Gorleston 2 Long Melford 1: Watts strikes late to earn Greens a welcome win
- Credit: Archant
Joel Watts warmed the Greens fans with a late winner on a cold day at Emerald Park.
Unusually Stewart Larter made no changes from the side that had let a three goal lead slip at Haverhill the week before but there was a welcome return for Ross Gilfedder, who took a place on the bench.
Straight from kick-off, Gorleston almost gifted the visitors a head start after allowing Nathan Rowe a clear run through the middle. He attempted to chip Peter Murphy but the keeper managed to fingertip the ball onto the bar and was then quick to react to block Will Howe’s follow-up, all inside the first 10 seconds.
Gorleston gradually grew into the game and took the lead midway through the first half from their first corner. Connor Ingram’s inswinger from the right was met by the head of Aarron Taylor who planted the ball firmly into the bottom corner.
Three minutes later Peter Lambert’s low cross was flicked goalwards by Watts but straight at the keeper. Lambert then came close to extending the lead after meeting Kyle Ingram’s pass but Melford’s 16-year-old keeper pulled off a good save.
The visitors started to dominate after the break, bossing the midfield, and it was no real surprise when they equalised just after the hour mark. Hassan Ally got the better of Kyle Ingram on the byline and fired the ball in towards the near post where Jacob Brown arrived first to tuck the ball home.
A fingertip save from Murphy kept the scores level and then Watts robbed a defender, setting up a shooting chance for Connor Ingram, but the effort was blocked.
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With five minutes left, Jamie Bradbury tried his luck from distance but the shot drifted wide and then, as the game entered the 90th minute, Will Wingfield seemed to have the freedom of Emerald Park as he skipped past a couple of challenges into the box but he shot straight at Murphy.
A minute later Gorleston netted the winner. Danny Camish held the ball up by the corner flag and slid it inside to substitute Gilfedder who fired the ball into the box and Watts timed his run perfectly to turn the ball into the goal.
Match sponsor Mick Payne awarded the Batemans man of the match to Isaac Burrage.
Gorleston: Murphy, Mackie, K Ingram, Goreham (McKay 77), Burrage, Taylor, Carinhas (Camish 77), Pinheiro (Gilfedder 71), Lambert, C Ingram, Watts.