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Battling Bloaters make it seven matches unbeaten

22:17 01 March 2013

Yarmouth Town 3 Halstead 3

The Bloaters twice came from behind to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to seven matches with goals from Mitch Forbes (2) and Joel Watts.

The Bloaters started brightly and, with a little more luck in front of goal, could have have quite easily increased their 2013 winning streak (in all matches) to seven, within the first 10 minutes.

During this period, the best chances were a strong Mitch Forbes run which culminated with his shot being parried for a corner and Leighton Crux hitting the side-netting from an acute angle.

Despite the relentless pressure, it was the visitors who took the lead, and the Bloaters’ good early work was undone in one fell swoop, writes DEREK BIRD.

The visitors broke down a promising Bloaters’ offensive when a defender, in sheer desperation, hoofed the ball upfield. It fell kindly for Tom Barry who took advantage of a rather static defence by advancing a few yards before trying his luck from just outside the 18-yard area. The alert Johnny Jarvis made a good save but, unfortunately, the ball fell kindly for Jordan Palmer who had the simplest of tasks tapping home and breaking the deadlock.

Jack Cherry, the visiting custodian, had to be at his agile best to tip over a defensive header for corner and, soon after, from a cross by Watts, Charlie McAra was a matter of inches from a deserved equaliser. Mitch Forbes did not take advantage of a free kick in front of the “D” as the wall did its job and the rebound ended up wide of the target.

Inexplicably, as the half progressed, the Bloaters’ early penetration dried up and a number of errors crept into their play which allowed an, at times, inept Halstead to maintain the upper hand to the break. The second period got off to a rather inauspicious start as the visitors doubled their lead within three minutes of the restart, albeit in rather fortuitous circumstances, when Jon Root slid home from a pass that had clearly been made from an offside position when terminating an early Bloaters offensive.

Within 10 minutes the deficit was halved whenForbes cut through the visitors’ defence to the goal-line, doubled back a few yards to make some space whilst avoiding the close attention of a couple of defenders, and drove into the far corner beyond the reach of Cherry. Minutes later, Crux was denied from a good position.

Just after the hour the Bloaters should have found themselves 1-3 down but, instead, they rode their luck, broke away and attained parity whenForbes notched his brace after being set up by Joel Watts.

Just after Watts, amid appeals for offside, had cleverly lobbed Cherry and grazed the top of the net, Halstead regained the lead on 74 minutes when, after two goal-line clearances, Barry took a pot-shot which deceived the unsighted Jarvis. With a little under 10 minutes remaining, the tie was all square once more when Watts finally got the goal that he deserved. With just a couple of minutes remaining on the clock, Murray who had been booked in the first half, was sent off for a second bookable offence. But it was not enough time for the Bloaters to take advantage of their numerical supremacy.

Great Yarmouth Town: Jarvis, Scriven (Deeks 51), Andersen, Bryanton, J Forbes, Burnett, Watts, Baldock, M Forbes, McAra (Thomas 72), Crux

Scorers : Mitch Forbes (2), Joel Watts

Halstead Town: Cherry, Walker, Raby, Hurkett (Knight 48), Cunliffe, Spriggs, Root, Barry, Thorogood, Murray, Palmer (Willis 81). Scorers: Jordan Palmer, Jon Root, Tom Barry. Booked : Lee Hurkett.

Sent Off : James Murray.

Attendance: 79.

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