Greens and Bloaters prepare for derby

AHEAD of their Boxing Day derby at Emerald Park (11am kick-off), Gorleston and Great Yarmouth Town could muster only one goal and one point between them at the weekend.

AHEAD of their Boxing Day derby at Emerald Park (11am kick-off), Gorleston and Great Yarmouth Town could muster only one goal and one point between them at the weekend.

The Bloaters had a goalless draw at the Wellesley with Stowmarket while the Greens lost by the only goal of the game at Ridgeons One leaders Newmarket.

Great Yarmouth Town 0, Stowmarket Town 0

No goals at the Wellesley for the 50 or so spectators that braved the damp, foggy weather, so the Christmas cheer was put on ice until Boxing Day for the top-eight clash with the Greens, writes Arthur Fisk.

Despite no goals there was plenty of action to keep the crowd interested. However, for Yarmouth this was a great opportunity to establish that they are really promotion material. They did not live up to expectations and now realistically look as if they will miss out on promotion this season.

Yarmouth did well to survive the opening 25 minutes as the visitors tore at the home defence. There was plenty of frantic play around the Yarmouth goal with Pride being kept busy between the posts.

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Stowmarket did everything but score, however Yarmouth weathered the storm. Stowmarket's early eagerness and pace faded and Yarmouth were well back in the game.

Turning the tables completely, the Bloaters finished the half well on top. Both sets of forwards could have put their side in front.

On a very slippery surface Yarmouth looked the more likely to score as they continued to take the game to Stow. Their close-passing play down the flanks despite the wet was causing the visitors' defence big problems.

Stowmarket's captain, Deasey, had hard luck with a firm header from Allen's fine cross but keeper Pride was at his best, tipping the effort out for the corner.

Woodcock came on for Yarmouth's Hinton and had been on the park only a few minutes when he was presented with a golden chance, but his shot was saved. Yarmouth, playing the much better football, looked certain to to break the deadlock. Roach, beginning to look lively, had his effort well saved and Woodcock, with another golden chance, saw his shot take a deflection to go wide. The chances were there but were not taken.

Bloaters' MoM: Alan Darby.

Yarmouth: Pride, Watt, Savage, Smith, Ager, Darby, Hinton, Sullivan, Roach, Sewell, Thompson. Subs: Squires, Watts, Woodcock, Reed, Hilton.

Newmarket Town 1, Gorleston 0

After an encouraging performance all round at the favourites for the Division One title, Gorleston were defeated by a goal scored three minutes from time, writes Mick Heard.

The whole team gave 100 per cent but their six-match winning run came to an end.

The relief among the Newmarket team was apparent at the final whistle and Gorleston can be heartened by the fact that the Newmarket manager stated that Gorleston were the best side his team had faced this season.

Kyle Howell returned to right-back after recent injury problems, but midfielder Steven Taylor was away on holiday while Luke Goreham was serving a suspension.

Chances were few although Newmarket hit the bar twice in the first half.

Otherwise Gorleston goalkeeper Tom Marsden was sound and the back four of Howell, Eddie Thompson, Leon Harewood and Ben Manning were in excellent form. Outside left J Thurlbourne was a danger for the Jockeys.

In the second half Gary Ingram had a half-chance but was wide and Lee Hunter had a shot tipped over by Greygoose, the Newmarket keeper.

Gary Ingram also had a one-on-one with the keeper and John Bell went close.

Newmarket are a very experienced side with players such as Cornish, Vowden and Eady in their side.

Among the subs for Gorleston was keeper A Nialli, and it is encouraging to see a goalkeeper among the substitutes.

Team: Marsden, Howell, Thompson, Harewood, Manning, Bell, Ferguson, Lambert, Butler, Ingram, Hunter. Subs: Nialli, Maddison, Thurtle, Popham.

Gorleston Reserves' game was cancelled on Saturday as Whitton Reserves could not raise a team. Apologies to all supporters who turned up only to find the game called off.