Gorleston looking to bounce back after cup thrashing from Kirkley & Pakefield

Scott Manning on the charge for Gorleston during their match against Newmarket Town. Picture: DAVID

Scott Manning on the charge for Gorleston during their match against Newmarket Town. Picture: DAVID HARDY - Credit: Archant

Gorleston will be looking to bounce back from a right Royal thrashing when they travel to Haverhill Rovers tomorrow.

The Greens were hammered 5-1 at home by Kirkley & Pakefield, nicknamed the Royals, on Tuesday in the Thurlow Nunn League Cup. That result came off the back of a 1-1 draw at Emerald Park during an entertaining Premier Division clash against Newmarket Town.

Richard Daniels’ side – who visit struggling Walsham-le-Willows on Wednesday – found the net that day through Keegan Middleton. But it was a different story when they hosted their east coast rivals in midweek.

Gorleston’s largest crowd of the season witnessed their biggest defeat as the Greens made their customary early exit from the League Cup. Daniels made five changes to the side that had drawn with Newmarket. Josh Armes returned at the back. John Bell replaced Chris Sandford in midfield, Peter Lambert started in place of Ally McKenna with Joel Watts and Lee Roots replacing Middleton and Joe Bell.

The visitors made just one change to their team from their last league game, a 2-0 win at Ipswich Wanderers.

In the first minute a shot was deflected wide with the Gorleston goal gaping and the pressure continued to the fifth minute when Jamie Godbold drilled a low shot hard into the corner of Jack Whatmough’s goal to open the scoring.

In the 19th minute another excellent Kirkley passing move saw them move further ahead when Matt Brown struck the ball home.

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A free header from Ross King just before half time should have extended the lead but he placed it wide. Gorleston management had to do something at half time and decided to replace John Bell with Keegan Middleton, with Lambert dropping deeper.

The Greens were better second half and did battle to the end but Kirkley were still on top and the Gorleston passing was wayward.

The next goal was always going to be crucial and it was Kirkley who scored it in the 63rd minute to virtually secure their passage to the next round with a near post header by Baker from a corner.

A minute later Gorleston pulled a goal back. Scott Manning drove forward and was fouled but the ball went left to Watts with the referee playing a good advantage. Watts drilled the ball across goal where it fell to Middleton who struck it low back towards the far corner into the net via a defenders leg.

With eight minutes left a quick free kick caught the Gorleston defence napping, letting Baker through to make it four.

Two minutes from time Brown looked to be shaping to cross from the left but the ball soared over Whatmough into the goal.