Hockey team find it hard to get going

PUBLISHED: 11:58 12 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:18 03 July 2010

Norwich City III XI 3, Gorleston 3

THIS was a match Gorleston should have won comfortably, but they never quite got going against a Norwich City side they have already beaten twice this season.

Norwich City III XI 3, Gorleston 3

THIS was a match Gorleston should have won comfortably, but they never quite got going against a Norwich City side they have already beaten twice this season.

The hosts were, however, boosted in the first half by the rare appearance of ex-County player Ali Wardale as sweeper, and his control and distribution gave the City youngsters all the encouragement they needed to take the game to Gorleston - who played a man short until the interval.

Gorleston welcomed the return of Nick Mobbs and skipper Kevin MacDonald to the line-up and also Matt Burkinshaw in goal deputising for the injured Barney King, who spectated.

Gorleston's Jamie Higginbotham fired home their first short corner after 20 minutes but five minutes later City's Nick Hooper returned the compliment at the other end.

Just before the interval the hosts went ahead when James Grieg netted at the far post following some neat interchange with his forwards.

On the restart, and desperate to see his team at full strength, King took to the field for his first outing as a field player. But before he could touch the ball a wicked deflection in the Gorleston circle saw City score again through Will Marshall to make the score 3-1.

Only then did the visitors buckle down to preserve their reputation and after 10 minutes there was King in the right spot at the far post to sweep home his first league goal for the club to much jubilation all round.

Gorleston continued to press and with Ali Wardale off the field it seemed only a matter of time before they equalised, which they did on 22 minutes from another Jamie Higginbotham short corner.

Apart from occasional breakaways by City, Gorleston dominated but the winning goal would not come despite several chances. That would probably have been hard on City who will be happy to take the point which could be vital in their relegation battle.

Next, Norwich Dragon II Xl are the visitors to the Cliff Park Community Pitch with pushback at 2.30pm.

Gorleston have four matches to go this season and are presently lying fourth on 31 points in Division Three North East of the NE14 East Men's League table. They will be anxious to end their 99th year in that position.

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