Norwich United 1 Witham Town 3: Planters pay the price for poor first half showing
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017
Norwich United failed to build on impressive result in midweek when three early goals gave visiting Witham Town the impetus at Plantation Park.
The Planters were without leading goalscorer Adam Hipperson, who was serving a one-match suspension and Jamie Speller, unavailable due to work commitments. In came Ben Jones for his first start since August and Nathan Stewart.
The Planters had the best of the early play and had a loud shout for handball in the Witham area turned down in the first minute.
In the eighth minute Hafeez Sanusi used his strength to run into the area but from an acute angle he fired straight at visiting keeper Bobby Mason with Tim Henery better placed.
This proved to be a crucial moment for the hosts as within two minutes Witham were in front, a right wing cross was headed home at the near post by Chinedu Osadebe, the ball squeezing in off the inside of the post.
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This gave the visitors confidence and they saw Andy Wilton make a good save from Elliott Ronto, but a minute later they doubled their lead with Lance Akins' glancing header from a left wing corner beating the Planters keeper.
A bad 10 minutes for the Planters ended when Correy Davidson's well hit shot from outside the area found the top corner of Wilton's net to give Witham a three-goal advantage.
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Sam Watts had to make a goal-line clearance when Ronto had lifted the ball over Wilton whilst at the other end Henery's shot lacked power from an acute angle.
The introduction of Liam Jackson after 57 minutes had a positive impact and the striker's header from Henery's right wing free kick brought an excellent save from Mason.
The visitors were happy to soak up the pressure now, but were dangerous on the break and Jeffrey Gyamfi set up Davidson but the dangerous left-winger was well closed down by Matt Brown. Osadebe also looked set to score but his shot was blocked by Wilton's legs.
The Planters grabbed a consolation as the game slipped into stoppage time, Brown's cross was headed down to Jackson who shot home inside the far post from 10 yards.
Norwich United: Wilton, Probert, Brown, Wones, Eastaugh, Watts, Henery, Pollock, Stewart (Jackson 57), Jones (Crosby 71), Sanusi (Lapite 58). Unused sub: Mackie.
Witham: Mason, Anderson, Mallett, Payne, Akins, Ahern, Gyamfi (Robinson 73), Owusu (Watson 62), Osadebe, Ronto (Bradford 82), Davidson. Unused subs: Gyebi, Imbert.
Referee: Mark Chalkley. Assistants: Andrew Waite & Darren Geary.