Bloaters impress

PUBLISHED: 10:47 01 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:31 03 July 2010

GREAT Yarmouth Town completed their fourth warm-up game with a narrow defeat last Saturday against Blue Square North Braintree Town, a team rated by some as the best Yarmouth have met this summer.

GREAT Yarmouth Town completed their fourth warm-up game with a narrow defeat last Saturday against Blue Square North Braintree Town, a team rated by some as the best Yarmouth have met this summer.

The Bloaters have yet to win one of their pre-season matches - so far all against teams from higher realms - but winning is not everything in these games and the managers and players will have learnt a few things about their capabilities from some testing encounters, writes Gerry Brown.

“The game was a good run-out for our squad in very hot conditions,” commented joint-manager Kevin Cruickshank.

“Both sides created chances, however Braintree scored just before the break when we were slow to react and they went ahead with a close-range header after a near-post flick-on.

“In the second half both sides created chances and Braintree probably had the better ones, but keeper Richard Kellett made a couple of excellent saves. It was a good all-round battling performance from everyone involved.”

Kellett was introduced as a teenager to the Bloaters back in 1997-98 by Paul Tong and was a great success, playing most of that season in the first team until tragic circumstances took him out of the game.

He has been back playing for home town club North Walsham recently but became the fourth Yarmouth keeper in the four games this summer, Michael Hilton and Elliott Pride having played against Clyde and King's Lynn respectively with Daniel Frost guesting against Lowestoft.

Yarmouth now turn their attentions to Anglian Combination opponents for their final two warm-up games. Last night (Thursday) the Bloaters were due to meet Cromer Town at Cabbell Park, while tomorrow they face Sheringham FC for the Michael Clarke Memorial Trophy, a now-annual contest in memory of a former player who died from cancer. The match kicks off at Sheringham's Splash Leisure Centre ground at 3pm.

Meanwhile the Reserves and Youth U18s have started their pre-season games with mixed results.

The Youths have beaten Norwich Union (first team) 3-1 with a hat-trick from Jake Reed, and then won 5-1 at Watton Juniors with the help of another hat-trick from Richard Brett, plus goals from Jack Maitland and Kieran Bartley.

Their third game was scheduled for last night against Norwich City Academy with whom the U18s had such an instructive game last summer.

The Reserves lost 5-3 at North Walsham Reserves after twice being in the lead. Because of the hot conditions the game was played in thirds of 30 minutes each.

Yarmouth led 3-2 after the first third and the teams were tied at 3-3 after the second. As the heat told, a young Yarmouth side wilted against the home side's experience and superior physical presence and Walsham's “man-mountain” of a substitute, after scoring earlier, completed a hat-trick in the final third. Yarmouth scorers were Charlie McAra, Robbie Oldham and Fernando Vide.

The Reserves' next game is scheduled for Tuesday, August 12 when they visit Caister (6.30pm).

The Ridgeons League season kicks off on Saturday, August 9 and it is hoped to print the Bloaters' fixture list in The Mercury next week.

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