Planters stay optimistic about form
RIDGEONS LEAGUE: Two home games, just one point, and two players dismissed makes sorry reading for Norwich United after just four days of the current season - but all was not doom and gloom after Tuesday nights draw at home to Walsham-le-Willows.
Two home games, just one point, and two players dismissed makes sorry reading for Norwich United after just four days of the current season - but all was not doom and gloom after Tuesday nights draw at home to Walsham-le-Willows.
"I was disappointed not to take all three points tonight, even though we had to play the entire second half with just 10 men. We dominated at times in the second half and looked the more likely to get the winner," said manager Gary Butcher.
This was a fair point as the Planters overcame the loss of central defender Adam Ferguson for violent conduct and an own goal 17 minutes after the break to grab a point, which was the least they deserved from an entertaining contest.
The Planters had taken the lead after 24 minutes with Lee Howlett's well-hit direct free-kick from the edge of the area only to be level again within three minutes when they gave away a penalty which Cusack converted.
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There was an element of good fortune about the goal which gave the visitors the lead, the ball looping up off the head of Warren Preston and into Matt Hill's net.
But this spurred the Planters on and they thought they had equalised within three minutes only to have the 'goal' harshly ruled out for a handball against Shaun Bammant.
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Two minutes later and the hosts were level. A good run from sub Nathan Page ended with him finding Seb Muddel wide on the right, and his cross was deflected into the path of Bammant who fired home from close range.
The Planters came closest to finding a winner, Lee Howlett twice denied by Walsham keeper Barry Lynn.
Saturday saw newly-relegated Wivenhoe Town take all three points in a game which saw the Planters disappoint Butcher.
Wivenhoe took the lead two minutes before the break through Aaron Churchyard's header, and doubled their advantage three minutes after the interval through another header from Lee Underwood.
The introduction of Paul Atkins and Shaun Bammant made an immediate impression and the two combined well as Atkins netted Bammant's cross on the hour. But Allicion Blake's goal 10 minutes from time sealed the points for the Dragons.
Ben Garnham, on his United debut, received a red card for two cautions. On another day three Wivenhoe players could well have joined him in a game where the referee's skills were tested to the limit and his notebook was filled with many cautions.
The Planters began their FA Cup campaign at Wisbech today, if a replay is necessary it will be at Plantation Park on Tuesday.
Replays notwithstanding, the Planters travel to face Dereham Town at Aldiss Park with both sides looking for their first league win. Next Saturday the Planters travel to newly-promoted Tiptree United.
The reserves begin their Anglian Combination campaign away to Sprowston Wanderers on Tuesday at Sprowston Cricket Ground, 6.30pm.