Bloaters hit by derby jinx
Great Yarmouth Town 0, Gorleston 1ALL the excitement of this keenly-anticipated derby was reserved for the closing minutes on Tuesday night. Lee Hunter scored from the penalty spot to again deny the Bloaters the home win that has eluded them now for 14 Wellesley encounters with the Greens.
Great Yarmouth Town 0, Gorleston 1
ALL the excitement of this keenly-anticipated derby was reserved for the closing minutes on Tuesday night. Lee Hunter scored from the penalty spot to again deny the Bloaters the home win that has eluded them now for 14 Wellesley encounters with the Greens.
It was two minutes into added time when a Gorleston corner was awarded. In the melee of players the ball struck Ollie Savage on the arm, and amid a protesting crowd of Yarmouth defenders referee Mark Potkins awarded the spot kick, which leading scorer Hunter had no trouble in putting away, writes Gerry Brown.
Savage was dismissed, but seconds later the final whistle brought an end to a mostly tedious derby that had 0-0 draw written all over it until those final moments.
“I didn't really see the incident clearly,” said Gorleston manager Jon White. “But they tell me the ball was already over the line when it hit Savage's arm. The ref could have just awarded the goal and kept the lad on, and we'd still have won 1-0.”
Yarmouth boss Paul Tong said he had no argument with the referee over the penalty: “Ollie admitted it was his fault and I said as much to the referee afterwards.”
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On his change of tactics, Tong said: “I gambled on breaking up the back four to try and force a win, as a draw was no good to either of us. But it didn't come off, we didn't have enough creativity.”
Admitting that his team are now unlikely to attain the third promotion spot, Tong added: “The show's over for us, but Gorleston can still make it. It could come down to us doing them a favour by beating Halstead on the final day!”
On his team's chances, White said they still had three hard games left: “If we get 77 points (from three wins) and don't go up it will be very harsh.” Last season, 64 points was enough for third-placed Whitton but the season before 77 points were indeed needed for Swaffham to go up as third team, both these from two games less.
It was like an “old boys” reunion on Tuesday, as these games often are, with White and Martyn Sinclair running the Gorleston team which included ex-Bloaters Elliot Pride, Steve Taylor, Kevin Howes, Luke Goreham, Regan Harman and Robbie Oldham though, strangely, few seem to make the opposite journey across the river and only Johnny Watt in the Yarmouth team is a former Green.
There was little of the fire associated with these matches in the past and the crowd were disappointed with the quality of the first half, which Gorleston edged.
Things livened up after the interval and Yarmouth immediately created three good chances with Sewell, Ager and Roach all involved.
Reed was heavily used and never stopped running, but Woodcock often wanted too much time and was hustled off the ball.
For Gorleston, Pride produced one blinding save and supporters are still wondering why he was allowed to go to Gorleston. Hunter looked off-colour except when presented with that last-gasp offering from the spot.
Yarmouth have not scored in their last three home games, and therein lies their major downfall - all the clubs around them in the league table have much higher goal counts.
Yarmouth: Hilton, Sewell, Savage, Palmer, Ager (c), Darby, Woodcock, Gorbould, Roach, Reed, Thompson. Subs: Watt, Squire (n/u), Bryanton (n/u), Bartley, Lawrence.
Gorleston: Pride, P Hunter, Howell, Bell, Thurtle, Thompson (c), Taylor, Lambert, L Hunter, Howes, Butler. Subs: Goreham, Ingram (n/u), Manning, Harman, Oldham (n/u).
Remaining Yarmouth fixtures - Tomorrow: 1st v Stowmarket (away 3pm, Ridgeons Division One); Monday: U18 v Wroxham (home 7.45pm, Ridgeons Youth Eastern); Wednesday: 1st v Saffron Walden (away 8pm, Ridgeons Division One1); Wednesday: U18 v Kirkley & Pakefield (away 7.45pm, Ridgeons Youth Eastern); Saturday, May 2: 1st v Halstead Town (home 3pm, Ridgeons Division One).
Tomorrow is the annual veterans' match against St Albans City. Spectators are welcome, admission free, ko 5.30pm.