Gorleston boss hails 'special' title win after nervy afternoon
- Credit: David Hardy
Gorleston joint boss Scott Butler hailed his side’s Thurlow Nunn Premier Division title win as ‘special’ after a tension-filled afternoon at Emerald Park.
The Greens saw off Lakenheath 2-0 on their home patch but the scoreline only tells half the story with Butler’s men having to wait until the 81st minute to break the deadlock through Mitch McKay.
With second-placed Wroxham cruising to a 3-0 win against Brantham, Gorleston knew they couldn’t afford any slip-ups and Christy Finch settled any lingering nerves in the 84th minute to ensure they will be playing step four football next season.
“To take Gorleston up to the next level is really special,” said Butler, who co-manages the Greens alongside brother, Ricci. “The players have been brilliant along with the committee and the fans.
“It did become very nervy – hearing that Wroxham were winning comfortably with 10 minutes left, you could feel the tension run through the crowd on to the pitch.
“Luckily, we made a breakthrough and I think that settled us down. It’s been an emotional day.”
Wroxham are expected to join Gorleston at step four next season despite missing out on the title. The Yachtsmen have finished as one of the top 10 second-placed teams and their better points per game average than Exmouth should, in theory, confirm promotion although they await final clarification from the FA.
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Butler hopes their rivals join them. “They’ve (Wroxham) been brilliant all season – it's gone right down to the wire,” he said. “(Manager) Jordan Southgate has done a great job there and I wish them all the best.
“I really hope they go up because I think they deserve it. They’re a tough team – Jordy has done a great job. For Norfolk football, the local derbies, I think it would be great for them to join us.”