Bloaters finding feet in top flight

Wroxham 2, Great Yarmouth Town 3Yarmouth fell behind to an early goal Tuesday night but could then have been 3-1 ahead by the break had they not spurned gilt-edged chances.

Wroxham 2, Great Yarmouth Town 3

Yarmouth fell behind to an early goal Tuesday night but could then have been 3-1 ahead by the break had they not spurned gilt-edged chances.

Manager Paul Tong made two changes from the side beaten in the FA Cup on Saturday, giving an immediate start to former striker Kevin Howes, newly re-signed from Gorleston on Monday, and replacing Richard Durrant with Gareth Palmer.

But it was the home side that made an instant impression, scoring in the second minute through captain Graham Challen who was given a free header at a corner.

The first of the Bloaters' misses came soon after in the seventh minute when Luke Fell hit a post following good work by Gavin Norman. Wroxham's Challen was denied another headed goal by an excellent Hilton save.

Challen was forced off through injury after the half-hour, but the Bloaters still couldn't find the net.

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Yarmouth got back on level terms just four minutes after the resumption. Fell went to ground in the home area and up stepped Howes to thump the ball from the spot. Howie produced a good block but was unable to prevent Howes from converting the loose ball.

Yarmouth's pace and teamwork saw them gradually get on top and they finally, and deservedly, took the lead when Roberts converted an Olly Savage cross in the 73rd minute.

Four minutes later that lead was extended when Reed headed home a Savage corner, and although there were some nerve-jangling moments after Wroxham made it 3-2 in the 88th minute with Alain Bruel's free-kick going straight in, Yarmouth held on for five added minutes to complete their first competitive victory over the Yachtsmen for eight years.

Tong was naturally pleased with his new acquisition's contribution: “Howesy's come in, and though he's not a prolific scorer like Roach, what a leader he proved. He was inspirational.”

Tong was a bit concerned with the opening goal: “We gave a silly goal away after giving three away in 15 minutes on Saturday. But the lads showed character, dug in and created three or four chances. Wroxham are not at full strength yet but I take nothing away from the lads, they fully deserved the victory.

“They worked for each other, they played for each other and, as we said in the dressing room before the game, 'we win together, we lose together'.”

Tong said the team's successes reflect credit on everyone involved at the club: “Off the field makes it right on the field. My job's on the field and today I got it right - Saturday I got it wrong! But credit to all of the players, they deserved the victory and nobody can deny them


“We will concede because they're young and they're na�ve and it will be a learning curve, but they're learning all the time. We could have scored more, but while they're creating chances that's fine.”

Yarmouth - M Hilton, J King, O Savage, C Roberts, G Palmer, R Catchpole, K Howes, D Smith, G Norman, J Reed, L Fell. Subs: R Durrant, J Bell (for Fell 90), F Vide (for Howes 80), M Magee. Att 126.

Great Yarmouth Town 0, Norwich United 4

Two Norwich United penalties in the first ten minutes virtually killed this FC Cup tie game stone dead, and a third goal for the Planters within another five minutes made sure.

Lee Hunter scored from the spot as first Justin Fox went over in the box in the fifth minute, and then a bit of shirt-tugging took place on the edge of the area as the Yarmouth defence was caught under-manned.

Andrew Claydon used his skill to score from a narrow angle for the third after only a quarter-of-an-hour, and although Yarmouth fought back well, creating numerous chances, the Bloaters were right out of luck in front of goal.

Jake Reed, Dominic Smith and Gavin Norman were frustrated in front of goal and keeper Nower needed all his experience to keep Yarmouth out.

The Yarmouth misfortunes continued second half when Hayton was stretchered off having damaged his knee in falling.

When the Bloaters did finally find the net in the 81st minute through Dominic Smith after great footwork by Vide, offside choked the home cheers.

United again found the net when Claydon posted his second goal, a header at the back post, to rub salt into the wound five minutes from the end.

“We couldn't buy a goal,” said Bloaters' boss Paul Tong. “We showed a bit of naivety for the first penalty after a short corner when Foxey used his skill and tripped himself, and then I thought we defended badly for the second and third goals.

“We then created several chances but didn't put them away; it could have been 3-3 at half-time. The boys showed some character second half but overall we got punished for our mistakes.

“To be fair, United are in form and they're a quality side - the plus is that we have the opportunity to play them twice again!”

United manager Paul Chick said: “Yarmouth are a very difficult side to beat here. They are a very spirited young side and I'm sure they will enjoy a good season, they've got great enthusiasm for the game.”

Yarmouth - M Hilton, J King, O Savage, C Roberts, R Durrant, R Catchpole, F Vide, D Smith, G Norman, J Reed, L Fell. Subs: A Hayton (for Fell 46), J Bell (for Savage 68), M Magee, G Palmer (for Catchpole 46), J Jessup. Att 120.

Kirkley & Pakefield 2, Great Yarmouth Town 0

The Bloaters played the best football seen on the night, as acknowledged by even most home supporters, but were undone by a penalty, rightly awarded for a foul by Craig Roberts after 55 minutes.

Darren Cockrill put the spot kick away after taking just a stride to the ball, though Michael Hilton, back from holiday, got a hand to it.

Kirkley then went on to notch a second through Ian Dawson, but apart from the goals created only one or two other real chances - whereas Yarmouth over-ran the home side in build-play and chances but could not find the finishing touch.

Richard Durrant, on his return to a former club, had a magnificent game in the Yarmouth defence alongside captain for the night Roberts.

Olly McCarthy made his club competitive debut, going on for the final quarter-hour.

Despite the result, Paul Tong said he was very proud of his players: “They played for each other, they worked for each other but we just didn't put our chances away, and at this level you get punished.

“We gave them a game, and a few scares and I'm so proud of the boys. Hopefully we'll learn from it along the way. I think we'll play a lot worse and win.”

Yarmouth - M Hilton, J King, O Savage, C Roberts, R Durrant, R Catchpole, J Vide, D Smith, G Norman, J Reed, L Fell. Subs: J Bell (for Vide 73), A Hayton (for Fell 70), E Short, O McCarthy (for Catchpole 76), J Jessup. Att 220.