Bloaters find better home form

Great Yarmouth Town 1, Newmarket Town 1

A DRAW was enough for Newmarket Town to confirm their Ridgeons Premier Division status for next season and for Yarmouth to stop the run of home defeats.

With eyes on whether Dominic Smith would be fit to start, it was his midfield partner Ross Catchpole who was dropped down to the bench through injury with Glen Spooner taking his place, writes Colin Jones.

Jake Jessup returned in goal and Gareth Palmer also returned, replacing the special guests of the previous week’s trip to Stanway, Matthew Hails and Craig Roberts respectively.

Yarmouth got an early lead through Smith. Luke Fell crossed the ball in from the right, the Newmarket defender failed to clear and Smith bundle the ball in.

Five minutes later and Gavin Norman was unlucky not to score, his first effort he was wrong footed as he struck his effort at goal and at the second attempt the effort was cleared off the line.

With 20 minutes gone, Norman had another effort where he was unlucky not to score, Jake Reed got a shot away which travelled across goal, Fell retrieved and crossed for Norman whose effort was saved from close range.

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The routine was reversed with half an hour played, Norman put the ball forward for Fell but his shot was cleared over the bar.

Fell had another opportunity with a free-kick before half-time, Reed won the free-kick with a battling run but Fell’s effort was drilled wide in the final chance of a half which Yarmouth had dominated but only had a solitary goal to show for their efforts.

Yarmouth had the first chance of the second half, Fell again from a run into the box but his effort was deflected over for a corner, five minutes later the outcome was exactly the same, this time Reed was fouled but advantage was played and Fell’s run into the box resulted in a similar shot and a similar deflection as before.

After an hour the tide had turned as Newmarket were finding themselves with the lions share of possession and began to create chances. Newmarket’s Bell profiting from a Palmer slip but he put his effort over.

Newmarket were piling on the pressure but Yarmouth managed to create a good chance through a counter attack, a headed clearance fell to Scott Woodcock who passed the ball forward to Reed who ran purposefully at goal, he crossed the ball for Fell but the winger’s effort was over the bar.

Two minutes after that and with five minutes to play Newmarket got the equaliser they had been threatening, Ford volleying past Jessup just inside the post after Adey Ager failed to clear with a header.

Almost immediately Yarmouth had a chance to restore their lead but Reed headed wide from substitute Johnny Miller’s cross. Newmarket almost had the final say as Jessup fumbled a ball and the ball headed toward the Yarmouth goal but the ball was cleared off the line to allow the scores to remain level.

Manager Paul Tong summed the game up, “we dominated the first 45 minutes, missing numerous chances and in the second half paid the price.”

Team: Jessup, Page, Bell, Palmer, Ager, Spooner, Fell, Smith, Norman (Miller 65), Reed, Woodcock. Subs not used: Catchpole, Clark. Goal: Smith. Bookings: Fell. Att 96

This Easter weekend sees a busy weekend for Yarmouth Town, with a trip to Brantham on Saturday. Brantham were promoted alongside Yarmouth last season and both sides are in similar positions in the table. Then on Easter Monday the side are at home against Norwich United (kick off 3pm) and will hope for a reverse of the 4-3 defeat at Plantation Park suffered back in February. United have already visited the Wellesley this season, winning convincingly 4-0 in the FA cup and being gunned down after extra time in the League Cup with a 5-3 win, so games between the two sides have provided plenty of goals and everyone will be hoping for another Easter bonanza of a match on Monday.

The Reserves completed their away fixtures for the season with a disappointing defeat away to mid-table Walsham-le-Willows. Once again chasing a 2-0 deficit at half-time proved too much although a miss in front of goal in the final minute could have rescued a point.

With Leiston having visited the Wellesley on April 20, the Reserves are again at home on Saturday to Stowmarket Town Res (3pm). Victory in both these matches will mean that a win in the final game on the April 30 will ensure second spot in the league.

Sunday teams results: Mens beat Hemsby 5-2 in knockout plate semi final, Ladies lost 3-1 at Aylsham Ladies, U14 defeated St Benets Wasps 7-2.

Sunday fixtures: Mens v Acle Wanderers (away), U14 v Kirkley and Pakefield (away).