Gorleston drop points in title race with 1-0 away defeat

Joel Watts hits a shot off target for Gorleston

Joel Watts hits a shot off target for Gorleston - Credit: David Hardy

A lacklustre performance at struggling Long Melford saw Gorleston slip to a second defeat in their last three games.

Connor Ingram was making his 200th appearance for Gorleston.

Gorleston began with plenty of possession but didn't muster a shot until the tenth minute when Christy Finch's effort was well wide.

Five minutes later, at the other end, Hassan Ally got in behind but also shot wide.

Jake Jessup was the first keeper called to make a save when he parried away Jamie Griffiths effort then Ally saw a shot blocked as Long Melford grew in confidence.

Connor Ingram broke from a Melford corner. His effort past the keeper from a narrow angle was cleared away at the near post.

Sam Knock saw his header headed off the line then Finch's low shot from distance was turned around the post by keeper Matt Walker.

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Gorleston still had the majority of possession in the second half but found it difficult to break through the Melford defences, with the hosts working hard to get men behind the ball and get blocks in.

A Finch free kick from 25 yards found the keeper's arms before a nice one touch move from Melford put Ally through but there was no end product.

Connor Deeks came closest to breaking the deadlock when he diverted a cross a foot past his own post.

Finch saw another low drive pushed wide by the keeper before Gorleston felt they should have had a penalty when Ross Gilfedder's low cross into the box bounced up off a sliding defender onto his raised arm, which sent the ball back to his keepers arms, but the referee ignored the appeals.

Two minutes later came the decisive moment when Griffiths collected the ball midway inside the Gorleston half, turned and hit an unstoppable shot from 25 yards.

The Greens piled on late pressure but never looked like finding a way through for an equaliser.

With Wroxham drawing, the dropped points, which left Gorleston three points behind Mildenhall, have put a large dent it any title hopes.

On Saturday the Greens travel to Thetford and on Tuesday night they travel to Fakenham Town in the Norfolk Senior Cup quarter final.