Gorleston get a promotion boost

Gorleston 4, Stowmarket 0

Gorleston showed their Ridgeons First Division promotion credentials with this emphatic victory over second-placed Stowmarket who came into this match on an eight-game unbeaten run, writes David Hardy.

Jack Whatmough replaced an ill Elliot Pride in goal whilst Adam Thurtle returned to the centre of defence at the expense of Jack Herbert and Aaron Huggins-Bowers partnered Darren Cockrill in central midfield with Reece Hunn dropping to the bench.

The Greens almost took the lead in the fifth minute when Martin McConnell headed against his own bar from a Steve Taylor corner.

Six minutes later young keeper Whatmough had to shovel out a Ross Myhill shot and he was called into action again, four minutes later, to push over a Wayne Proctor effort.

From that Stowmarket corner Gorleston who took the lead. Bradley Hough sprinted down the right and squared the ball to Chris Sandford, who kept his cool to slot the ball under the keeper and into the goal.

The game provided good entertainment for Emerald Park’s biggest league attendance of the season so far – 114.

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As half-time neared Gary Williams shot straight at the keeper.

Two minutes into the second half Hough scooped his shot over the bar under pressure.

Myhill then sneaked into the Greens’ box but shot tamely before, at the other end, Dean Pleasance was inches away from an own goal when he thumped his clearance into the side netting.

Manager Richard Daniels then introduced loan signing Richard Woodrow. He has joined from Lowestoft until the end of the season, having previously played for King’s Lynn and Norwich City Reserves.

Stowmarket were pushing on looking for an equalizer, with their main threat being a long throw from Dan Smith. Although Myhill again arrived unmarked in the Gorleston box, his header was plucked out of the air by Whatmough.

With Stow pushing on, there was space for Gorleston to counter and Woodrow was showing his class, picking the right passes. He put Hough clear through on goal in the 63rd minute but a combination of defender and goalkeeper thwarted him.

Hough was then replaced by Scott Woodgate, a signing from Dereham, who had impressed with two goals against Cornard last week. He, Woodrow and Sandford created a handful of openings before Sandford was replaced by Danny Mitchell.

Mitchell had an instant impact with a powerful header just seconds after coming on, which was cleared out of the goal, but assistant referee was ideally placed to see the ball had crossed the line, and awarded the goal.

This gave the Greens some breathing space and four minutes later Mitchell made certain of the three points when he thumped a 12-yard shot into the net.

Two minutes from the end came the goal of the game when Williams went down the left, turned back out and then hit a right-foot shot from wide of the area, over the keeper and into the far corner of the goal. He gave the celebration of the day with several back-flips.

Manager Richard Daniels was understandably pleased with what he called a solid home win.

“It was an excellent performance against a good side,” he said. “Bbut after 90 minutes they were well beaten. We must keep this up, momentum is key, winning breeds confidence. We have a lot of games coming up so the squad will all be used.”

Tomorrow, Gorleston are at home to Whitton United in the semi-finals of the First Division KO Cup.

The club thanked Albert and Reg Cadmore, two loyal supporters, for sponsoring the Stowmarket game.

Team: Jack Whatmough, Kyle Howell, Tom Daniels, Gary Williams, Adam Thurtle, Eddie Thompson, Chris Sandford (Danny Mitchell 78), Aaron Huggins-Bowers, Bradley Hough (Scott Woodgate 65), Steve Taylor, Darren Cockrill (Richard Woodrow 55).