Woodbridge Town go six clear with win in top-of-table clash against Whitton United
- Credit: Archant
Thurlow Nunn One Woodbridge Town 1 Whitton United 0 This much anticipated clash between the division’s top two sides was decided by an 81st minute strike from Ryan Keeble as Woodbridge went six points clear of their nearest rivals, writes Dave Meeson.
The Nottcuts Park ground staff did a fine job in getting the game on as they battled sub-zero temperatures and persistent snowfall throughout the morning.
The game itself was an even affair where defences were generally on top with clear chances at a premium. Harry Wales had the first sight of goal but the Whitton left back drove his effort into the side netting after good play from George Mrozek.
The hosts replied with their top scorer Mark Ray weaving his way to the edge of the penalty area to set up Keeble who could only side foot straight at Whitton keeper Ross Welton.
The game then threatened to boil over after a series of tasty challenges brought about some pushing and shoving before Jamie Cole broke forward for the visitors only to see his low drive blocked by Alfie Stronge.
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Former Ipswich Town star Carlos Edwards tried a shot from distance at the start of the second period which was smothered by the back-peddling Welton.
Mrozek then tested Stronge with a volley before Matt MacKenzie drove narrowly wide for the league leaders after a powerful run down the right,
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Just as it seemed the game was drifting towards a stalemate, the Whitton back line failed to deal with a long clearance from Stronge and with Ray making his presence felt the ball eventually fell to Keeble who shot across the keeper and into the far corner for the home side’s 100th league goal of the season.
Three minutes later Woodbridge were reduced to 10 men as MacKenzie received his second yellow of the afternoon for a mistimed tackle.
There was a late scare for the hosts as keeper Stronge and Cole collided in the penalty area deep into 11 minutes of injury time but referee Jarvis ignored appeals for a spot kick and Woodbridge secured a hard-fought victory.