Groundhoppers see leaders give Cornard a tough time

FOOTBALL - Cornard United v Wivenhoe''Pictured: James Bechett ANL-150920-184853009

FOOTBALL - Cornard United v Wivenhoe''Pictured: James Bechett ANL-150920-184853009

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THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE

FIRST DIVISION

Cornard Utd 0

Wivenhoe Town 4

Cornard were given a painful lesson on Saturday, but manager Chris Tracey believes it can help his players improve, if they heed it.

“Wivenhoe play exactly the way I want us to play,” said Tracey, “so a positive from this is that the lads can see that if they do what we want them to, we can climb the division.”

On Groundhopper Day, Cornard attracted an attendance of 105, who saw the home team get off to a dreadful start against the league leaders, going two down in the first 10 minutes. Ray Turner scored after three minutes when Cornard failed to deal with a ball driven into the box, and seven minutes later Adam Hampson was put through the defence unchallenged.

Wivenhoe, who dropped their only points when Cornard drew 2-2 at Broad Lane in August, totally dominated the first half.

They were quicker to the ball, denied Cornard space, and attacked at pace.

“We didn’t get started,” said Tracey, “but we didn’t completely cave in, and I thought at half-time we had a couple of goals in us.”

Not quite. But Cornard started the second half well, James Claydon drawing a superb save from Peter Haxell in the first minute. “If that goes in,” said Tracey, “who knows?”

But after 15 minutes of optimism, with Cornard looking far more competitive than in the first half, Wivenhoe once again capitalised on some poor defending.

On the hour, Turner was left unmarked in the box and had time to pick his spot, and after 76 minutes Turner completed his hat-trick, heading home a corner unchallenged.

“They had a bit more than us today,” said Tracey, “and that’s going to happen now and again.

“Since Jack (Wignall) and I have been here we’ve been gradually improving, but sometimes you come up against a better team. We’ve still got plenty of work to do.”

Cornard Utd: Reid; Nwaubani, Melarkey, Finan, Edwards, Beckett (Dowding 68), Drann (Skinner 61), Morley (Lepage 68), Claydon, Lampshire, Payne. Subs not used: Sloots, Paton.

n On Tuesday, Cornard hosted free-scoring Premier Division Godmanchester Rovers in the preliminary round of the League Cup, losing 7-0. Rovers have scored 34 goals in seven league matches this season.

n After two disappointing league results, Halstead Town beat Takeley 2-0 at Rosemary Lane in the Essex Senior Cup on Tuesday night.

Marcus Warren netted from the spot after seven minutes, and Tom Cook, making his first appearance of the season, scored just before the interval.