Gorleston 0 Brantham Athletic 3: First home reverse of season for Greens

Aerial action from the match between Yarmouth and Felixstowe. Picture: Stan Baston.

Aerial action from the match between Yarmouth and Felixstowe. Picture: Stan Baston. - Credit: Photo:Stan Baston

Gorleston suffered their first home league defeat of the season against a stubborn Brantham on a frustrating night at Emerald Park.

Ricci Butler made just two changes from the Friday night win over Kirkley, with Jason Thompson and Jack Garrod missing out. Peter Oldham returned to midfield and Kyle Baker started up front.

Brantham had the better of the opening quarter of an hour forcing three corners, although Keegan Middleton was the first player to test a goalkeeper – his shot was straight at Jack Spurling.

Excellent play on the left wing from Kyle Ingram saw the ball go all the way across to Jacob Short for a chance of a shot but it screwed off his foot high, wide and not particularly handsome.

Gorleston were having a good spell, beginning to move the ball about well, but it was Brantham who opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with a quality goal. A cross from the right was met by Michael Brothers between defenders and he hit a first-time volley which gave Taurean Molloy no chance.

Gorleston responded well and put pressure on the Brantham defence. Connor Ingram almost got on to Joel Watts’ cross but a defender diverted the ball away then Luke Goreham drilled an effort goalwards which was belted away from in front of goal.

Kyle Baker then forced Spurling into a save and it seemed only a matter of time before the Greens would find a way through.

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However, nine minutes before the break, the ball went out for a throw, deep inside the Brantham half. It had clearly been put out by Brantham’s Simon Mann but the referee shrugged his shoulders and pointed for a Brantham throw.

The throw went forward and suddenly Sean Gunn found himself through one on one with Molloy and he made no mistake, slotting past the keeper.

By the half-time whistle the visitors had had two shots on target, both of which had found the net.

Jack Garrod came on at half-time but, within eight minutes of the restart, the game was more or less sealed for Brantham.

A free-kick in their own half was hopefully punted forward and didn’t look like it was going to cause any danger.

However, Short headed it back towards Molloy’s goal but the keeper had already come to collect the ball so all he could do was watch as it rolled into the net.

Gorleston did finally start to play with a bit of pace and apply some pressure.

Garrod had a thumping drive well saved for a corner. This led to a series of corners, with Spurling saving twice more and then a defender scrambling the ball away.

Short was replaced by Isaac Burrage and the call from the bench was to play four up front.

But other than a George Yusuff header after 68 minutes, the Greens could not find a way through the stubborn, determined defence. Every time it seemed as though they would find a way through, a Brantham defender arrived to close the door.

Gorleston will know they need to raise their game a couple of levels if they are to get anything from the next two matches, away at FC Clacton then Mildenhall. After those games they will have 10 to go and will then know if they are in with a chance of exceeding the season’s expectations by even more than they already have.

Match sponsors were the Lauren Lou Cancer Charity and they awarded the Batemans man of the match to Kyle Baker.

Gorleston: Taurean Molloy, Jacob Short, Kyle Ingram, Joel Watts, George Yusuff, Aaron Taylor, Luke Goreham, Peter Oldham (c), Kyle Baker, Connor Ingram, Keegan Middleton. Bookings: K Ingram 83, Baker 90.

Brantham Athletic: Jack Spurling, Simon Mann, Jack Smith, Sam Cole (Ben Newson 79), Adam Bloss, Jack Sibbons (c), Danny Garrad (Oliver Mann 62), Ed Nobbs, Michael Brothers, Sean Bartlett (James Gregory 69), Sean Gunn. Goals: Brothers 23, Gunn 36, 53og

Attendance: 90

Ref: Darin Geary