Bloaters facing tough league test

GREAT Yarmouth Town's opponents at the Wellesley tomorrow, Brantham Athletic, currently occupy fourth place in the league, just one place behind Yarmouth.

GREAT Yarmouth Town's opponents at the Wellesley tomorrow, Brantham Athletic, currently occupy fourth place in the league, just one place behind Yarmouth.

With both teams only losing one match in the league this season the match is bound to be an exciting affair as the Bloaters aim to hold onto their 100 percent home record in the league, writes Gerry Brown.

All support is welcome with tickets priced at �4 for adults, �2 for concessions and under-16s accompanied by an adult being just �1. Kick-off is 3pm.

“This game is sure to be a real test of our side,” said manager Paul Tong. “Brantham have shown themselves to be a quality side and I have real respect for them. We will again be under strength with Alan Darby and Adey Ager still on the injured list, but Marcus Saunders returned last week and we do have some strength in depth this season.

“If everybody gives a good account of themselves we have a chance. It's games like this that allow you to judge yourself by the best, and our players are certainly capable.

“They've just got to keep working hard,” he added.

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Tong also said he has put in a seven-days notice for a striker who was previously with the club.

The success theme at the Wellesley is continued by the Reserves and the Youth.

The Reserves have won all their games so far and have scored 14 goals in the four games played. Last week they avoided the potential 'banana skin' of Newton Flotman in the Norfolk Junior Cup, winning 3-1 after going behind. Tomorrow they go to Brewers Green Lane to face Diss Town Reserves (3).

The U18s have progressed in the Ridgeons Youth Cup, beating holders Wroxham last Thursday. But they were sent tumbling out of the FA Youth Cup by Kirkley & Pakefield on Tuesday in the most dramatic circumstances.

They play Wroxham again next Wednesday but this time in the league and at the Wellesley (7.45), their first home game this season. All support is welcome and admission is �2 adults, �1 seniors, with accompanied children admitted free (otherwise �1).

The first team thank Brierley Holdings for sponsoring their new warm-up tops.

Swaffham Town 1, Great Yarmouth Town 2

The Bloaters recorded their fourth straight league win, their third away victory of the season, writes Colin Jones.

The team welcomed back experienced defender Marcus Saunders in their starting line-up, but the squad was stretched with long-term absentee and captain Adrian Ager out, along with Alan Darby, Liam Bartley and Scott Woodcock also unavailable. The reserves' Junior Cup match also called up other first team candidates such as Mark Thompson and Vida Formoso resulting in a squad which contained only three substitutes, including Joe Bell for his first call-up to the first team squad.

“It was a good all-round performance and a splendid result against an improving Swaffham side,” commented Bloaters' manager Paul Tong.

“With all our injury problems as well, Jo Bell came in for his first senior game and delivered some quality crosses on his debut. But when our players give their all, as they did today, we are capable of beating anybody in this division. The challenge now is to keep up this standard!”

Despite being camped in the Swaffham half for the vast majority of the first 45 minutes, Yarmouth were unable to find a breakthrough with the best chance falling to Martyn Magee.

The team defended well against a rare Swaffham attack and Stewart Roach played the ball through for Jake Reed to run onto. He outpaced the Swaffham defence to run directly at goal and then unselfishly cut the ball across to Magee but the battling midfielder scooped over from a few yards. Magee almost made amends minutes later when his free-kick sailed inches over.

The Bloaters went ahead with a goal from midfielder Dominic Smith in the 54th minute. In one of Olly Savage's hallmark forages forward the full back whipped in a cross. Roach was offside but allowed the ball to go past him as Smith ran on in behind him. With the Swaffham defence pausing to appeal for the offside, Smith slotted the ball past the keeper.

The Pedlars equalised from the penalty spot through Gavin Norman after Adam Sewell dived into a tackle inside the box, Yarmouth claiming he had got to the ball.

The winner came 12 minutes from time as defender Craig Roberts latched onto a fine Roach cross and nipped the ball past the Pedlars' keeper from two yards.

Yarmouth: M Hilton, B Junior (J Bell 54), O Savage, C Roberts, G Palmer (F Vide 75), M Saunders, D Smith, M Magee, S Roach (T Gorbould 88), J Reed, A Sewell.

The club is suspending its wastepaper operation for the time being but hopes to resume in a very short time.