Gorleston’s lack of firepower exposed

Hadleigh 2, Gorleston 0

Gorleston returned from Suffolk empty-handed having put in a better performance, although they will be disappointed with the lack of chances created.

The Greens made three changes to the side that had beaten Diss in the League Cup. Elliot Pride returned in goal. Chris Sandford and Liam Harvey-Cooper returned to the starting line up with Gary Williams and Ricci Butler dropping to the bench.

An open first quarter saw both sides playing on the front foot and with plenty of pace in the game but the only effort on goal had been a long-range Hadleigh shot that was well off target.

After half an hour a Marcus Josiah cross found Mark Maher close in but Elliot Pride spread himself well to block with his legs, writes DAVID HARDY.

Eight minutes later Hadleigh were awarded a penalty when James Blades raced into the box, with Pride rushing out to meet him. Blades shot wide as Pride clattered into him and the referee pointed to the spot. Pride may have been lucky to escape with just a yellow card.

And it was as well for Gorleston that he did stay on the pitch as he dived full length to his right to keep out Neil Calver’s spot kick. Pride was then quickly up on his feet to pull off a superb reflex save from a Hadleigh player following up.

Most Read

On the stroke of half time Chris Sandford was sent bearing down on goal from a Jack Garrod pass but Moyes was down quickly to save.

Five minutes into the second half, nifty footwork from Hadleigh’s Scott Chaplin on the left beat Carl Poppy and Liam Harvey-Cooper but, instead of squaring across goal, he went for a near-post shot and hit the side netting.

On the hour Gorleston posed the first threat to Moyse’s goal when a Poppy free kick was headed over as the Greens were struggling to break down a resolute Hadleigh defence.

The deadlock was broken after 66 minutes when an individual piece of brilliance from Josiah on the right byline saw him nutmeg Reece Hunn and cut in, firing his shot from a narrow angle into the far corner.

Six minutes later the Greens were offered a lifeline when McKenna appeared to be dragged down in the box. Harvey-Cooper stepped up to take the penalty, didn’t strike it as cleanly as he would have liked, and keeper Moyse dived to his right to save. The ball bounced back out towards Harvey-Cooper who, with the goal at his mercy, lifted his follow- up over the bar from four yards out.

Sandford was stopped in his tracks by a good last-ditch challenge before manager Stewart Larter threw on an extra striker, with loanee Jamie George replacing David Hinton, in an attempt to get the equaliser.

Gorleston went three at the back with Ricci Butler and Gary Williams replacing Josh Armes and Jack Garrod and were pushing forward. With a minute remaining, Hadleigh broke on the left and crossed for Oliver Canfer to tap in.

Gorleston: Elliot Pride, Carl Poppy, Reece Hunn, Zac Clarke,Andy Howell, Josh Armes (Gary Williams 84), Jack Garrod (Ricci Butler 84), Chris Sandford, Ally McKenna, David Hinton (Jamie George 77), Liam Harvey-Cooper

Bookings: Pride 38; Poppy 45; Clarke 47

Hadleigh Utd: Darren Moyse, Oliver Brown, Shane Wardley, Mark Maher, Paul Donnelly, Kris Rose (Mark Goldfinch 12), Marcus Josiah, Neil Calver, Lee McGlone, James Blades (Matt Downing 59), Scott Chaplin (Oliver Canfer 70)

Booking: Calver 85

Goals: Josiah 66; Canfer 89. Attendance: 81.