Points boost for Watton
Watton United have now amassed more points in their opening league fixtures than they did in their opening 20 league games last year.They now lie seventh in the Anglian Combination Premier Division table with two tough fixtures this week, at home Wednesday night last night at Blofield and Saturday at Acle United.
Watton United have now amassed more points in their opening league fixtures than they did in their opening 20 league games last year.
They now lie seventh in the Anglian Combination Premier Division table with two tough fixtures this week, at home Wednesday night last night at Blofield and Saturday at Acle United.
Watton 3, Spixworth 1
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WATTON travelled to third-place Spixworth United, and without a fixture in the last two weeks, looked off the pace in opening 10 minutes.
Spixworth's Gashut was causing problems with his pace down the right side, twice getting behind Callaghan but failing to pick out his advancing team-mates.
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As the first half wore on, Watton's midfield pairing of Taylor and Mark Woods began to take more control of the midfield areas, and with composure shown by full-backs Callaghan and Leggett, began to use the space being offered to them by their opposition.
Brown and Smart had coped well with the physical presence of Spixworth's centre-forward pairing, and this allowed Watton to interchange positions and trouble their hosts with their composed passing game.
Their first real chance came when a quick interchange of passes from Taylor and Allibone released Walker down the right, and he crossed for Bloomfield to volley, and only the deflection just pushed it past the Spixworth's post.
From the resulting corner, Watton's defenders were unable to connect, and the ball flashed across the six-yard box and cleared.
It was down to manager Harwood to rally the team at half-time and, focusing on the amount of space available to both sides on such a hot September afternoon, he urged Watton to take confidence from their impressive end to the first half.
And they duly did, as early as the 46th minute, Paul Woods lifted the ball over the defensive line, and Allibone turned his marker skilfully, only to have his shot well saved by the keeper.
Again some nice passing play from Wattons midfield released Walker down the right and Mark Allibone's persistence in chasing down the loose ball that finally gave Watton the chance to break the deadlock, as he was tripped in the area.
It was Bloomfield who showed confidence to step up, after missing last week for the Reserves at Harling, to slot home and put Watton one up.
In truth, Spixorth had created more opportunities than Watton, but solid defensive play and great sweeping up from man-of-the-match Cruikshank had kept the scores level.
It was apparent from the restart that the penalty had shook the hosts, and almost immediately further pressure from Allibone caused a mis-kick from the keeper straight to Bloomfield, who finished clinically from the edge of the area.
Spixworth introduced Barzey up front and changed to a 4-3-3 formation to try a different approach, and it worked.
With Watton's midfield tiring, they finally scored one of their chances, when the opposition's Bloomfield stole in and notched from a corner unmarked in the box.
Spixworth rallied, and caused problems before Barzey was released down the centre and was brought down on the edge on the area by Cruikshank, who was lucky on stay on the field.
But Watton's team again showed the spirit and determination that has beset their impressive start to the season, and scored a third in the dying stages, when Paul Woods' quick thinking from a free-kick, slid Allibone through.
With Spixworth still organising their wall, he drove to the by-line to hit an unstoppable left-footed drive in off the near post when better placed to cross, to seal all three points for the visitors.
It was just reward for the impressive Allibone, who has made the transition from reserve team football to Anglian Combination Premier with a great deal of maturity, and will cause a number of problems for Premier defences this season.
Meanwhile, Watton Reserves continued their unbeaten start to the new season coming back from 3-1 down at half- time to draw with Long Stratton 3-3, to secure their fourth draw of the season and keep them in fourth place in the table.
Goals from Nathan Clarke, Danny Reeve, and Tom Smart were assisted by an impressive second half display from man-of-the-match Aaron McCoullouch.