Bloaters deserved more, says Tong

Great Yarmouth Town 2, Norwich United 3

Norwich United inflicted a third defeat of the season against Great Yarmouth Town and their second at The Wellesley this season.

The only change from Saturday’s victory at Brantham Athletic was that George Barnden was added to the squad and was named on the bench.

The first real chance came to the home side but Jake Reed’s effort was saved at the near post. But in the 14th minute Yarmouth were in front. A corner came in and Dominic Smith scored with a volley.

In the 23rd minute a cross from deep by James Page caused problems for Norwich keeper Nower, but the ball was cleared, and two minutes later Adey Ager just failed to connect from another Yarmouth corner.

In the 30th minute Jake Jessup did well with a save low down to deny Ross King and shortly after Hunter beat Jessup to the ball, but the keeper redeemed with a block to deny the chance.

These efforts were warnings and Norwich United equalised with 34 minutes on the clock, Jessup spilled the ball and Claydon was there to capitalise.

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Before half-time United produced some good play but Jessup saved and then Reed found himself one on one, but Nower was equal to it.

The first chance of the second half fell to Reed as Page’s ball forward caused panic in the Norwich United defence. The Yarmouth striker challenged between two defenders but Nower came out well to clear.

United took the lead as Yarmouth failed to clear a corner and a looping header put the ball back into the danger zone from where Claydon headed in his second.

That lead lasted five minutes as Reed deservedly equalised. Jessup cleared the ball forward after a good save and Dominic Smith collected after three defenders missed it. Smith passed out wide for Reed to side-foot home from the edge of the box.

From then on it was United who took the initiative. Jessup did well to intercept a threatening cross and the defence cleared, but United were turning the screw.

After 76 minutes Norwich United got the goal they were threatening. Again Jessup could feel he could have done better as he and a Yarmouth defender failed to communicate and Foster ghosted in to score.

Two minutes later it should have been 4-2, but somehow the effort went wide after a Norwich striker found space after a free-kick into the box.

Norwich United held on for a victory they probably deserved despite the plucky efforts that have become the hallmark of Yarmouth’s season.

Manager Paul Tong said: “I’m gutted for the players, they deserved more, deserved something out of the game for the effort and commitment shown.

“Shame we got punished for two or three basic mistakes. Not just goalkeeping errors, but players not tracking runners, not stopping the cross. I’m proud of the players, like I have been all year.

“It shows we must be doing something right when our younger players are being courted by clubs and the players are playing beyond their maturity.

“Let’s hope we can do well in our final ‘easy’ game to finish above both Clacton and Brantham. Both of which have retained their status alongside us.”

Great Yarmouth Town: Jessup, Page, Bell, Short, Ager, Catchpole, Fell (Steer 78), Smith, Miller, Reed, Woodcock. Subs not used: Clark. Barnden. Goals: Smith, Reed. Attendance: 71.