Gorleston survival hopes take a knock

Cambridge City III 4 Gorleston 3

Gorleston hopes of survival in East Men’s Divison Two North were dealt a blow by this defeat.

Cambridge started fast and in a very purposeful manner, putting the Gorleston defence on the back foot right from the off and won a short corner within 30 seconds.

The Gorleston defence of MacDonald, Higginbotham, Cheung and Austin worked hard and limited the Cambridge attack to very few openings despite the early pressure. As the half wore on Gorleston came into the game more and were denied an opening goal when a shot from Simon Long in the Cambridge circle hit a defenders foot and deflected into the goal.

The umpire opting for a short corner instead. Shortly afterwards Gorleston did take the lead. Good work from Harlow and Vaudin on the right wing resulted in a cross for Neil Hudson to collect and Hudson delivered a thunderous shot that left the home Keeper kicking at thin air.

The pressure told when Gorleston could not clear their lines and City equalised through an impressive reverse stick shot. Almost immediately afterwards, a miscommunication in the Gorleston team presented the ball to Cambridge and Higginbotham was left with three players attacking at pace who stormed into the circle and left Gorleston captain Barney King with no chance as they took the lead on the stroke of half time.

The second half of the game started very badly for Gorleston, losing two further goals in quick succession. The first was from a short corner and the second, a sweet deflection into the top corner of the Gorleston goal. Looking at a possible avalanche of goals, Gorleston dug in deeply and never gave up, gradually stemming the Cambridge attack and gradually exerting more pressure.

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Gorleston got a just reward when Long sent a pass forward to Hudson who skipped past a defender and his delicate reverse flick went in over the advancing keeper for his second of the game. Gorleston poured forward and won a number of short corners.

As one shot on goal was saved by the home keeper, the ball spun up into the air and Long capitalised to slot the ball home, though Cambridge claimed a foul strike because of a high stick, the the goal stood.

Back to 4-3, Gorleston tried again, but lost defender Austin to the Sin-Bin when he was adjudged to have stopped an aerial ball illegally. Cambridge’s man-advantage gave them an edge for a while and two shots missed the Gorleston goal before a Cambridge player also played a high stick and went into the Sin-Bin.

With the man-advantage swapped in Gorleston’s favour they made one last effort to square the game, but time ran out and probably their chance of survival in the division.MoM: Jamie Higginbotham for his delightful tackling at the heart of the Gorleston defence.

Squad: B King (C), K MacDonald, R Harlow, H Cheung, J Higginbotham, J Austin, R Pallant, M Vaudin, R Crawford, S Long, N Hudson.