Gorleston below Woodbridge in the Pecking order
Gorleston 1 Woodbridge Town 2
Gorleston’s first league game of 2012 ended in a disappointing defeat in front of 134 spectators – the highest Ridgeons League attendance of the day.
The Greens made just one change from the side that had beaten Diss in the Norfolk Senior Cup with Liam Harvey-Cooper returning from suspension to replace the unavailable Gary Williams.
Gorleston had the ball in the net within the first 20 seconds after Christy Finch finished well following a crossfield pass but the linesman flagged for offside, writes DAVID HARDY.
Finch then had a 13th-minute shot from just inside the box which was pushed over the bar by Woodpeckers keeper Tom Sills.
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Three minutes later it was Elliot Pride’s turn to push a Paul Berry shot round the post. From the resulting corner the ball was diverted goalwards but skimmed off the top of the crossbar.
Woodbridge opened the scoring midway through the half when they broke following a Gorleston free kick. Tom Daniels slipped as he chased Berry down the wing, allowing him time to pick out Tom Trevivian on the edge of the box who fired the ball home.
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Gorleston responded with Harvey-Cooper shooting a Reece Hunn free kick over and then McKenna squaring a ball across the face of goal but nobody was able to get the final touch.
Ben Seaman skipped easily past two Gorleston challenges and picked out Paul Hart whose shot looked destined for the goal until Pride got across to turn it wide.
Four minutes later Daniels bombed forward and cut into the box on his right foot. He attempted to curl the ball into the top corner but Sills reached it to tip it over.
The Greens were playing too many high balls into the wind that was predominantly blowing into their faces although one almost set Finch in on goal just before half time only for the linesman to once again flag him offside even though he had clearly run from behind a defender.
Eleven minutes into the second half Woodbridge doubled their advantage when a Trevivian shot looked to be going wide until it struck Kyle Howell on the back, causing it to loop up over Pride and into the far corner of the goal.
Woodbridge were showing Gorleston how they should have played into the wind, keeping the ball on the ground, but the Greens pulled a goal back on 59 minutes.
A long ball forward was flicked into the path of Finch by McKenna’s head. Finch hit it well from 20 yards out giving the keeper no chance.
Four minutes later McKenna should have equalised when he was found five yards out.
However, hitting it as he fell, he couldn’t quite lift it over the keeper who made the save.
Woodbridge were reduced to 10 men after 73 minutes when Hart received a second yellow card but the Woodpeckers were still keeping the ball well and causing the Greens problems.
Finch saw his cross palmed away by Sills just as sub Mitch Forbes looked like he would pull the trigger and then McKenna nodded the ball down to Chris Sandford but he shot over. Jack Garrod, who had also come on as a sub, weaved his way into the box and crossed along the face of goal but no Gorleston player was close enough to get the touch that would have been the equaliser.
Gorleston: Elliot Pride, Kyle Howell, Thomas Daniels (Mitch Forbes 77), Andy Howell, Reece Hunn, Eddie Thompson, Chris Sandford, Liam Harvey-Cooper (Jack Garrod 83), Ally McKenna, Christy Finch, Steve Taylor (Adam Mills 69)
Goal: Finch 59
Woodbridge: Tom Sills, Lewis Pemberton, Connor Cranmer, Tom Trevivian, Mark Roper, Craig Stuart (Kelsey Trotter 72), Ryan Stafford, Aaron Churchyard, Paul Hart, Ben Seaman, Paul Berry
Goals: Trevivian 22, 56
Bookings: Pemberton 49, Hart 51 73.
Tomorrow Gorleston travel to relegation battlers Wivenhoe.