Gorleston end leaders’ unbeaten record

Gorlestons Scott Manning (left) in action against Hadleigh. Photo: DAVID HARDY

Gorlestons Scott Manning (left) in action against Hadleigh. Photo: DAVID HARDY - Credit: Archant

Gorleston 3 Hadleigh Utd 0

A resounding win for Gorleston as they inflicted league leaders Hadleigh’s first defeat of the season.

The Greens made two changes from the side that had drawn at Haverhill.

Joe Bell picked up an injury in that game so was replaced by Bradley Hough. Luke Goreham, who started at Haverhill, has now defected to Great Yarmouth. His place was taken by Josh Armes with Gorleston changing their shape to try to counter the reigning champions’ attack.

It was an open start to the game with both sides attacking with pace but it was the Greens who came closest to scoring.

A determined run from Scott Manning on the left saw him go from deep to the byline, where his low shot hit the side netting.

Six minutes later a nice one-two on the edge of the box gave Keegan Middleton a shooting opportunity but he put it wide of the far post.

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Middleton then led the charge as Gorleston broke from a Hadleigh corner. He cut inside the keeper and drilled in a low shot but a defender got back to clear.

The visitors’ one real chance of the half came in the 14th minute when Duane Wright, who scored five against Diss last week, pounced on a clearance and drilled in a low shot tbut Liam Hembling threw himself low to his right to tip the ball around the post.

Chris Sandford, making his 200th Gorleston appearance, pounced on a defensive slip but couldn’t mark the occasion with a goal.

The Greens took the lead in the 27th minute. Ally McKenna broke and played Hough in on the right. He rounded the keeper and drilled low into the goal.

If Gorleston fans were surprised at taking the lead they were sent to dreamland three minutes later.

A mix-up in the Hadleigh defence allowed Middleton to pick up the loose ball and play it across to McKenna who tucked it in. The goal means Super Ally has now moved ahead of the great Sailor Brown in the Gorleston goalscoring charts.

Eight minutes into the second period another slip in the visitors defence gifted Peter Lambert a chance but his shot was saved.

Four minutes later Middleton lifted the ball goalwards over the advancing keeper but a defender covered.

As the rain became heavier the Greens were soaking up the pressure and grabbing every opportunity to take the pace out of Hadleigh’s game, although they did appear in danger of sinking too deep at times.

The visitors should have got back into the game in the 65th minute when Kris Rose was given a free header eight yards out from a corner, but he nodded it straight to Hembling.

Two minutes later an audacious Middleton free kick five yards inside the Hadleigh half almost caught keeper Ben Nower off his line.

The 69th minute almost brought Gorleston’s third when another Manning burst on the left ended with him hitting a low, hard drive.

McKenna then created a clear shooting opportunity for Hough but, rather than hitting it first time, he cut inside onto his left side where he was then swamped by defenders.

However, two minutes later an almost carbon copy break saw McKenna once again feed Hough on the right and, this time, he struck the ball past the keeper into the net.

Sandford had a late chance but again shot over as the Greens gained their first clean sheet of the season.

The match sponsors’ man of the match was Scott Manning.

In 11 league matches the Greens have played nine of the top 12, so are very satisfied with their position.