Bloaters concede four goals to Hall’s hitman

Great Yarmouth Town 2, Mildenhall Town 4

MILDENHALL Town’s John Sands put the Bloaters to the sword with four goals as Hall left the Wellesley with three points on Saturday.

A Yarmouth plus was that defender Ade Ager made his first appearance for in 17 months after serious injury, writes Colin Jones.

Striker Sands, who had signed a contract with Mildenhall only days before the game, opened the scoring early on.

The Yarmouth defence was caught square and the ball was cut back for Sands, who passed into the empty net with six minutes gone.

Within two minutes the Bloaters had equalised with a very similar goal. Captain Gavin Norman cut back for Luke Fell to finish with his sixth goal of the season.

Poor defending, through-balls and cutbacks were the order of the day with the third goal of the game coming to the visitors with that very formula.

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This time Jake Jessup was rounded and Sands again had a simple finish with only 16 minutes played.

Yarmouth could have fashioned an equaliser after 22 minutes but Dominic Smith’s looping header was tipped over for a corner.

Yarmouth found themselves further behind shortly after with the goal of the game.

Mildenhall’s left-back James Peterson crossed and Sands executed a wonderful overhead kick.

Both sides continued to create chances, Mildenhall’s keeper saving well at Jake Reed’s feet after the young hotshot expertly turned in the area.

Yarmouth defenders staved off two other decent chances in the first half, Chris Duffy did well under pressure to head back to Jessup when left in a one-on-one scramble for the ball and Gareth Palmer put in a strong recovery challenge after the Yarmouth defence put themselves under unnecessary pressure on the halfway line.

The second half saw Yarmouth come out with enthusiasm and they had a hat-trick of chances in one move.

Reed hustled hard to force a block from the keeper from a snap-shot which rebounded to Scott Woodcock.His effort was well blocked and the ball fell again to Woodcock, but his effort was well stopped by a goal-line clearance.

Again Yarmouth were made to rue their missed chance as the score turned to 4-1 as Sands headed in from a corner.

The Bloaters continued to dig in. Norman almost created another goal for Reed but the keeper saved at his feet. Mildenhall were creating further chances and both teams could have scored more goals.

Norman almost connected with a cross but the chance was snuffed out by good defending, and Jo Bell almost scored one of his trademark free-kicks but the effort was tipped over the bar. Mildenhall missed another guilt-edged chance before Norman fired in an acrobatic effort, which fizzed narrowly wide.

On 71 minutes manager Paul Tong made two changes, Ross Catchpole and Woodcock being replaced by young player George Barnden and the returning Ager, who made his long-awaited comeback after his serious injury suffered in 2009.

The substitutions worked as Yarmouth hit a post within a minute of the changes, Norman being unlucky not to get on the score sheet. With 10 minutes to go it was the other substitute, Barnden, who scored his first ever senior goal.Reed’s plucky first-time shot was saved but the ball fell kindly to Barnden’s path, and he made no mistake.

Tong was happy with his side and was full of praise for the player who undone his team. He (Sands), in my view, is one of the best strikers in this league at present. He’s showed his class with a Rooney-esque style overhead kick, is two-footed, has lots of pace and even scored with his head.”

He continued: “We could have folded after going 3-1 down after 25 minutes, but our young and inexperienced players showed their character, and even at 4-2 we had Gavin Norman hit a post and Jake Reed hit the side netting as we tried to reduce the deficit and get back into the game.”

Yarmouth v Mildenhall: Jessup, Page, Bell, Palmer, Duffy, Catchpole, Fell, Smith, Norman, Reed, Woodcock Subs: Spooner (Page 59), Ager (Catchpole 71), Barnden (Woodcock 71). Goals: Fell (6), Barnden (79). Bookings: Duffy, Palmer, Smith. Att: 64.

Tomorrow the first team follow up their Wednesday evening match against Woodbridge with a home game against FC Clacton, ko 3pm.

Last season Yarmouth managed to secure the First Division title on the final day, just pipping FC Clacton to the title. Last season’s match at the Wellesley against Clacton was a memorable affair, with Yarmouth coming back from 2-0 down to secure a point which kept their title challenge in their own hands in front of a 179-strong crowd.

The Reserves are also in action, travelling to Whitton United, ko 3pm. Their match follows their excellent 8-2 win away at Lowestoft Town on Tuesday evening, with goals from Tommy Gardiner (3), Charlie McAra (2), Toby Gorbould, Joe Bryanton and Lee Roscoe.

Ager continued his comeback with a 45-minute outing and the match was also notable for a goal from former Yarmouth favourite Stewart Roach for the Blues.

Sunday teams: Men’s pp; Ladies 3, wymondham 2 (a); U16 2, Lowestoft 2; U14 11, Halesworth 0.

Sunday’s fixtures: Ladies v Hethersett Athletic (a), U16 v Swindwell Juniors (h), U14 v Halesworth (a), U11 v Oulton Mariners (a).