Hadleigh United 2 Great Yarmouth Town 1: Bloaters beaten in relegation dogfight

Great Yarmouth celebrate Aaron Sanders' strike against Hadleigh but it wasn't enough to gain a share

Great Yarmouth celebrate Aaron Sanders' strike against Hadleigh but it wasn't enough to gain a share of the spoils. Picture: Paul Voller - Credit: Archant

For this vital relegation battle the Bloaters welcomed back Joel Glover in place of the suspended Charlie Blake while Tom Cullumbine also returned to the squad after a long lay-off due to injury.

The home side went into the game in good form, having won three games on the trot under new manager Christian Appleford to lift themselves out of the relegation places.

The game got off to a hectic start as the home side won a free-kick as Sackey-Mensah was adjudged to have brought down Andrews. From the free-kick a swift counter-attack saw Krasniqi sprint through but Punter managed to save his effort.

The opening goal came from a Bloaters’ attack as a quick free-kick found Krasniqi but Punter made the save and immediately bowled the ball out and a long searching ball found Andrews in on goal and he made no mistake to give his side the lead in the 16th minute.

The game continued to swing from end to end with Swatman working hard and his shot was saved by Punter. The home side then won a disputed corner and defender Rose probably should have scored when he pounced on some hesitant defending but his header came back off the post.

The Bloaters then launched a swift attack that saw Swatman sprint through the home defence. His pass from the byline found Sanders and he re-adjusted his feet to fire an unstoppable shot past Punter for an excellent equaliser on 34 minutes.

The Bloaters’ joy lasted about four minutes as a deep cross to the far post from a short corner found Rose and his header across goal was bundled home. This sparked a major dispute from the visitors who felt the goal was offside but referee Marrasca was having none of it.

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The visitors started the second half better as they went searching for an equaliser but Krasniqi’s driven cross was palmed away by Punter. Ager and Cullumbine were introduced in a bid to find an equaliser but despite seeing plenty of the ball, the visitors could not find a breakthrough.

With time running out Dunne was denied by Beckwith before Sackey-Mensah, now operating at right back, cleared off the line.

In a bizarre moment with Beckwith up for a corner, the home side had a four on two break but young keeper did brilliantly to recover his ground and save Andrews’ shot to deny the hosts a certain third goal.

Whilst the Bloaters continued to probe they were unable to create any clear chances and the hosts soaked up the pressure and should have extended their lead with a couple of good chances.

Team: Beckwith, Grieveson, Ford, Bartram, Sackey-Mensah, Forbes, Sanders, Eagleton, Glover, Swatman, Krasniqi. Subs: Cullumbine, Holmes, Ager.