THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION: Walsham-le-Willows 4 Wivenhoe Town 0: Chairman Mike Powles hopes some of Walsham-le-Willows’ best crowd of the season will be enticed back for their clash with Brantham Athletic.
The Willows take on fellow mid-table outfit Brantham Athletic in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division tomorrow (3pm).
A crowd of 90 — much better than their pre-match season’s average of 56 — watched Andrew Cusack, Chris McLaughlin, Tom Agricole and Andrew Wood fire Walsham to a 4-0 victory over Wivenhoe Town on Saturday.
“Financially, I think we’ve done better than when we would normally play Wivenhoe at home,” said Powles, whose club featured in just one of six Thurlow Nunn League games across two divisions on Saturday because of the wet weather.
“The difficult thing to decide is whether people have come due to the fact other games have been called off, or if the initiative itself attracted extra people.
“Most people paid what the normal admission price is and lots slung a fiver in — I don’t think anyone came in for a penny or a couple of washers.
“It was a good day all round and we put in a good performance — it was a bit of a throwback to years ago, playing through the mud, and there were some good goals scored. Hopefully some of the people who came today will come back.”
After an even opening 20 minutes, Walsham began to assert some control and went close through Cusack’s first-time shot that whistled narrowly beyond the foot of the far right post.
Top scorer Jack Brame was denied by the foot of visiting custodian Peter Haxell before the Willows took the lead from the penalty spot in the 25th minute.
Wivenhoe’s Ben Lampon gave away a free-kick for a foul on Ryan Foster and, from the resultant set piece, he bundled Nathan Clarke over in the penalty area, allowing Cusack to stroke the ball into the bottom right corner from 12 yards.
It would turn out to be Cusack’s final outing for Walsham as he accepted a move to Premier Division rivals Norwich United on Wednesday night.
Having taken a deluge of rain in the week leading up to the game, the pitch was cutting up and was not conducive to good football, but the Willows produced a team move of real quality to double their lead 10 minutes before the break.
Foster’s crossfield ball created the space for an intricate move between Wood and man-of-the-match Lee Sim that ended with the latter slipping the ball through for McLaughlin to guide it under the advancing Haxell.
Captain Matt Morton was unfortunate not to add to his side’s tally either side of the interval with one header cleared off the line by Ryan Brown and another — diving full stretch — powered wide from Clarke’s cross.
Wivenhoe improved after half-time, but home goalkeeper Duncan McAnally was only seriously called into action when he had to palm over Marley Spindler’s shot.
Sim also made a goal-saving challenge on Josh Grimes, but the Willows cut them apart in the closing moments.
Substitute Agricole drove home a left-footed effort two minutes from time and Wood completed the rout when he tapped in an Agricole cross.
Walsham: McAnally, Morton, Cusack (Agricole), Newman, Clarke, McLaughlin, SIM, Foster (Thorrold), Brame, Wood, Bolton (Musgrove).