Leaders' long run is halted at the Wellesley by Great Yarmouth
PUBLISHED: 12:35 05 February 2016 | UPDATED: 12:35 05 February 2016
Great Yarmouth Town 0 Wivenhoe 0
After torrential rainfall the night before, the Wellesley pitch was in a soggy state, meaning the stage was set for a battle royal between third-placed Bloaters and unbeaten table-toppers Wivenhoe, whose record included 14 straight victories.
The Bloaters were kitted out in a pink kit to show support for the Sandra Chapman Cancer Unit at the James Paget Hospital, for which the club are raising money.
Wivenhoe could have been forgiven for going to the Wellesley to take a point and preserve their unbeaten run, but nothing could have been further from the truth as they came out to attack from the first whistle.
On 10 minutes, Deeks managed to chip a delightful pass into Holmes whose shot on the turn was well saved by the impressive Haxell in the visitors goal.
Both teams were looking to get forward at every opportunity, and impose themselves on the game, but the heavy pitch and strong wind were making life difficult.
In the early stages the visitors were having the best of it with some neat build-up play, although Deeks won another ball and passed into Holmes who volleyed over on 20 minutes. The Bloaters suffered a scare a minute later as they failed to clear properly and a 20-yard volley narrowly cleared Whatmough’s upright.
The lively Adam Hampson beat the offside trap and the Bloaters were grateful to captain Andersen who managed to get back and make a last-ditch challenge.
A brilliant save by Whatmough from a deflected free-kick prevented a certain goal for the visitors. The home side then produced their best football of the match as Howell, Deeks, Turner and McAvoy combined brilliantly to set Roots through on goal but the youngster was unable to finish as Haxell rushed out.
The half finished with a chance for both sides, Ager firing over after a corner and Whatmough saving well from a volley by the visitor’s Ray Turner.
Against the wind the Bloaters had fought well in the first half but the impressive visitors would have been disappointed not to have turned their territorial advantage into goals .
Playing with the wind in the second half the Bloaters appeared more purposeful as a Deeks free-kick was cleared for a corner. Jay Turner was more involved in the play and he was hauled down after ghosting past a couple of challenges. From the resultant free-kick, an excellent delivery by McAvoy was powerfully met by Jordi Forbes with a downward header but Haxell made a brilliant point-blank save and the ball fell to Ager whose shot was blasted over from close range.
The impressive Chris Holmes made way for Mitch Forbes. In the 67th minute Ager won a header which fell to Forbes who was unable to control his volley as it flew over the bar. At the other end a goalmouth scramble after a corner was eventually cleared by the Bloaters defence to keep the scoreline intact.
Player/coach Ross Catchpole joined the action after a two-year break through serious injury to replace Turner and Nick Bailey replaced Roots on the left.
A break in play after what appeared to be concussion for the visiting left back, Nydam appeared to galvanise the Bloaters and they were unlucky when another McAvoy inswinging corner was met powerfully by the head of Deeks only for the youngster to see his effort headed off the line by an alert defender.
The game was end-to-end for a while as both teams went looking for a winner, but the game finished goalless and a draw was probably a fair result although the Bloaters will rue two missed second half chances.
Kyle Howell shaded man of the match for a superb display in the heart of the midfield. Both goalkeepers had good games in a match where defences were on top. Overall a good day for the club to halt the runaway leaders winning streak.
Referee Andy Gray had a fine game in the middle.
Thanks to all that contributed to the Sandra Chapman Unit which raised £248 towards Cancer Relief at the James Paget Hospital.
A good day was topped off in fine style thanks to a brilliant quiz night organised and hosted by joint manager Martin Sinclair.
Bloaters: Whatmough, J Forbes, Ager, Andersen, Howell, Turner, Deeks, Perfect, Roots, McAvoy, Holmes. Subs: Bailey, Catchpole, M Forbes.