Nightmare start to the new Thurlow Nunn League season for Gorleston

A block keeps Sean Perfect out at close range

A block keeps Sean Perfect out at close range - Credit: Archant

Gorleston suffered a crushing 8-0 defeat on Tuesday night at the hands of a strong Norwich United side who look like they will be challenging at the top of the table this season.

There were two changes from the narrow defeat at Ely. Brady Philpott and Matty Brown were missing, with Luke Goreham and Ross Gilfedder starting.

The opening quarter was fairly even, with both teams having a couple of sighters, before the hosts opened the scoring in the 24th minute. A pull back from the right evaded keeper and defender and found Liam Jackson to turn in from five yards, with more than a suspicion of handball.

Three minutes later they doubled their lead. Finlay Barnes cut in from the right onto his left foot too easily and unleashed a great shot into the top corner.

Connor Milligan then kept his side in the game with a couple of good saves before Connor Ingram latched on to Ross Gilfedder's lay-off but could only shoot wide.

Five minutes before the break the match was virtually over. Ben Fowkes was allowed far too much space to turn in the box and he slotted across the keeper into the far corner. There was still time before the break for it to get worse. A disputed free-kick was awarded on the left, just outside the box. Danny Beaumont whipped the ball in where it appeared to be heading into Milligan's arms until a defender took a swing at it and diverted it into the net.

Five minutes into the second half Gorleston's defences were breached far too easily on the left, with Fowkes a free man on their right to pick up the cross and tuck into the net.

Most Read

Two minutes after that it was six as United pulled the ball back from the byline for a simple tap in for Fowkes.

Joel Watts and Gilfedder both had efforts saved before the Planters made it seven in the 64th minute when Jackson was given the freedom of the Gorleston penalty area to plant a header past Milligan.

The Greens managed to go 20 minutes without conceding again until the 85th minute when Jackson ran through the middle, rounded Milligan and tapped into the net.

This was the Greens' heaviest defeat for three years since they lost 8-0 to Peterborough Sports in the FA Cup. Ironically, that was on August 6 too. But it was five goals short of their worst ever defeat back in the 1940s.

Gorleston: Milligan, Roots, Goreham (Ellis 54), Cantwell, Burrage, Yusuff, K Ingram (c), Sanders (McKay 68), Gilfedder, C Ingram, Perfect (Watts 46). Attendance: 156.

Gorleston 1 Ely City 2

It wasn't a good start to the season result wise, but the Greens' performance on Saturday provided plenty of positives.

Just one player in the Gorleston starting line-up had started the final game of last season, Brady Philpott, while one other, Mitch McKay, was on the bench.

Before kick-off, a minute's silence was observed for supporters Mick Woodcock and Ernie Winsor, who both passed away recently.

Kick-off had been delayed for 20 minutes due to Ely being caught in traffic hold-ups but the visitors were soon into their stride. After just five minutes Matthew Simpson found himself unmarked in the middle of the six-yard box but Connor Milligan reacted superbly to tip the header over the bar.

There was another let-off for Gorleston in the 26th minute. A corner was nodded goalwards and clawed away from the line by Milligan. The ball looked to have gone in and the assistant flagged, but not to signal a goal. He had spotted that the ball had been deflected goalwards by the arm of Ash Walter.

It was only a temporary reprieve however. Five minutes later, Isaac Burrage trod on the ball on the edge of his box and Steve Holder pounced and calmly finished to put his side in front.

Skipper Kyle Ingram saw his dipping shot from 25 yards smack against the post before Gorleston restored parity. A cross bounced too high for Sean Perfect but the ball rose up onto the arm of a covering defender, which was by the side of his body. He may even have been outside the box but the referee pointed to the spot. Gorleston had missed their previous three penalties but this time Connor Ingram made no mistake.

The Greens began the second half strongly but on the hour Ely regained their lead. A long throw into the box was flicked on at the near post and Adam Capel reacted to nod the ball home.

Perfect latched on to a Lee Roots pull back but his shot was blocked by Tommy Williams and Matty Brown following in saw his shot blocked.

A late header from Perfect found the hands of the keeper before McKay, who had come on as a late sub, got himself into trouble after the final whistle and was shown a red card.

Gorleston: Milligan, Roots, Philpott, Burrage, Yusuff, Brown, K Ingram (c), Cantwell (McKay 86), C Ingram, Sanders (Gilfedder 66), Perfect.

Ref: Oliver Morris-Sanders. Attendance: 108.