Wroxham through despite two reds
Roy Webster RIDGEONS LEAGUE: WROXHAM duly overcame belligerent Kirkley and Pakefield to progress to the next preliminary round of the FA Cup against Yarmouth Town at the Wellesley.
WROXHAM duly overcame belligerent Kirkley and Pakefield to progress to the next preliminary round of the FA Cup against Yarmouth Town at the Wellesley.
But they paid a heavy price for their slender 1-0 victory with two players dismissed late in this steaming confrontation.
Manager Damian Hilton and Andy Key saw red in two senses of the word after seeking to exact hands-on retribution on their former colleague Justin Fox who had unceremoniously scythed down home playmaker Alex Notman.
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Key and Hilton did not have to get involved in this unseemly brawl and the excellent referee Colin Reeve duly directed all three of the perpetrators of this shabby disgrace to the dressing room with Fox again appearing to complain that he had been harshly treated.
The outcome is that Hilton will receive an unequivocal, stark message from the Wroxham upper hierarchy that another unacceptable violent act or unwarranted verbal abuse to an official will almost certainly result in the club seeking his replacement.
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Once again the main sponsors are seething with this breakdown in player discipline and without their cash to fund the Ridgeons League and cup programmes the club will fold.
Unfortunately Wroxham will be without Key and Hilton suspended for vital games and despite last Saturday's pre-match warning from one of the club's top officials that Hilton had to keep a lid on bad behaviour in what was certain to be a volatile battle, he chose to ignore this most valuable advice.
If Wroxham beat Yarmouth in the next round of the cup it's a visit to Woodbridge or Grantham but even here players could be suspended for this lucrative competition, just as they have been in the past.
As for last Saturday, K&P had chances to go ahead until Wroxham produced a truly fancy move that ended with Danny White blasting a fierce effort into Woodcock's net that appeared to catch a slight deflection on route.
But down to nine men against 10 the home fans were clearly on edge.
Their worries were needless. For Hilton's able assistant Ian Thornton, who is director of Football in the Community as well as a UEFA qualified coach, reorganised the depleted squad in battle defensive formation, and K&P's attempts to get on level terms just withered on the vine.
Wroxham face formable Leiston this week end then its Walsham le Willows at home on Tuesday before the visit to Wellesley in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Wroxham's Sterry Cup Anglian Combination Champions kicked off their new season with a 1-0 win against Brandon and their next game is at Sprowston Athletic on Tuesday.