March Town United slump to heavy home defeat against in-form Whitton United
Ridgeons First Division: March Town United 0 Whitton United 4
MARCH Town United became the latest side to feel the wrath of in-form Whitton United as the Hares slumped to another miserable home defeat.
Fourth-placed Whitton, who on this showing will comfortably get promoted once they’ve won their games in hand, strolled to victory. March - who have fought bravely for weeks with a patched-up side - offered little resistance.
The Hares crumbled despite being the better team for the opening 15 minutes and in the end were lucky to only lose by four. Jamie Weston’s side imploded after the break and never looked like getting back into the game once goals from Ronaldo Wright and the classy Seyithan Duzgun had put the visitors’ 2-0 ahead in the first half.
A wonder strike from centre-back Robbie Knott and Duzgun’s second were the least Whitton deserved for bossing the second period. The visitors’ were everything March weren’t. Powerful, direct and hungry. It’s easy to see why they haven’t been beaten in the league since August.
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Hares boss Weston admitted his side’s adbject display deserved exactly what it got.
Weston said: “The defeat is disappointing, as was the nature of the goals, but every player on the pitch for us was dominated by their opposite number.
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“That just shouldn’t happen - not for a whole 90 minutes. Maybe a player will get the better of you over the course of a game but they shouldn’t completely dominate you for at least 70 minutes, which is what happened today.
“Every single one of their players dominated their opposite number. It’s just not good enough.
“The disappointing thing is they were very, very direct and then all of a sudden after being the better side I felt, certainly for the first 10 or 15 minutes, we started going long too.
“We won’t beat anyone going long, we’re not good at that in anyway. Luke’s (Weston) not a player you play long balls into. If you get the ball into his feet he’ll cause problems and it’s the same with Denny.
“For some reason we started going long - it wasn’t what we’d planned to do at all - especially because keeping it short and sharp had been working. For some reason we changed it, went long, and got beat, which was always going to happen. ”
March more than matched Whitton in the opening exchanges with the central-midfield trio of Simon Bates, Dan Sterna and Grant Watson snapping into tackles.
Whitton weren’t allowed to settle and the Hares started to grow in confidence, none more so than tricky wideman Denny Escorcio. The Portuguese star is capable of ripping teams apart and lit up the game in one five-minute spell in which Whitton’s assistant Ruel Fox - a former Norwich City legend - would have been proud of.
Escorcio unleashed his bag of tricks dumping Daniel Wade on his backside on countless occasions before he rattled the bar with a 30-yard thunderbolt. Even more impressively it was hit with his weaker foot.
Yet just as March looked set to offer a real test to promotion-chasing Whitton - with Jordan Gault and Kyle Plumb looking assured at the heart of the Hares’ defence - Weston’s side hit the self-destruct button. Unfortunately it’s happened far too many times this season.
Kevin Inglis’ in-swinging free-kick was tapped home by the unmarked Wright and the game instantly ended as a contest. Once again March’s ability to completely switch off had cost them.
Luke Weston was continually starved of service, Duzgun began controlling the midfield and March simply folded. Whitton’s number eight grabbed his first of the game to make it 2-0, half-volleying home from inside the box after Lee Brooks’ fine save. Their victory from that point was never in doubt.
Knott’s stunning overhead kick in the 52nd minute was good enough to grace any game but March hardly made him work for it.
The strapping centre-half had all the time in the world to tee himself up before firing home from the edge of the box. It was hard to work out what was more shocking - the defending - or the fact that a 6ft plus defender who looked like he’d head brick walls for the cause, showed the grace of gymnast to score. It was a sensational finish.
Jamie Weston bemoaned his side’s defending for Knott’s goal, and also for the other three that his side conceded.
Weston said: “The nature of the defeat is poor but the goals, all four of them, were poor too. We’ve put no pressure on them at any point to prevent them from scoring.
“They’re four of the easiest goals they’ll ever score. The second one the bloke has been given so much time in the box to finish it. For the third one it’s a mis-hit free-kick and it’s rolled past three defenders and we’ve done nothing.
“We’ve just watched it, it’s bobbled up, and we’ve still not put any pressure on the player. As a result their centre-back has ended up scoring a goal he should never be able to score.
“We don’t score goals like that because teams don’t let us do it. I don’t know why we allow it.”
Whitton’s superiority grew and with it so did their confidence. Inglis tried his luck with two 40-yard attempts, and Wright forced Brooks into making a fine save down to his left as his header looked certain to find the bottom corner.
Duzgun, however, did complete his brace in injury-time as he slotted home from close range. It was the least he - and his side - deserved for completely dominating the second half.
March failed to register a shot on target after the break and their afternoon was summed up in an instant when sub Isaak Bennett raced through one-on-one to grab a consolation only to take an awful touch and run the ball out of play.
Weston had no complaints about the defeat and admitted his side need to show more pride in the coming weeks to maintain their mid-table position.
The Hares boss said: “To be fair Denny was our only player to come out of the game with any credit. He tried to make things happen but we just didn’t get the ball to him.
“We got no quality into Luke (Weston) at all. If you knock long balls up to him you’re going to get nothing. If you get it into his feet and isolate their defenders in the right areas you’ll get something from him.
“He becomes ineffective if you don’t play that way to him because he’s not going to win headers in the air. It’s as simple as that.
“We need to move on and make sure when we play them next time we do better. We just have to have a little bit more pride about ourselves. We’re not as bad a team as we showed today and we look to change that next week.”
March face a Kershaw Representative League side in a friendly on Wednesday night before returning to action in the league against Ipswich Wanderers on Saturday.
March: Brooks, Day, Goult, Plumb, Lemmon, Escorcio, Bates, Sterna (S. Welcher, 74), Watson (Bryan, 61), McDonough, Weston (Bennett, 54) - Booked: Plumb
Man of the match: Denny Escorcio - Was the only March player to offer any sort of threat. Flittered in and out of the game but dazzled when he got the ball with his bag of tricks and pace. Unlucky not to score with a wonderful 30-yard effort.