FC Clacton 1 - 0 Wivenhoe Town
"Dragons Slain by Seaside" - Report by Ben Pullen
Wivenhoe Town - Peter Haxell, Joe Davis, Andy Schofield, Ben Lampon, Tim Dennis, Ben Connell (c), Charlie Goodlake, Marley Spindler, Reece Keating (sub - Miguel Nydam 32), Ben Parkin, Peter Maina (sub - Hasan Ayten 79) Unused subs - Joe Heron, Elliot Ringe, Ollie O’Hare
Finally it was derby day away to FC Clacton. Pre-match there was a lot of tension and talk about what would happen as recent results had not gone our way and FC Clacton had now overtaken us in the table to moved out of the relegation places with some convincing wins.
So we arrive at that Rush Green Bowl nice and early to savour the pre-match atmosphere and I must say it was very pleasing to see so many travelling supports making the short journey, there must have been around 40-50. It was also pleasing to see lots of youngster supporting the local side, an attendance of 301 a record for FC Clacton in the Thurlow Nunn League. Again it was nice to see another consistent line-up for the Dragons.
We got underway with FC Clacton kicking off towards the far end of the ground into a slight breeze but a nice afternoon ( hopefully ) in their classic blue and white. The game started off in typical scrappy fashion early on with lots of high balls and hot potato football. 04 minutes in and a long throw from Wivenhoe came to nothing as keeper Avenell was commanding in his box. 06 minutes and Clacton broke with Holdstock missing to the left of the goal with the first chance of the game. 08 minutes and a free kick for the Dragons was sent long looking for Parkin, he challenged with the keeper who spilt and the ball was hooked clear by the defender near the line. On 13 minutes Condon headed across goal and a miss kick from Peacock from 12 yards spooned wide. 15 minutes and the first corner for Wivenhoe taken by Goodlake looking for Parkin at the back post, but he who duly headed over under strong pressure. 17 minutes and a ball over the top with Holdstock chasing almost saw a mix up in the defence with Dennis and Haxell looking a bit uncertain as to who going to take control but eventually it was dealt with. On 19 minutes Clacton broke down the right hand side, a low ball in to the six yard box didn’t find anyone and went out for a throw however it was dangerous. 24 minutes and a long throw from Lampon found Keating who headed well wide. 27 minutes and Condon struck a low drive from 30 yards straight into Haxell's arms. 29 minutes and Keating hit one from 40 yards but with the burger van in more danger than the goal. 32 minutes and the first substitution of the game was made with Keating having to come off wirth an injury to be replaced by Nydam. On 33 minutes a long throw from Lampon was cleared by some solid defending. Then two minutes later a Wivenhoe free kick 25 yards out was taken by Nydam but the view from the stand was that it resembled a "back pass". Then on 36 minutes Condon was in action getting wide using his pace and cut a good looking cross back from the right but it was cleared. Then 38 minutes a corner for Wivenhoe hit the first man causing a bit of a melee in the box before it was cleared up pitch to safety. The last real action of the half came on 40 minutes as Coyle broke down the wing and found Holdstock who swivelled on the turn and fired at shot over the bar.
The first half was very scrappy football with both sides struggling to get a strangle hold on the game. There were lots of long balls and high balls and no real ‘derby day challenges’ that you would expect from this encounter. The most positive thing I think you can take out of the first half was the banter and the singing between the two sets of supporters in the Bus Shelter who created a really great atmosphere that was all taken in good humour. Although I would like to say we won that battle!
Second half and Wivenhoe kick off wearing their red and white away kit. The first action came on 47 minutes with a corner to Clacton taken by Coyle but it came to nothing. On 53 minutes Clacton had another corner as they started taking control of the game, it was a deep corner headed off the line by Nydam. On 56 minutes Condon hit a spectacular over head kick although it went straight at keeper Haxell. 59 minutes and Coyle struck well wide of the posts. 61 minutes and there was scramble in the Clacton box involving four players, Parkin trying to claw the ball in but keeper managed to get there. On 63 minutes Condon hit a pot shot wide. Then on 65 minutes mistake Main capitalised on a mistake in the Clacton midfield but fired the ball high and wide of the goal. Charlie Goodlake then shot over the stand from 25 yards. On 68 minutes a huge goal kick from Avenell went straight over Schofield's head, Holdstock got in on goal but saw his effort whistle over the bar, it was a real chance.
The 69th minute saw a corner to Clacton which found Downes but he saw his effort go over the bar. On 71 minutes Condon broke forward and whipped in a lovely ball which found substitute Wales, he failed to score when he probably should have. 72 minutes and a Lampon free kick, 30 yards out from the left hand side was headed away for a corner. The corner was taken short to Maina and eventually went out for a goal kick. Hillier was now on for Holdstock who was not happy about going off.
The 75th minute saw a break forward with Goodlake over to Spindler who drove a strike that was cleared off the line by an outstretched Clacton toe, almost. 76 minutes and Condon passed into Hiller who struck wide. On 79 minutes a poor corner by Clacton hit the first man. On 80 minutes Condon smartly interchanged with Hiller who found himself in space and from the edge of the box struck the ball so hard that Haxell's post still rattling now!
Hasan Ayten then replaced Peter Maina. On 83 minutes Condon was clear again but scuffed his shot wide. Going into the last few minutes there only looked like one team that may score and then on 88 minutes it happened and there heartbreak for the Dragons. Coyle picked up on a loose ball and smashed an unstoppable effort into the right hand side off the net, it was a great effort and Clacton were winning 1-0. The 89th minute saw another change for Clacton as Daniels came on for Coyle who went off to a round of applause from the home fans. The 90th minute saw Downes booked for a foul 20 yards out with the free kick Wivenhoe’s last chance. It was put into box and cleared. A scrappy last few minutes ensued before the refree signalled that the game was over.
I think on reflection FC Clacton just deserved to nick this encounter in what was a tense battle at the bowl, it was a moment of quality that killed the game. I wish both sides all the best for the rest of the season.