Battling Gorleston lose out to champions Norwich United
- Credit: Archant
A much-changed Gorleston gave a battling display against current champions and champions-elect Norwich Utd before falling to a 2-1 defeat.
The game began at a fast pace and the hosts went ahead in the 11th minute.
A soft-looking free kick was awarded which eventually led to the first corner.The corner found Steve Shipley running in unmarked for a free header, giving Molloy no chance.
Norwich continued to dominate possession without creating although Molloy did have to react quickly to keep out one effort from a corner, the follow up cleared off the line.
Gorleston were sitting deep to combat the pace of the United forwards and relying on Ashley King to do the chasing up front. King took some rough handling from his marker, though nothing illegal according to the ref, and the visitors struggled to get out of their own half.
The Greens finally began to get their game together and had their first period of pressure in the final 10 minutes of the half with Matty Brown having their only shot of the half.
United almost increased their lead in the first minute of the second half when Jamie Speller had space to surge into the box. He pulled the ball across the face of goal where it struck the far post but rebounded away.
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The second arrived in the 59th minute when Ben Thompson fought off his marker and crossed to Matt Blake who headed home.
Ricci Butler introduced Watts and Middleton and the Greens began to get their foot on the ball and cause some problems.
With 18 minutes left Gorleston were awarded a free kick 25 yards out. Middleton curled a shot over the wall. The keeper parried it along the line where it struck the post and ended up in the net.
It was much better from Gorleston and they could have equalised with six minutes to go. A Middleton ball in from the left found Kyle Ingram running in behind the full back but he put it wide.
Jordan King fired an effort over the bar but the Greens couldn’t find a way through the well-drilled defence as the hosts extended their lead at the top of the table to 15 points.
Afterwards Butler was disappointed his side hadn’t got something from the game.
“Two mistakes cost us. We gave them a free header for the first and then let them cross too easily for their second,” he said.
Gorleston: Molloy, Clements, Brown, Harris (Watts ), Taylor, Brown, K Ingram, McKay, A King, J King, Thompson (Middleton).
Luke Goreham has decided to step down as club captain at Gorleston.
Luke has made the decision due to work commitments, and with another marathon run coming up. He will be staying on as a player and will help out when he can.
Goreham has been a fantastic captain and servant to the club, currently on 180 appearances with 29 goals, and his will be big boots to fill.
But boss Ricci Butler has moved quickly to announce that Aaron Taylor will now become skipper.
“I’m 110pc confident that you will all agree and completely stand by my decision,” said Butler.
“This man has been on song all season and is a true winner. There was no question in my mind. I wanted Aaron to take on this honour. It’s fully deserved.
“I would like to go on record to thank Luke for the awesome job he has done.”
Butler has also moved to bring a new face to the club with the signing of Matty Brown from Kirkley & Pakefield. Brown is an attacking left back and has played 22 times for Kirkley this season, scoring four goals. He joined the Royals from Colchester United and went straight into the Greens squad to play at Norwich United.
The Greens management have also set up a new team player-of-the-month prize which, in its first month, has been awarded to Liam Brown with Ashley King as runner-up.
Gorleston have no game this weekend.
They were due to travel to Ipswich Wanderers but, because Wanderers made progress last week in the FA Vase, they now have to play their next round tomorrow which takes precedence over their league game with Gorleston.
For fans wanting a Greens fix they could travel to Corton where Gorleston Reserves are taking on Corton Seltic in the CS Morley Cup.
The game takes place at Corton Playing field on Mills Drive and kicks off at 1.30pm. On Tuesday, the Reserves are in action again, this time in a league match at Emerald Park against arch rivals Yarmouth (7.30pm).