Gorleston battle for points

Gorleston 1, Whitton United 0DESPITE taking the earliest lead possible Gorleston were forced to battle and hold on for the three points, writes David Hardy.

Gorleston 1, Whitton United 0

DESPITE taking the earliest lead possible Gorleston were forced to battle and hold on for the three points, writes David Hardy.

With their very first attack the Greens opened the scoring, officially timed at 22 seconds. The ball was fed into Liam Bartley's feet, he laid it off to Peter Lambert who threaded a nice ball between defenders for Regan Harman to run on to and side-foot past the keeper. This was virtually the only time Gorleston played the ball into the striker's feet all game.

After 16 minutes Lambert latched on to a Bartley flick and lifted the ball over the outrushing keeper. But, the ball bounced awkwardly just before the line which caused it to divert onto the post.

Anybody who thought this would be a walk in the Emerald Park for the Greens were in for a surprise as Whitton got into the game. Josh Brown fired a shot over and then Elliot Pride had to be quick off his line to thwart Jerrell Layne. Four minutes before half-time Pride pulled off a great save from a Luke Reid close-range header following a free-kick.

The second half began with Bartley bearing down on goal after just 45 seconds. He tried to round the keeper, then couldn't get the ball into position and by the time he did shoot the keeper was back to save.

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On the hour Adam Thurtle got in the way of a Layne effort as Whitton were dominant. Manager Richard Daniels tried to shore up the midfield by taking off striker Bartley and putting Robbie Oldham into centre midfield and then replacing the attack-minded wide men Harman and Gary Williams with the more defensive Luke Goreham and Jacob Short, but still the tide flowed mostly towards Elliot Pride.

Whitton played the better football with Gorleston not able to keep possession at all, however Pride didn't have any shot of note to save in the second half.

A late Whitton free kick was blocked by the wall and the Green's defence, the third meanest in the league, held on throughout almost eight minutes of time added on in the hunt for fourth place.

Team: Elliot Pride, Thomas Daniels, Ryan Bloomfield, Aaron Huggins-Bowers, Adam Thurtle, Eddie Thompson, Chris Sandford, Liam Bartley (Robbie Oldham 62), Peter Lambert, Regan Harman (Luke Goreham 66), Gary Williams (Jacob Short 72).