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Gorleston quick off the mark

PUBLISHED: 12:34 05 February 2016 | UPDATED: 12:34 05 February 2016

Jordan King leaves Whitton players not knowing which way to turn. Photo: DAVID HARDY

Jordan King leaves Whitton players not knowing which way to turn. Photo: DAVID HARDY

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Gorleston 4 Whitton Utd 2

Gorleston made hard work of beating bottom side Whitton despite giving themselves a great start.

The game couldn’t have started any better for the Greens.

Straight from the kick-off, the ball was launched forward into the visitor’s box. Kieran Smith-Edwards nodded the ball back towards his advancing keeper but put it past him allowing Peter Lambert to nip round and slide the ball in from an acute angle with the game only in its 10th second, possibly the quickest goal ever scored by a Gorleston side and the second quickest in the league.

The quickest was scored by a Ally McKenna in his Lowestoft days in 2008.

Better was to come for Greens fans. In the fifth minute Jordan King slid the ball through to Lambert who, as defender’s converged, prodded it past the keeper to double his side’s lead.

Eight minutes later the Greens were through again but this time their effort was blocked by a Whitton defender sliding low in front of goal.

Keegan Middleton then had a chance with a trademark free-kick from 20 yards but unusually couldn’t hit the target.

With Green’s supporters predicting a landslide victory, Gorleston seemed to take their foot off the pedal and let their opponents off the hook.

Although still comfortable in the game, it was only a two-goal lead and Whitton got themselves back into it on 37 minutes when a cross from the left from Jamie Cole was hit too near keeper George MacRae but deceived him and ended up floating over his head into the net.

Two minutes later Whitton gained the first corner of the game but that gave Gorleston an opportunity to break. Keegan Middleton stormed forward and fed Kyle Ingram on the left. His cross was half cleared and fell to King just inside the box but he blazed it over the bar.

The Greens could have extended their lead three times in the closing minute of the half. King slid Lambert in on goal. Lambert tried to tuck the ball under Welton but the keeper got down quickly to palm away the ball.

Gorleston kept the attack going with Watts on the right. His near-post cross was guided goalwards by Lambert but it bounced inches wide.

Watts then crossed for King to shoot but again the keeper got down to grab it at the second attempt. Whitton’s first effort on target came seven minutes into the second half but a flying MacRae was equal to it. Middleton then attempted a curler at the other end but the ball went wide.

Greens made it three in the 58th minute. A cross from Jason Thompson evaded everybody but Lambert who flung himself at it at to head in from about a foot off the ground. That brought his tally for the season to 14, already the most he has scored in any season with the Greens.

Watts had a shot pushed over by Welton before MacRae denied Paul Westren at the other end. Whitton kept the game alive in the 70th minute when they pulled a goal back. A dubious free-kick was awarded against Liam Brown. The ball was hit in towards the near post to where Robbie Knott had moved ahead of his marker to glance the ball into the net.

Watts and Thompson both hit drives straight at the keeper before Butler swapped a King for a King with Ashley replacing Jordan.

Watts dragged an effort wide of the far post and Connor Ingram had a shot saved before Gorleston made the game safe with seven minutes left. Middleton sprinted to pick up a loose ball on the left and was given time to tee up an effort from the left, scooping the ball over everybody and into the far corner of the net.

Match sponsor Mick Payne gave his man-of-the-match award to Peter Lambert.

Gorleston: MacRae, Clements, Hunn, Middleton, Taylor, Brown, K Ingram (Thompson), Eagleton, Lambert (C Ingram), J King (A King), Watts.

Attendance: 101.

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