Gorleston manager refuses to blame his players

Gorleston 0, Felixstowe 4

Gorleston joint manager Stu Larter refused to blame his players as they crumbled to a highly disappointing defeat on Saturday.

Felixstowe & Walton United made light work of a below-par Gorleston to record their fourth away win of the season.

“We’ll learn from this and it’s up to myself and Richard (Daniels) to put things right in training,” said Larter.

“This year is a learning process for the players; we have a young side that need to learn to play in this league. The Ridgeons Premier Division is more competitive than the Ridgeons First Division and you do get hurt more if you’re not on your game.”

Larter added: “We are pleased what we have done so far this season, let’s not underestimate that. We’re sitting 11th in the table and not a million miles off the top six.”

Gorleston effectively gave Felixstowe the points in a poor first-half display.

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The Greens showed two changes from the side that had drawn at Mildenhall, with Eddie Thompson returning to the starting line-up in place of Ian Morgan and Ally McKenna replacing the injured Mitch Forbes as the lone front man.

The game got off to the worst possible start for the hosts as they fell behind after just 50 seconds.

A free-kick on the right was played into the box where Ben Cranfield reacted first to poke the ball past the stricken Elliot Pride.

Gorleston responded well and within five minutes Liam Harvey-Cooper had seen a shot tipped wide and Andy Howell was unfortunate to see his header palmed away.

It was Felixstowe who came closest to adding to the score, though, after 20 minutes when Matt Rylands fired a cross towards the near post which Cranfield turned goalwards only to see Thompson divert it around the post. Then it was a Cranfield drive which Pride grabbed from under his bar.

Jamie Godbold was forced off after 28 minutes with a pulled hamstring just as he was beginning to get himself on the ball and trying to pull the strings.

Calamity came in the 31st minute when last week’s man of the match Pride slipped as he fielded a Rylands cross, the ball falling from his grasp. As he tried to clear it away from the goalline, the ball struck Eddie Thompson then Adam Thurtle and ended up in the back of the net.

Gorleston were shell-shocked and within three minutes the game was effectively secured for the visitors when a superb left-foot shot from Rylands from 25 yards curled into the top corner, giving Pride no chance.

The Greens were making wrong decisions all over the park and the closest they came to scoring before the break was a Chris Sandford free-kick which went straight to the keeper.

Gorleston began the second half with a higher tempo, but the final ball was letting them down.

Andy Howell had a header from a corner cleared off the line and both he and Sandford tried their luck from distance, but couldn’t work the goalkeeper.

Harvey-Cooper, who had looked the most likely to create an opening, went close with a drive in the 70th minute, drilling into the side netting before he was surprisingly replaced by Adam Mills.

Christy Finch came closest to scoring for Gorleston eight minutes from time when a low drive was turned around the post.

Just to rub salt into the wounds, a defensive mix-up deep into stoppage time gave Cranfield his second of the game and Felixstowe’s fourth.

Gorleston: Elliot Pride, Kyle Howell, Reece Hunn, Andy Howell, Adam Thurtle, Eddie Thompson, Chris Sandford, Jamie Godbold (Gary Williams 28), Ally McKenna, Steve Taylor (Christy Finch 60), Liam Harvey-Cooper (Adam Mills 73).

Booking: A Howell 74.

Felixstowe & Walton Utd: Guy Clubb, Adam Clark, Tom Agricole, Miles Powell, Dan Davis, Arran Sheppard, Sef Duzgun, Matt Rylands (Tyron Brigat 83), Jamie Cole (Roger Burton 69), Ben Cranfield, Adam Hampson (Joe Bloomfield 73).

Goals: Cranfield 1, 90; OG 31; Rylands 34.

Booking: Rylands 72.