Dancing Skitmore secures Gorleston hockey victory

Gorleston 2 Ipswich 1

From the moment the whistle was blown Gorleston seemed to be on the back foot as Ipswich took hold of the game early on demonstrating their intent with some crisp passing and patient play in the centre of the park.

Gorleston enjoyed some patches of possession, with the bulk of success coming down the left flank from joint MoM Russ Crawford who held the ball up well and made a number of darting runs to ease the pressure on a diligent back line of Austin, Harlow, Vaudin and Macdonald.

Ipswich though were growing with confidence with every minute, and with a mounting number of shots on goal the deadlock was sure to be broken soon. Ipswich were unlucky not to open their account moments later when a scramble in the Gorleston D saw the ball fall to an Ipswich attacker who shot was narrowly deflected wide off keeper King’s borrowed stick.

Some neat play again from the Ipswich midfield saw a seasoned forward slotted through on goal, the ball was perfect, but the forward didn?t quite have the pace required to outfox the advancing Gorleston keeper who charged him down making a good save with his feet to deny the opening goal.

As the game approached the 20th minute Ipswich were awarded another short corner as the foot of a Gorleston player halted another potent attack. The resulting corner was blocked skilfully by the Gorleston keeper, who denied another advancing attacker seconds later from the rebound only to be thwarted by a seemingly impossible third shot from just inside the back line which squeezed in-between the defenders leg and the post.

Now trailing 1-0 Gorleston needed to react quickly and with questions being asked Gorleston answered positively from the restart with chances cropping up for a number of players from some creative attacking play. Notably new boys Saunders and Inkley put in a solid first half shift in the centre of the park filling in for Andrew Lilly.

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On 30 minutes Gorleston had their best chance of the half when Skitmore was played into the D by Crawford rounding a number of defenders and the keeper only to pull his shot wide. Gorleston pushed hard for the equaliser, but time escaped them and the visitors went into half time a goal to the good.

The second half began as the first ended with some fast paced end-to-end play from both teams. Gorleston kept plugging away at the Ipswich defence and were rewarded for their efforts on 45 minutes when a revitalised Skitmore danced his way into the D via the back line evading three defenders and slotting the ball into the goal past a bemused Ipswich keeper.

Now back in the game and with a new-found desire Gorleston grabbed the game with both hands and began to show their dominance with good link-up play from the midfield of Lilly, Pallant, Vaudin, Saunders and Inkley serving up a number of chances for forwards Hudson and Skitmore.

On 55 minutes the pressure paid off when some swift passing from left to right opened up space for joint MoM Peter Skitmore to dribble the ball at pace into the opposition D. At first it seemed he was to be shepherded harmlessly away from goal by the Ipswich defender, but seemingly out of nowhere Skitmore unleashed a vicious strike from a narrow angle to power the ball past an unsighted Ipswich keeper.

With Gorleston now leading 2-1 the emphasis switched to Ipswich to up their game and they duly obliged attacking aggressively and throwing numbers forward in search of an equaliser. As the game progressed into the latter stages the game slowed down with both teams taking it in turns to break on the counter.

With every minute though frustrations grew in the Ipswich camp visibly spilling over as agitated players began to challenge every decision made by the umpires. Gorleston however kept their heads and got on with the game in a mature and respectful display, which saw them see out an important and well-deserved 2-1 victory.

With a renewed confidence Gorleston will be going into next weeks Fixture against Norwich City III hungry to secure all three points and cement their place in the top half of the table.

Squad: B King (c); K Macdonald; M Vaudin; R Harlow; J Austin; M Vaudin; A Lilly; R Pallant; R Crawford; P Skitmore; N Hudson; A Saunders; D Inkley.