross to the far post for the arriving Joe Hawkins to score to the delight of the “SOBS”.
In the 80th minute Luke Rogers replaced Carr for his first appearance of the season and sealed an impressive victory 3 minutes from time when he was brought down in the box before picking himself up to convert the resulting penalty.
This game really showed that with confidence being raised and boosted by the addition of a couple of experienced players in the youthful Dragons squad they were a match for Premier Division opponents. The “SOBS” retired to the bar feeling good at the final whistle but, unfortunately, they did not for see that four of the squad would be signed by other clubs while Markel was to suffer a long term back injury and J.C was to go abroad. Indeed, the only minus on this particular day was the attendance of just 77 which, when you consider the three previous home games had attracted 134, 145 and 148 through the turnstiles, was a major disappointment to all concerned.
TEAM: Adam WILDING, Joe HAWKINS (Sub: Andy GIBBONS), Tom ROGERS, Ben LAMPON, Tom CUTTS, Ryan BROWN, TJ AMASS (Sub: Louis RADLEY), Bryan TURNER, Markel GREENIDGE, Jonathon CARR (Sub: Luke ROGERS). Non playing Subs: Jamie LEE SMITH & Liam BRITTON.