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Dragons make it unlucky 13 for Greens

PUBLISHED: 22:21 01 March 2013 | UPDATED: 22:21 01 March 2013

Wivenhoe Town 1 Gorleston 0

This game proved to be unlucky 13 for Gorleston as their unbeaten run ended at 12 games but, with some more clinical first half finishing, the result could have been much different.

Manager Stewart Larter made just one change to the side that had drawn with Mildenhall, with Ally McKenna coming back into the starting line up and Joe Marsden dropping to the bench.

The game eventually kicked off after the linesmen had to repair both nets and Gorleston had the best of the early chances, although the hard, bobbly pitch made good football difficult, writes DAVE HARDY.

Birthday boy Josh Armes, 19 on the day, put an early header over from a corner before McKenna turned his marker inside out in the 12th minute and fired into the side-netting off the keeper’s fingertips.

Two minutes later, from virtually the same position Christy Finch also shot into the side-netting.

In the opening 17 minutes Gorleston had five efforts at the Wivenhoe goal, although only a tame Gary Williams shot forced keeper Adam Wilding to save, before the Dragons mustered their first effort at Elliot Pride.

After 32 minutes Finch tried to lift the ball over the advancing Wilding, but the keeper managed to grab it at the second attempt. Then Wilding pushed another Finch effort on to his post.

Five minutes later it was Pride’s turn to pull off a flying save to deny Ray Catchpole as Wivenhoe began to exert some pressure.

Four minutes before the break Wilding denied Finch again then, with the game approaching half time, Andy Howell rose to power a header goalwards.

This time it beat the keeper but appeared to be cleared, underarm volleyball style, by the forearm of a defender. The referee, however, didn’t see it.

Lewis Blanchett took offence to something that had happened and had to be restrained by team-mates from chasing his foe up the pitch, as the half ended with tempers raised.

Jack Marsden, who had been caught by a challenge early on, succumbed to his injury five minutes into the second half and was replaced by his brother Joe.

On the hour Bradley Hough saw his effort from a Williams free kick saved by Wilding with the follow-up deflected wide.

Wivenhoe should have taken the lead a minute later when Reece Keating raced clear of the Gorleston defence, who had stopped expecting an offside flag, and almost rounded Pride, who just managed to poke the ball away for a corner.

On 65 minutes Catchpole picked the ball up on the right and, with the Greens defence all at sea, squared across the box to Marley Spindler who found the net.

Stewart Larter immediately made a double change with Liam Harvey-Cooper and Jack Garrod replacing Gary Williams and Bradley Hough.

Harvey-Cooper almost made an immediate impact as he broke through on the left of the box.

His shot to the far post beat the keeper but bobbled inches wide.

With nine minutes to go Ben Parkin tangled with McKenna off the ball.

As the game went on, Garrod stepped in to act as peacemaker and there was some pushing and shoving between him and Parkin.

Referee Mr Parker didn’t see it but twice consulted with his linesman and sent Parkin and Garrod off.

Gorleston: Elliot Pride, Jack Marsden (Joe Marsden 50), Reece Hunn, David Hinton, Andy Howell, Josh Armes, Gary Williams (Liam Harvey-Cooper 65), Chris Sandford, Ally McKenna, Christy Finch, Bradley Hough (Jack Garrod 65)

Bookings: Sandford 68, Joe Marsden 75

Red Card: Garrod 81

Wivenhoe Town: Adam Wilding, Liam Dadds, Lewis Blanchett, Tim Dennis, Ben Parkin, Ryan Brown, Michael Schofield, Marley Spindler, Ray Catchpole, Luke Payne (Serge Strickland 87), Tom Moore (Reece Keating 55)

Red Card: Parkin 81

Scorer: Spindler 65.

Attendance: 72

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