Bloaters aim to travel well again

After winning 2-1 at Brantham last weekend and losing 3-2 at home to Norwich United on Monday, Great Yarmouth Town tomorrow play their final match of the season, at Ely City.

Ely City are four places below the Bloaters in the Ridgeons Premier but are more than three points behind. If Yarmouth win they will finish 13th, but a defeat and victories for the fellow promoted teams of last season would see those teams leapfrog the Bloaters.

Following their victory on Saturday against Stowmarket, where they had to come from behind twice to beat their visitors, the Reserves complete their league programme with a home fixture against Walsham-le-Willows.

Having lost against their opponents 3-1 a fortnight ago with a weakened side due to player unavailability and first team call-ups, the Reserves will be hoping to field a full-strength side, as the game will have a bearing on the destiny of the league title.

A win for the Bloaters and defeat for Lowestoft Reserves against Norwich United Reserves would mean the Bloaters will be crowned champions of the Reserve North Division.

A victory anyway will ensure the runners-up spot regardless of the Lowestoft result, whilst defeat could mean a fourth-placed finish in this tightly-contested league. The winners of the league will face Braintree in the Reserve Championship final.

Sunday results: Men’s team 5 Acle Wanderers 4.

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Sunday fixtures: Men’s v Windmill (away).

Brantham Athletic 1, Great Yarmouth Town 2

THE Bloaters continued their excellent away record with a Saturday victory.

The Norfolk side were without Garath Palmer and Gavin Norman so Eddie Short was drafted into the heart of the defence, Dominic Smith took up Norman’s forward position and the captain’s armband with Johnny Miller starting in midfield. Youngsters Tom Clark and Stathie Steer were on the bench.

Brantham started well and Lee Grimwood had an effort go over before setting up strike partner Ollie Mann, but the Ridgeon’s hotshot was wide from close range.

With 15 minutes played Yarmouth had their first chance. Smith sent the ball forward for Scott Woodcock whose decent effort was matched by an excellent save.

Adey Ager had an effort despairingly go across goal before Smith got into a scoring position only to be adjudged to have fouled the goalkeeper. Grimwood also tested the Yarmouth defence with a run but shot wide.

The deadlock was broken with 26 minutes on the clock, Short passed forward to Smith, who deftly chested the ball down for Luke Fell to run onto. Fell crossed to Reed and the striker slotted in at the near post.

Woodcock created a chance for himself. Although he slipped, he battled well to retain possession, quickly got to feet and ran at goal. But his shot fizzed into the outside of the side netting.

Woodcockhad the ball in the back of the net soon after but his header from a Page cross was offside.

Brantham goalkeeper Bedingfield denied Reed on a one on one before Reed scored his second of the match before half-time. Woodcock ran purposefully on a counter-attack and fed the ball through for Reed, who powered the ball home.

Brantham started the second half threateningly and only a handball from close range stopped an almost immediate reply after the restart. Jessup had to be alert to tip over a Gunn cross which was heading towards goal.

Thirty minutes into the half Mann continued his high-scoring season, capitalising on Jessup’s spilling of a Brantham cross and reducing Yarmouth’s lead.

This started a period of real pressure on the Yarmouth goal. Lowe went close with a header, Brantham scored a ‘goal’ which was chalked off for an offside and Mann almost scored – all within a four-minute spell.

Steer was brought on to replace Woodcock, which settled the team for a while before another flurry of chances. Lowe again should have done better with a header, and Yarmouth were really under the kosh.

In time added on, Miller produced a strong sliding challenge to extinguish Brantham’s final chance and the Bloaters held on for another good away result.

Great Yarmouth Town: Jessup, Page, Bell, Short, Ager, Catchpole, Fell, Smith, Miller, Reed, Woodcock (Steer 76). Sub not used: Clark. Goals: Reed (2). Attendance 52.