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Gorleston FC secure Ridgeons League Premier Division status

PUBLISHED: 12:01 29 March 2012

Scorer of the second goal Gary Williams challenges for a header.

Scorer of the second goal Gary Williams challenges for a header.

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FC Clacton 0 Gorleston 2

GORLESTON’S fifth clean sheet of the season helped secure the three points that have made the Greens mathematically safe from a bottom-three finish in the Ridgeons League Premier Division.

There was just one change from the side that had lost to Mildenhall, with Kyle Howell replacing Jack Marsden.

The visitors started well against a big Clacton side. In the first minute Gary Williams picked out Jack Garrod with a pass, but his shot was blocked by a defender.

With eight minutes gone a long clearance from Elliot Pride was chased by Ally McKenna who hit a shot from the edge of the box which beat the keeper, but thumped back off the post.

Two minutes later a strong run from Garrod saw him pass inside to Chris Sandford who helped it on to Steve Taylor to shoot, but the ball went wide.

Clacton began to get a foothold in the game. Kevin Coyle had a free-kick blocked by the wall then an ambitious Karl Andrade overhead kick from inside the box went over.

Just past the midway point of the half Williams cut in from the left and fired a right-foot shot a yard over the bar.

Olly Thomson had to be replaced when he twisted his knee after appearing to get his studs caught in the pitch and he left the ground on crutches, Andy Howell was his replacement.

James Dunkley then tried an overhead effort which was blocked by the Greens’ defence before Andrade saw his effort from a long throw bounce back off Pride’s left post.

As the game entered first-half injury time, Lee Peacock had the ball in the Gorleston net from a header, but his celebrations were cut short as the referee had spotted a push.

Two minutes into the second half Gorleston took the lead.

A Kyle Howell long throw was cleared, but fell to Adam Mills 25 yards out and he drilled a low, left-footed shot through the crowd and into the goal, off the base of the post. Gorleston were working hard to close down their opponents and defending well as a team, with Eddie Thompson and Andy Howell repelling most aerial attacks.

The Greens put on Bradley Hough and Christy Finch in an attacking double substitution as they sensed Clacton were tiring, but it was Williams who doubled his side’s advantage in the 72nd minute when the ball fell to him 22 yards from goal and he caught it sweetly, with the ball flying like a rocket into the roof of the net, giving the keeper no chance.

As the game entered its closing stages the Greens were sitting deeper with Clacton pressing, but the Seasiders were reduced to long-range efforts that never troubled Pride.

Williams and Finch both had late efforts off target, as did Coyle at the other end, but at the final whistle it was Gorleston who picked up their second win in four games.

Gorleston: Elliot Pride, Kyle Howell , Reece Hunn, Adam Mills, Olly Thomson (Andy Howell 26), Eddie Thompson, Chris Sandford (Christy Finch 63), Jack Garrod, Ally McKenna, Steve Taylor (Bradley Hough 63), Gary Williams.

Goals: Mills 47, Williams 72.

FC Clacton: Ed Wootten, Lee Peacock, Kyelan Marvell, Louis Newland (Billy Wales 53), Dan Smith, Matt Cripps, Kevin Doyle, Lee Barrett, Karl Andrade, James Dunkley, Aaron Condon (Luke Straight 63).

Bookings: Barrett 78.

Attendance: 108.

Gorleston Reserves 4 Stowmarket Reserves 1

Gorleston Reserves are five points clear at the top of the Ridgeons Reserve League following this victory over Stowmarket Reserves.

Three goals in 15 minutes gave the Greens a comfortable half-time lead.

Matty Anderson opened the scoring after 10 minutes with his 19th of the season before Mitch Forbes and Elliot Hannant extended their advantage.

Stowmarket pulled one back midway through the second half, but Luke Catchpole completed the scoring five minutes from time.

This Saturday the Greens second string travel to Walsham le Willows.

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