Bloaters ruffle the Magpies’ feathers
Dereham Town 1, Great Yarmouth Town 2
The Bloaters recorded arguably their best result of the season with an away win against second-placed Dereham Town at Aldiss Park on Tuesday evening, writes Colin Jones.
It was second time lucky for Yarmouth, as the first time this fixture was attempted the match was called off midway through the first half due to fog.
Yarmouth started with the same team that faltered against lowly Felixstowe and Walton on Saturday but did boast a bench with the returning Glen Spooner and Eddie Short.
The home side created the better chances early in the game, Jake Jessup saving down well as early as the third minute and then Adey Ager failed to clear his lines but Gary Starling failed to capitalise with a shot over the bar.
Immediately after that Dereham’s Kenny Reeves produced a winding run inside the Yarmouth area, but his cross was gathered well by Jessup.
Dereham’s early pressure was rewarded on 20 minutes. A cross came in from the left and James Page deflected the ball into his own net to give the Magpies a deserved lead.
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The goal did not change the pattern of the game as, shortly after Dereham’s Olly Willis ran towards the Yarmouth defence and got his shot away, which was saved well by Jessup as it crept towards the inside of his near post.
In a rare Yarmouth attack Jake Reed ran into the area and went down, but instead of a penalty being given the referee deemed Reed to have dived and booked the young hotshot.
It wasn’t until the 37th minute that Yarmouth had their first meaningful shot at goal. A Jessup free-kick fell to Scott Woodcock, but the winger’s shot went into the side netting.
The second half saw a substitution for Yarmouth, Ager having to come off due to a knee injury and Glen Spooner being drafted into the heart of defence.
The team in pink created the better of the early chances this half. Dom Smith had a free header in the box but his effort was off target. Then Gavin Norman created a chance for himself after some mazy dribbling inside the box, but his effort drifted across goal and hit a post.
With 65 minutes gone Yarmouth were forced into another change as Luke Fell, also with a knock to his knee, was replaced by Johnny Miller.
Yarmouth didn’t all have it their own way as Jessup had to rush out to deny a Dereham chance. His presence was enough to put the striker off and the goal went out for a goal kick.
Yarmouth then got the equaliser they deserved. Woodcock laid the ball off with a neat touch to Reed who turned and ran at goal. His effort was low and on target, the keeper saved well but was unable to hold onto the shot and Smith was there to score from the rebound.
Dereham created a good chance just minutes after that goal but Jessup came out and punched the ball. Then as he tried to smother his mis-punch the referee blew up for a foul on the young shot stopper.
The pressure continued for Yarmouth and they had to defend three consecutive Dereham corners. They cleared their lines each time and the third corner was ushered out for a goal kick to ease the pressure.
Reed in recent weeks has had numerous free-kicks against him and many penalty appeals, most notably at Leiston and earlier in this match.
This time his perseverance was rewarded as he was felled inside the box with 87 minutes on the clock and a penalty was awarded. Up stepped Woodcock to convert the spot kick.
Instead of the expected onslaught from the home side it was Yarmouth who almost scored before the final whistle.
Norman put the ball forward to Woodcock whose pace left the Dereham defence exposed. He got his shot away but the keeper saved well but it made no difference as the three points were heading to the east Norfolk side.
Great Yarmouth Town: Jessup, Page, Bell, Palmer, Ager (Spooner 45), Catchpole, Fell (Miller 64), Smith, Norman, Reed, Woodcock. Subs not used: Barnden, Short.
The Reserves have no game this weekend after their disappointing defeat to Dereham, where a lacklustre display resulted in a 4-1 defeat.
They entertain Norwich United Reserves on Tuesday, April 5 at the Wellesley (kick-off 7.45pm).
With the result of their trip to Debenham unknown at time of going to press, a victory against the Planters will boost their title hopes.
Sunday teams’ results: Yarmouth Sunday beat Memphis Belton 4-1; the U16s won the NSYL Cup, defeating Burrage Centurions 2-1; the U14s beat Waveney Youth A 1-0 and the U11s beat St Benets Wasps B 9-0.
Sunday fixtures: Ladies’ v Coltishall Jaguars (away 1pm), Men’s v Camden Tavern (home), U14 v St Benets Wasps A (away), U11 v Halesworth (home).