Great Yarmouth Town relegated as final day results go against them

Great Yarmouth joint managers, Martyn Sinclair, left, and Adam Mason Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Great Yarmouth joint managers, Martyn Sinclair, left, and Adam Mason Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Great Yarmouth Town picked up a battling 1-1 draw at third placed Godmanchester in their final game of the season - but were still relegated.

The Bloaters had needed a victory to stand any chance of avoiding the drop but as it turned out would have gone down what ever happened in their game, with rivals Long Melford winning 3-1 at Thetford.

There were opportunities for Connor Smith and Ethan Hodge from the youth side to step up and impress.

On a difficult pitch, with a gale blowing down the ground, the Bloaters were immediately put under pressure.

Josh Glover was called into action as the lively Allan cut inside and hit a powerful shot that the keeper did well to save at the second attempt. The hosts then had a couple of opportunities that went wide before Blake sent in a cross that was volleyed in by Forbes and his blocked effort was pounced upon by Sanders who hit the bar with his shot.

Hyem then showed his class when finding room to shoot but Glover made the save.

With the wind against them in the second half the Bloaters almost went ahead when Ford’s run and cross found Sanders but his fierce shot missed the target and then Holmes blazed over. Glover did well to save from Rovers centre half who was now playing as a striker and then Swatman headed off the line to keep the visitors in the game.

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Some excellent play by Swatman and Holmes sent Glover through but with only Munro to beat his effort clipped the post to deny the big striker a goal.

Midway through the half a cross into the Bloaters’ area by Allan was caught by the wind and deceived Glover who had to back pedal and could not keep the ball from drifting into the net to give the hosts a freak lead.

With nothing to lose the Bloaters sent players forward and with five minutes left Joel Glover latched onto a good though ball and scored to make it 1-1. With both sides going for the win the game became extremely open but neither side were able to apply a finishing touch.

The Bloaters’ fate was sealed although the players and management received a good round of applause from the travelling supporters in recognition of their efforts.

Team: Josh Glover, Urry, Ford, Bartram, Eagleton, Forbes, Swatman, Blake, Joel Glover, Holmes, Sanders. Subs: Ager, Smith, Hodge.

Adam Mason sent out a poignant message via social media after Great Yarmouth Town’s draw at Godmanchester, which confirmed the Bloaters would be playing in the second flight of the Thurlow Nunn League next season.

Mason, who along with Martyn Sinclair, have now stepped down as joint managers, said: “We have a saying at the club that when we visit away grounds we “leave it as we found it” (a reference to cleaning the dressing rooms after the match) and ironically we leave the club as we found it when taking the reins in 2015, unfortunately back in Division One.”

Sinclair added: “Having to travel to third placed Godmanchester with six players unavailable - the story of our season - and knowing that only a win would do, was always going to prove tough but in gale force conditions and on a dry, bumpy pitch the lads dug in and gave a brave display with a creditable draw.

“I am gutted to be relegated but it’s time for a change with fresh energy and ideas for the next journey. It’s been an absolute honour to have been manager of this great football club.”