Bloaters look at long-term picture
Great Yarmouth Town may have been unseated by Newmarket's Jockeys last Saturday but there is a long way to go to the finishing post.The Bloaters' first league game without scoring was a shock to the system but it would be a rare team that does nor suffer a hiccup or two during a season, writes Gerry Brown.
Great Yarmouth Town may have been unseated by Newmarket's Jockeys last Saturday but there is a long way to go to the finishing post.
The Bloaters' first league game without scoring was a shock to the system but it would be a rare team that does nor suffer a hiccup or two during a season, writes Gerry Brown.
As joint manager Paul Tong said last week: “We win together, we lose together. You're going to get ups and downs but its how you deal with them that's important.”
He and Kevin Cruickshank have taken it on the chin and are preparing for the next game as normal without fuss or panic.
That next game is Downham Town at home tomorrow (Wellesley, 3pm). Downham are three places off the foot of the Ridgeons Division One table with 11 points from 18 games. After three successive defeats they gained a creditable 2-2 draw at home to second-placed Hadleigh United last Saturday.
Yarmouth Reserves took their unbeaten run to nine games with a 3-1 win over West Lynn SSC.
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Darren Patterson took his personal tally of goals to 18 (in only 13 games) with another couple while Fernando Vide was also on target.
Tomorrow the Reserves are on cup duty when they visit Thetford Rovers, of the Anglian Combination Division Three, in the Cyril Ballyn Trophy (Junior Knockout Cup) ko 1.30pm.
The unbeaten youth team should have played a crunch match with North Walsham last night. Last week's cup game with Lowestoft was another to fall foul of the weather, now re-dated to Wednesday, January 15.
On Tuesday the U18s are at home to Wroxham (7.45pm) with the game brought forward a day to accommodate the Darren Huckerby evening in Legends on Wednesday (all tickets sold).
Newmarket Town 4, Great Yarmouth Town 0
Paul Tong's caution going into this match was well-advised as the “Jekyll and Hyde” Bloaters turned in arguably their worst performance of the season.
Certainly in terms of the score it was, as Yarmouth returned their first blank in the “goals for” column in league matches this season.
Explanations could be proffered. Yarmouth were without their two first-choice centre-backs, Gareth Palmer and Adey Ager, both suspended, which highlights Tong's concern about a lack of strength in depth. And the Jockeys put up an experienced team with several notable Ridgeons names in their defence. As Kevin Cruickshank remarked: “Saturday was men against boys”.
The Yarmouth younger element will, hopefully, have learned a few valuable lessons from this game.
Only captain Adam Sullivan, restored to the starting line-up, provided a buffer to some swift-passing movements, and Stewart Roach is going through a lean spell up front - he hasn't scored since his hat-trick at Long Melford on October 18.
All that said, Newmarket are the best Division One side Yarmouth have come up against this season and should go on to regain Premier status. Before this game, Tong had been saying that Yarmouth have not played anyone yet; well, they have now, and were found wanting, absentees or not.
“Free-kicks given away on edge of area proved costly and we did not take our chances, especially in the early part of the second half,” rued Cruickshank. “It was certainly a learning curve for everyone involved as Newmarket performed at the level we need to reach, but we are not a million miles away when we get a full turnout.”
The opening goal after 23 minutes was a simple one. A cross from the left and the tall Marcus Samuels lost his marker to rise at the far post and nod past Michael Hilton.
Hilton produced two very good blocks but the Bloaters' only efforts on goal were a couple of shots from Dominic Smith which went narrowly wide. Just before the break José Vide replaced Nino who had picked up a facial injury.
The second half was barely two minutes old when Newmarket doubled their lead through Jonathan Olive. The Bloaters had a good spell and keeper Greygoose dropped the ball under pressure from Roach.
New man David Hinton was not allowed to show the exciting form he displayed in his first game last week and was replaced by Jake Reed on the hour, the youngster prompting some speedy attacks, but Newmarket substitute Paul Shaw put the game beyond Yarmouth with the third goal after 61 minutes, another simple header from a cross.
Olly Savage and Newmarket right-winger Samuels enjoyed a good contest with honours just about even, Vide showed some nifty footwork but without a finished product, and Hilton made two more excellent saves. But the Bloaters had one more twist of fate to endure, from the penalty spot after Toby Gorbould was unluckily adjudged to be guilty of a handball. Samuels coolly picked his spot though Hilton did get a hand to it.
Yarmouth: Michael Hilton, Chris Squire, Olly Savage, Nino (José Vide 41), Toby Gorbould, Alan Darby, Dominic Smith, Adam Sullivan (c), Stewart Roach (Sam Watts 75), Scott Woodcock, David Hinton (Jake Reed 60). Unused subs: Adam Sewell, Elliot Pride.
Referee: Reg Barker (Mildenhall). Attendance: 70.