Gorleston’s unbeaten run ended after late defensive mix-up

Gorleston's Owen French stops an attack, watched by Harley Clements. Picture: David Hardy

Gorleston's Owen French stops an attack, watched by Harley Clements. Picture: David Hardy - Credit: Archant

Gorleston’s unbeaten start to 2018 ended after a defensive mix-up gifted their opponents an injury time winner.

There were three changes from the draw at Long Melford with Peter Lambert and Nathan Russell missing and Jack Cottingham dropping to the bench. In came Isaac Burrage, Elliott Hannant and Ross Gilfedder.

An early Walden chance went begging before the hosts took the lead in the 15th minute. A long throw in to the box was flicked on and met by Oliver Emsden arriving unchecked to plant a diving header back past Scott Foreman.

The Greens came close to equalising in the 34th minute when a good ball sent Sean Perfect through. He dinked the ball over the onrushing keeper but the ball drifted a foot wide.

Within seven minutes of the restart Gorleston had drawn level. As Perfect weaved his way past some challenges, Gilfedder was tripped in the box and Joel Watts sent O’Sullivan the wrong way from the spot for his 45th Gorleston goal.

Watts later had his foot kicked in the box and went down as he chased a ball, with the defender nowhere near the ball, but the referee wasn’t interested in awarding the away team a second penalty.

After 76 minutes O’Sullivan parried a low Watts shot back into the middle where Gilfedder was following up but his effort was blocked by the prone keeper.

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Walden piled on the pressure as the game approached its final throes with the ball going into the box at every opportunity but Gorleston were defending strongly.

As the game entered it’s last minute the Greens had a chance to get all three points when Jackson Ramm launched a free kick towards the box but it didn’t get as far as the big men and was easily headed clear and thumped deep into the Gorleston half. Keeper Foreman decided to race from his penalty area to clear but neither he or Ramm were able to deal with it and the ball ran between them into the path of Portman, allowing him to dribble the ball into the open net.

Even after that the Greens could have equalised but, on the stretch, Jack Garrod couldn’t connect as the ball came in.

Gorleston: Foreman, Ramm, Clements, Burrage, Shade, French, Perfect, Hannant (Cottingham 90+2), Gilfedder (Garrod 87), McKay (Fatadjo 81), Joel Watts. Attendance: 224.