AFC Hoxne 1, Waterside 1
PUBLISHED: 09:31 09 March 2012
Second-placed AFC Hoxne entertained a Waterside team that sat top of Suffolk and Ipswich League Division Three and have an unbeaten league run stretching back almost two years.
The home side knew it would be a difficult match and set out to pressure the opponents at every opportunity.
The game started with Waterside on top and Hoxne looking nervous, but no real chances were created as the home side defended well and cleared their lines at every opportunity. It was clear this was going to be a game with very few chances created by either side.
The first talking point of many came in the 16th minute when the Waterside forward looked to be clipped in the penalty area, but the referee waved play on.
Hoxne composed themselves and were unfortunate to see the flag go up when Ryan Halil headed down for James Harrison. The first goal came after 24th minutes when a terrible mix-up at the back allowed the visitors to pour forward and a good cross was turned in at the back post.
Hoxne were rocking and were fortunate not to concede again when a cross from the right was turned against his own crossbar by Mark Ismay. The last chance in the first half came when a long free-kick was headed wide by Ryan Halil, but Waterside deservedly led at half-time.
Hoxne replaced defensive midfielder Max Lock with left winger Tom Havers and went 4-4-2 in an attempt to be more threatening.
The home side were fired up in the second half and were looking a much better outfit and almost drew level when a long ball from Mark Ismay was headed just wide by Ryan Perry.
The visitors were furious when they were not awarded a penalty. This changed the game as they went on to lose their heads and disclipine and Hoxne were in charge from then on.
In the 65th minute good work from Tom Havers won a throw down the left. Jon Abbott launched the ball into the box where Ryan Halil caused problems and the ball dropped for James Harrison who chested it and volleyed it into the bottom corner to make the score 1-1.
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