Greens see hopes hit by Kirkley & Pakefield defeat
- Credit: David Hardy
Kirkley & Pakefield completed a double over Gorleston as the Greens slipped from the top of the table after a 2-0 defeat and Friday night football left Wroxham in the driving seat for the title.
Gorleston made three changes to the side that had beaten Mattishall the previous Saturday with Kyle Ingram, Connor Ingram and Robbie Sweeney starting in place of Alex Kounnas, Joel Watts and Panashe Mundawarara.
The hosts made a strong start but 10 free-kicks in the first 10 minutes did not bode well for a flowing game of football.
The game became a midfield battle with Kirkley looking the sharper and it took until 25 minutes before anybody had a shot, with Barber’s effort from just outside the box being blocked just inside the box.
The first save of the game was by Jake Jessup when he pushed away George’s long range effort after 32 minutes.
And 10 minutes later the Greens keeper was called into action again when Connor Deeks missed the ball and let Barber through but again Jessup was equal to it.
Gorleston’s only shot of the half came in injury time when Robbie Sweeney’s cross found its way to Connor Ingram 20 yards out but the effort went wide. The second half got off to the worse possible start for the Greens. A cross from the left was flapped at by Jessup as he and his defenders seemed to get in each others way in the area. The ball fell nicely to Lopez who buried it into the net.
But Gorleston were given a chance to get back in the game 10 minutes later as Connor Ingram was barged in the back as he tried to control the ball in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. Ingram picked himself up to take the kick but the keeper saved well down to his right.
With nine minutes remaining, Kirkley sealed the win as Steve Taylor misread the bounce of the ball allowing Barber to nip past him and slot past Jessup to make it two.
There was to be no miracle comeback, indeed the Greens first shot on target came in the second minute of stoppage time.
Gorleston will be looking to bounce back from last week’s disappointment on Saturday when Brantham Athletic visit Emerald Park for a 3pm kick-off.