Derby draw is a Town tonic

The battle to keep Yarmouth Town Football Club alive received a timely boost on the pitch when the Bloaters earned a morale-boosting Boxing Day draw with arch-rivals Gorleston – their first league point in seven games.

And beleaguered Town manager Mike Derbyshire admitted the 2-2 draw was a timely tonic for his troops.

“It doesn’t matter how many times you knock us down – we will still get back up again,” he declared.

Despite the dark clouds hanging over the Wellesley, where chairman Colin Jones has admitted the club faces a key New Year meeting to determine the club’s future, the game captured the imagination of supporters as 362 – the league’s best turn-out of the day – were attracted.

“We are very pleased to have got a point although we feel we could probably have had all three as it wasn’t until a couple of minutes into stoppage time that Gorleston equalised,”said Derbyshire, who managed to conjure up four new signings for the match – days after the Bloaters had been unable to field a team for the trip to Wisbech – a failure that Derbyshire himself had branded a “disgrace.”

Goalkeeper Ben Cudden, making his debut after signing from Hempnall, kept the Greens at bay during a one-sided first half, narrowly winning Derbyshire’s man of the match vote ahead of midfielder Ollie McCarthy, who gave an outstanding captain’s display after stepping up from the Reserves. Former Acle player Regan Harman, at left back, and substitutes Phil Watkins (central midfielder) and Russell Platten (a striker from Stalham) were the other new recruits as Derbyshire continued a rebuilding mission which has been continually undermined by a steady stream of player departures and the axing of the budget since he took the helm in September after leaving Gorleston. Gorleston joint manager Richard Daniels said: “We should have been four or five goals up at half time but we weren’t and we then played into Yarmouth’s hands.

“In the second half Mike rallied his troops and I think Yarmouth shaded it. People will say 2-2 was a fair result – I don’t necessarily agree with that, but Yarmouth on their second half performance deserved something.”

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Daniels watched the game with supporters after serving the last game in a four-match touchline ban, arising from comments made during a heated argument at a youth team game. He is set to return to the dug-out with joint manager Stu Larter for the Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-final at Diss on January 7.

Tomorrow Yarmouth entertain Woodbridge at the Wellesley and on Monday they travel to play Paul Tong’s Kirkley and Pakefield.