My Grounds

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Wroxham - Trafford Park


Wroxham FC
Trafford Park
Skinners Lane
Wroxham
Norfolk
NR12 8SJ

Official Website
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Ground: 8
Date: 30th January 2016
Wroxham 3-4 Redbridge
Isthmian League Division 1 North

Wroxham FC - History

Wroxham were founded in 1892, initially playing friendly matches before joining the East Norfolk League. In 1935, the club joined the East Anglian League, but after World War 2 they dropped into the Norwich & District League, where they later went on to suffer a record 24-0 defeat.

In 1963, Wroxham became a founding member of the Anglian Combination League and slowly rose through its divisions, winning Division 2 in the 1975/76 season followed by Division 1 the season after. In the 1981/82 season, the club won the Premier Division of the Anglian Combination, a feat that was repeated for each of the next three seasons. They also won the Knockout Cup in 1981, 1983 and 1985, before doing another league and cup double in 1986/87

In 1988, Wroxham became a founding member of Division 1 of the Eastern Counties League, winning the title at the first attempt to earn promotion to the Premier Division. In 1991/92 and 1992/93, Wroxham won the Premier Division title, breaking the record points total on both occasions. This was then followed by a third consecutive title in 1993/94, and another few titles in 1996/97, 1997/98 and 1998/99.

Wroxham won the Eastern Counties League Premier Division a further two times - 2006/07 and 2011/12 - earning promotion to the Isthmian League Division 1 North in the latter campaign. They spent five seasons at this level, recording a highest finish of 8th in the 2014/15 season but finishing in a relegation position in three of the other four seasons. In two of these three seasons - 2013/14 and 2015/16 - the club were reprieved, but their luck ran out in the 2016/17 season and they were relegated back to the Eastern Counties League.

Wroxham's best run in the FA Cup has been to the 3rd Qualifying Round, which was last achieved in the 2011/12 season when Wroxham beat Dereham Town, Long Melford, Wisbech Town and Concord Rangers before losing 3-1 at Dover Athletic. The club experienced limited success in the FA Trophy, never getting further than the 1st Qualifying Round in their five campaigns in the competition. As for the FA Vase, Wroxham's best run came in the 2009/10 season when they reached the final: they beat Gorleston, Northampton Spencer, Halstead Town, Flackwell Heath, Armthorpe Welfare, Royston Town, Needham Market and Whitehawk before losing 6-1 to Northern League side Whitley Bay at Wembley in the final. The club also reached the Quarter Finals of the Vase in 2001/02, eventually losing to Durham City.

My Visit

My visit to Wroxham - which was when I started properly groundhopping - came about after I asked for a lift to a game at the end of January (I had chosen to start groundhopping, but not chosen where to start at this point) and my mum chose Wroxham so she could go see my aunt (her sister). 

So we headed up to Wroxham, going to my aunt's first to have lunch. After this, I was dropped off at the ground while my aunt and mum went out shopping. I then went around the ground taking photos to start off with, before settling for a position behind the goal farthest from the ground entrance; I chose to stand here because I figured I could get some good actions shot if any goalmouth action were to occur, though with both teams struggling near the bottom of the league, I wasn't actually sure what if anything to expect on that front.

However, the game - played on a rough, bobbly pitch, as would be expected in Winter - was exceptionally entertaining, end-to-end stuff, with both teams determined to put long winless runs to an end. Redbridge took the lead at first before Wroxham equalised, then the same happened to make it 2-2 before Wroxham then took the lead, only for Redbridge to then equalise and score a winner in second half added time. Here is a full report from the Redbridge website:

Wroxham went on the attack straight from the first whistle and Timi Dorgu was called on fairly early to clear away a dangerous cross from the right that was floated in by Jack Garrod. Seamus Kelleher was also able to fire off a shot that tested Callum Chalfer. Ore Odutola, who made his first team debut in midweek in the win at Wingate & Finchley, had little time to dwell on that as he had to play his part in a defensive line-up that included Stephen Good and Charlie Parrish. The bright attacking start made by Wroxham was matched by the defensive work of the Redbridge backline.
Paulius Dietkevicius was always looking to play balls into Wroxham’s danger zones but it wasn’t until the 18 minute that Redbridge were able to carve out a chance. Charlie Parrish started the move, winning a tackle and then running with the ball into the midfield area where he passed to Joe Gent. Gent spun past a couple of Wroxham players before laying a pass off to Charlie Portway who quickly moved the ball into the path of Billy Drake whose final shot was only just wide of the target. It was a fine piece of attacking football. Barely a minute later Redbridge took the lead when Reside Coxi Sebastfao chipped the Wroxham keeper with a shot from outside the box that sailed into the top right hand corner of the net.

Wroxham equalised in the 24th minute after Joshua Gray floated a ball onto Nathan Stone who pulled of a shimmy before poking the ball past Chafer’s right hand into the bottom left hand corner of the net. 

That equalising started a spell of Wroxham pressure that Redbridge stood up to. Dorgu had to turn away a skilful flick from Stone on 31 minutes. Odutola halted Garrod with a firm challenge and clearance on 34 minutes while Stephen Taylor found the Redbridge defence in top form on 36 minutes when he twice fired towards the Redbridge goal but found Good and Parrish blocking his shot on each occasion. Redbridge’s final attack of the half saw another piece of fast passing football that saw Gent and Ditkevicius pass the ball between them which carved up the Wroxham defence but sadly Ditkevicius final shot was well wide of the target. Good then had to head away a dangerous looking cross right on the stroke of half time. It had been an entertaining first half and Redbridge’s performance in that opening session had shown a solid defence and some fast attacking play that belied their lowly status as they had played with passion, skill and commitment to the cause.
Sebastfao won a corner in the 47th minute as Redbridge opened the second half with a flurry. 

Wroxham were finding some of the Motermen’s runs a bit too difficult to handle and they won a free kick in the 58th minute after Berkcan Belindir was bundled over by the left touchline. Ditkevicius sent over a ball that Portway headed towards goal and was helped along the way by the fumbling hands of Elliot Pride. Portway nearly scored again a minute later when another header went towards goal but this time Pride pulled off a great save to make some amends for his earlier mistake. Redbridge certainly had the bit between their teeth and went close again when Gent played in Portway but his shot was blocked by David Hinton. 

Wroxham equalised in the 64th minute after Jackson Ramm picked out Jamie Forshaw with a deft cross that Forshaw headed into the net. A minute later Ramm again inflicted damage as he sent in another accurate cross from the right that Jack Garrod slammed past Chalfer to give Wroxham the lead. 

Redbridge however didn’t lie down and almost equalised in their next attack when some sloppy work in the Wroxham defence saw Drake jump on the ball first but he couldn’t keep his shot down. Gent also tried a shot from outside the box that was only inches too high.

Garrod and Ramm both had shots whistle past the Redbridge goal and Good had to block a Stone effort in the 83rd minute. A minute later and Good almost equalised when he let off a goal ward header that Pride had to tip away. 

Redbridge equalised in the 89th minute when Rigers Kabashi crossed into the box which found Portway whose shot was blocked by Pride but the onrushing Sebastfao knocked in the rebound. The game then was turned on its head a minute later when Portway latched onto a through ball and lobbed the on rushing keeper to secure all 3 points in the most dramatic fashion.

The Ground

For a Step 4 ground, I would imagine Trafford Park was one of the more basic ones (I haven't been to many others to adequately judge, though), but for their current level at Step 5 it is a good one.

There is a seated stand on one side of the pitch, which looks to provide seats for around 200 (the seats were green, so I imagine they came from Carrow Road at some point), with the only other area of cover being a terrace behind the goal on the far side (as well as some cover under the overhang from the clubhouse). 

Other than that, the rest of the ground is open hard standing, with not a massive amount of room to do much more other than behind the near goal perhaps. The ground has an overall capacity of 2,000, with the record attendance being 1,262 for the home leg of Wroxham's FA Vase semi-final against Whitehawk in 2010.

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