Bloaters must lift spirits

GREAT Yarmouth Town managers Paul Tong and Kevin Cruickshank will be lifting their players' spirits before tomorrow's home Ridgeons League game with Long Melford (Wellesley, 3).

GREAT Yarmouth Town managers Paul Tong and Kevin Cruickshank will be lifting their players' spirits before tomorrow's home Ridgeons League game with Long Melford (Wellesley, 3).

The process started immediately after Tuesday's FA Cup exit in the replay with Wroxham when, although acknowledging mistakes were made, the pair were quick to praise the players for their efforts over the two games, writes Gerry Brown.

“The players were totally gutted after the Tuesday game,” said Cruickshank. “They know they could have done better, but good teams impose their games onto you. Wroxham did not create their goals but punished our poor play and mistakes, and we did not capitalise on theirs.

“However, Wroxham's midfield three impressed us with their movement and how quickly they moved the ball around the park without giving it away.

“We told the players to use this experience as a yardstick: they now know the level they will all have to attain to beat teams like Wroxham.

“We have a young squad (average age 20) who I am confident will get better and better as we progress through the season.

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“Jake Reed did well and is certainly one for the future, but Adam Sewell was our man of the match for Yarmouth.”

There has been some good news regarding the future of the grandstand at the Wellesley.

The council has posted notices at the ground which indicate that the structural repair works and upgrading of the internal facilities is set to start next January.

The reserves visit West Lynn SSC tomorrow (2.30) but then have a bit of a hiatus in their fixtures, with no game scheduled for September 13 and Norwich United unable to fulfil the fixture due the following Tuesday.

Their next game is then a Norfolk Junior Cup tie at Terrington St Clement on September 20. This will be followed by the first home game, the return with West Lynn SSC on Saturday 27 (2.30).

The Youth visit Wroxham Youth next Thursday in the first qualifying round of this season's FA Youth Cup (7.45).

Wroxham 3, Great Yarmouth 0

A fighting first half brought Yarmouth no reward but did see two goals for Wroxham, who scored a third right after the interval to effectively wrap up the tie.

Without Nick Crawley and Scott Woodcock, Yarmouth brought in promising youngster Jake Reed and Liam Bartley. Reed, making his first-ever start for the Bloaters' senior team, showed no nerves or fear and was a livewire up front.

He had a good chance as early as the fifth minute when Stewart Roach won a header from Robert Thornton in the Wroxham goal, but he put his shot wide of the far post.

Bartley had his first chance after 10 minutes with a great shot that came back off the keeper and rebounded off Gareth Palmer's legs for a goal-kick.

The home keeper was looking somewhat uncertain, as on Saturday, but all that changed when Wroxham took a 15th-minute lead as Paul Cook's header looped over the already committed Elliot Pride.

Events then took a turn similar to the first match when the Yachtsmen scored again after 24 minutes, Cook, again with a header, escaping his marker and doing the damage, this time from a corner kick.

Could Yarmouth come back again? They certainly had their chances: a Josh Carus header back to Thornton was missed by the keeper but Reed chasing in could not quite make it, though a corner was won; Roach almost cashed in on another defensive mistake three minutes later but Thornton just got down to smother the ball; and near the interval, Reed had the ball in the back of the Wroxham net after Thornton had dropped it but an offside decision cut short the youngster's celebrations.

Thereafter, things went downhill for the Bloaters. After the interval they were never the same team as the Wroxham midfield took a stranglehold on the game.

The third goal was a real killer coming so soon after the restart. The teams had not been back on the

field two minutes when Andy Key unlocked the Bloaters' defence with a corner that was put away by Steven Harley.

Key had a superb second half for Wroxham and Yarmouth had little in reply as the home team turned on the style.

Yarmouth put on Jose Vide but he was given little room to shine by a defence that had tightened up after their loose first half, though he did have perhaps the Bloaters' best shot of the half from a corner though even this went wide.

So, it's the Yachtsmen who go forward to a first round proper meeting with Grantham Town at a ground that has similarities to the Wellesley - it's council owned and has a running track around the pitch! But at least Yarmouth got to play three games in this year's FA Cup - that's two more than in any season since 2004.

Yarmouth - Elliot Pride, Adam Sewell, Olly Savage, Gareth Palmer (Toby Gorbould 60), Adey Ager, Alan Darby, Darren Lamb, Adam Sullivan (c), Stewart Roach, Jake Reed (Jose Vide 67) Liam Bartley (Mark Thompson 58). Unused subs: Fernando Vide, Michael Hilton. Referee - N Phillips (Ely). Attendance - 205.