Bloaters on a great run

GREAT Yarmouth Town completed their ninth successive win in all competitions on Saturday at March, a new all-time record for the club. Then on Tuesday the record was extended with the win over Fakenham.

GREAT Yarmouth Town completed their ninth successive win in all competitions on Saturday at March, a new all-time record for the club. Then on Tuesday the record was extended with the win over Fakenham.

And another long-standing record is in sight - 18 matches undefeated in all competitions which goes back to 1964-65 - but the two games coming up with Wroxham will make that a very difficult task, writes Gerry Brown.

Meanwhile, manager Paul Tong has been paying tribute to the backroom team at the Wellesley: “While the lads are producing it on the pitch, a lot of thanks have got to go to those off the field,” he said this week.

“The players have been provided with track suits, T-shirts, etc and there's a great spirit within the club.

“We had a brilliant coach on Saturday, thanks to Ambassador Travel, and a great atmosphere on board with everybody together, first team and reserves.

“We have a new hard-working secretary and new committee. We've found some new gatemen and helpers, so it's good and it's what a football club is about.

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“There's a lot of work going on behind the scenes to make sure everything is right for the players.

“However there is one thing we are short of - a kit man! If anybody knows of anyone who would like to be involved on match days and help, it's a non-paying role, however the kit laundering will be paid for.

“But we need assistance to help put the kit out on match days, collecting up afterwards, etc, getting involved in the dressing room with Trevor, myself and the lads.”

Anyone who can offer their time for this vital job should ring Gerry on 01502 513669.

A young Reserves side went out of the Norfolk Junior Cup at West Lynn, losing 6-2 to the Anglian Combination team. The U18s drew 1-1 with Gorleston Youth.

Tomorrow, the Ridgeons First Division side host Whitton United who last week won 7-1 at Swaffham Town.

Yarmouth manager Tong is expecting a tough game: “They are on a bit of a high at the moment, but if we go into it with the same attitude as we have the past few games and believe in our ability and work hard - there's no substitute for the work ethic - there's no reason why we cannot keep our run going.”

The Reserves play the reverse fixture in Ipswich, then on Tuesday host Gorleston Reserves at the Wellesley, 7.45pm.

The U18s are at home to Dereham Town Youth on Wednesday, 7.45pm.

Great Yarmouth Town 6, Fakenham Town 1

YARMOUTH boss Paul Tong had his team problems before this First Division Knock Out Cup tie on Tuesday.

Blaine Lowthorpe replaced the unwell Michael Hilton in goal, while Gavin Norman was cup-tied and Craig Roberts serving a one-match suspension. Then barely half an hour into the game, Marcus Saunders' problem groin strain recurred and he had to go off.

Perhaps these factors contributed to a slow start by the Bloaters, but if ever there was a game of two halves, this was it. On a cold, damp and foggy night, the Ghosts haunted the Bloaters with a tantalising first-half performance that promised to throw some light into their so-far dark season.

Mark Betts gave Fakenham the lead after 26 minutes, heading in a centre from the left wing, and it was a deserved lead after the visitors showed more appetite for the game with some incisive passing, while the hosts looked sluggish.

Jake Betts should have increased the lead before Yarmouth were thrown a lifeline just seconds from half-time when Fernando Vide won the ball on the edge of the Fakenham box. He twisted and turned his way into a tight shooting position from where he somehow beat keeper Sean Cooper at his near post, a wonderful goal for his first-ever for the senior team.

The Bloaters tore into Fakenham from the restart and ran in a further five goals. Within five minutes Vide scored his second, beating Cooper on a tight angle, and in another two minutes it was 3-1 when Vide supplied Adam Sewell, who finished with a neat header.

Yarmouth substitute Liam Bartley scored the fourth with a thumping shot after 65 minutes. It was 30 minutes into the second half before Yarmouth 'keeper Lowthorpe even had a touch of the ball - and that was a back pass - as Yarmouth ran riot through a tattered Fakenham midfield.

Two goals came in the final two minutes from Dominic Smith and Jake Reed, and an excellent goal-line clearance in stoppage time stopped it being seven.

Manager Tong paid tribute to Fakenham's first half performance: “Fakenham did very, very well to be honest. They had a game plan, made it difficult for us and showed a lot more desire and commitment.

“I didn't think we got out of first gear in the first half; I did think there were two things missing from our game - that desire and the passing. We spoke about it at half-time and said just keep it simple. I also wanted them to play at a higher tempo which they then did. I felt we always had the quality if we played a higher tempo and credit to them they did.”

Yarmouth in the quarter-finals entertaind Halstead on December 7, a team they also scored six against in the home match previous to this one.

Yarmouth: B Lowthorpe, B Junior, O Savage, M Magee, A Sewell, M Saunders (J Bell 28), F Vide, D Smith, S Roach (L Bartley 62), J Reed, S Woodcock (M Thompson 62). Att: 41.