Flying start for Yarmouth Town

Cornard United 0, Yarmouth Town 4THE Bloaters got off to a flyer with their first win at Cornard since joining them in Ridgeons Division One four years ago.

Cornard United 0, Yarmouth Town 4

THE Bloaters got off to a flyer with their first win at Cornard since joining them in Ridgeons Division One four years ago.

Nick Crawley's second-half hat-trick was only one of several pleasing features of a successful opening day of the season.

“It was a good all-round team performance with everyone playing their part on and off the pitch,” commented joint manager Kevin Cruickshank. “An excellent effort from everyone, and all the players' attitude was spot on.”

Despite their poor showing last season, Cornard were expected to put up a tough challenge having made several experienced signings, and the Yarmouth managers named as strong a side as they could with several regulars unavailable.

New signings Adey Ager (from Norwich United) and former Youth player Alan Darby formed the heart of the defence which also included another new man in Olly Savage.

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Scott Woodcock, back at the club where he started out as a youth player, was selected to provide support to the prolific strike force of Stewart Roach and Crawley. There was also a return to the fold for Darren Lamb, another former Wellesley youth.

Current youth striker Jake Reed, in good scoring form already in the U18 pre-season games, was named on the bench.

The first half was even and Yarmouth's tactic of pumping high balls into the box foundered on the head of Cornard captain Simon Hyde, formerly of AFC Sudbury and newly-signed from Whitton United.

For his pains, Hyde emerged in the second half with a bandage swathed around a head wound acquired in a first-half clash with Roach. At the other end, Elliot Pride, who got the nod over new-signing Michael Hilton for the keeper's spot, was in good form as were his co-defenders Darby and Ager.

Yarmouth were soon into their stride, with Darren Lamb having a shot cleared off the line in only the second minute, but Yarmouth discovered the key to winning this match - playing the ball on the ground - with their first goal.

Not for the first time, Olly Savage and Scott Woodcock combined neatly down the left, and when Woodcock crossed Roach at the near post stabbed the ball past keeper Darren Moyse in the 32nd minute. It was his 142nd goal in 215 appearances.

Yarmouth went straight on the attack after the half-time break and Woodcock brought Moyse to his knees to save before the second goal arrived after 50 minutes. Captain Adam Sullivan made a great interception in midfield and his run and pass to Crawley saw last season's scoring sensation open his account.

Sullivan played a true captain's role, leading and prompting from midfield, and with the number of chances being created another goal seemed inevitable. After some great pressure play, again by Sullivan, it arrived in the 79th minute. The opening was made by Woodcock as his ball through to Crawley put the ex-Caister man in a position to finish coolly past Moyse.

Crawley made it 4-0, completing his second hat-trick for the Bloaters, in the 88th minute. This time it was Lamb who made ground down the right and sent in the cross for another great finish.

All four goals resulted from teamwork, slick passing and pace from the wide men. Last season there were concerns about fitness as several points were surrendered in the closing minutes of games, but on this performance, this aspect looks to have been rectified.

“This gives Paul and me a platform to work from with all the players at the club,” said Cruickshank. “These players have now set out their

standards which they will not be allowed to drop below as we now have strength in depth within the club.

“We shall be looking to improve everyone individually and collectively and although fitness levels are good but there is still room for improvement.”

Paul Tong was also delighted with the performance and especially the result which gave him his first win ever as a manager at Cornard.

Yarmouth - 1 Elliot Pride, 2 Adam Sewell, 3 Olly Savage, 4 Dominic Smith, 5 Adey Ager, 6 Alan Darby, 7 Darren Lamb, 8 Adam Sullivan (c), 9 Stewart Roach (Liam Bartley 88), 10 Nick Crawley, 11 Scott Woodcock (Gareth Palmer 82). Unused Substitutes: 14 Toby Gorbould,, 16 Jake Reed, 17 Michael Hilton.

Referee - Julian Gibbons (Needham Market). Att 53.