Greens bid to avenge Vase defeat
PUBLISHED: 16:17 08 December 2011
Gorleston travel to Mildenhall tomorrow aiming to compound their Ridgeons League Premier Division mid-table rivals’ miserable run of form.
Mildenhall are currently three points behind Gorleston in the table but have played two games more.
The Suffolk side have lost six of their last eight league games and failed to score in the last three of those. The two sides have already met this season when Mildenhall knocked the Greens out of the FA Vase, winning 4-2 after extra time at Emerald Park.
The draw for the Norfolk Senior Cup Quarter Final was made last week.
The Greens will travel to Diss for their fourth encounter this season with the Tangerines probably hopeful that, law of averages suggests, it will be their turn to win, after they have suffered three defeats at the hands of Gorleston this season. The match is due to be played on 7th January.
Gorleston 1 Stanway Rovers 1
Ten man Gorleston battled for a good point against a strong Stanway side.
There were four changes from the side which beat Yarmouth in the Senior Cup. With Ally McKenna suspended, Mitch Forbes ploughed a lone farrow up front. Chris Sandford was also suspended but Jamie Godbold returned to the starting line up alongside Ian Morgan. Kyle Howell started at right back and, with Eddie Thompson another who was suspended following his sending off at Ely, Adam Thurtle took over the captains arm band. Elliot Pride returned in goal.
Stanway started the stronger with the wind behind them and pushed the Greens back. Pride was soon called into action when he reacted superbly to turn away a volley from Josh Gould before Gorleston launched their first real attacks.
Liam Harvey-Cooper was the danger man along the right wing. After nine minutes he broke at pace, with Mitch Forbes and Gary Williams keeping ahead of the defenders. Harvey-Cooper’s cross went to Williams on the far side but his cross cum shot back into the middle missed all targets.
Shortly after almost a carbon copy move saw Harvey-Cooper again cross towards Williams but a defender did enough to put him off his control.
Pride had to be quick off his line after 15 minutes, racing from his goal like a sweeper to win a tackle and clear the ball.
The Greens began to press, winning a succession of free kicks and corners, with Harvey-Cooper the main man, almost setting up Forbes but a defenders knee got the ball away and then, a minute before the break his ball into the box was heading for Godbold, who was clearly tripped as he went to the ball but the referee waved away penalty claims.
Where Mr Francis found the first half stoppage time from I don’t know, as no trainer had been on the pitch, but Gorleston fans were pleased he did.
Six minutes into nearly ten minutes of time added on, a Reece Hunn corner was headed goalwards by Morgan and Rovers defender Daniel Slatter did well to head the ball up onto the underside of the bar.
Quite what happened next is a bit of a mystery. The linesman flagged and put his flag across his chest to indicate a penalty, it seems for handball. Slatter went ballistic and was lucky not to see red for his abuse thrown at the linesman which was heard all over the Park, Lee Townrow did receive a yellow for a much milder comment as he and his team mates harangued the officials.
Subsequent enquiries revealed the ball may have come back off the bar and struck Slatter on the arm and also strike another Stanway player, also on the arm.
Harvey-Cooper took the penalty, Rovers keeper Paul Rutherford saved superbly but the ball rebounded nicely back to Harvey-Cooper to sidefoot in.
Two minutes into the second half Rutherford caught a cross on his line, turned back towards his own goal and looked to have carried the ball over his line, though not according to the linesman.
They game had been simmering thanks largely to some lenient refereeing and it reached boiling point on 61 minutes.
Harvey-Cooper had his ankles tapped as he turned on the edge of the box, no foul was given and he lost the ball but then went to try and win it back.
He fouled Michael Fitzgibbon by the goal line and their legs became tangled. It appeared Fitzgibbon was holding on to him as Harvey-Cooper was trying to free himself and, as he did so, all the other Stanway players came charging over accusing him of a stamp. A mass melee ensued between both teams, with lots of indiscriminate pushing and shoving, and the result was a red card for Harvey-Cooper.
Any sense of injustice felt by Stanway over the penalty award would have been felt by Gorleston in that incident.
Straight from the restart Stanway attacked down their right and Luke Coleman rubbed salt into the wounds by blasting in an equaliser.
Understandably, as they were down to ten men, Gorleston were being pushed back but the Greens dug in and Pride was on top form, with Andy Howell and Thurtle immense in central defence.
Indeed, the Greens themselves had two good chances to win late on.
An excellent crossfield pass by Finch, who had earlier replaced Forbes, found Williams on the left. He weaved and crossed back on to the head of Finch in the box but the ball drifted a foot wide.
In injury time Finch again burst into the box but stumbled under pressure and couldn’t wrap his foot round the ball.
Another five minutes of stoppage time were seen out and the Greens will be happy to have gained another point.
Gorleston: Elliot Pride, Kyle Howell, Reece Hunn, Gary Williams, Adam Thurtle, Andy Howell, Jamie Godbold, Ian Morgan (Olly Thompson 90), Mitch Forbes (Christy Finch 66), Steve Taylor, Liam Harvey-Cooper
Goal: Harvey-Cooper 45
Sent off: Harvey-Cooper 61
Stanway: Paul Rutherford, Daniel Slatter, Josh Gould, Andrew Joslin, Mark Gaisford, Ross Norfolk, Michael Fitzgibbon (Michael Cheek 73), Mark Maher, Lee Townrow, Luke Coleman, Ben Newson
Goal: Coleman 62
Bookings: Townrow 45
Dereham Reserves 1 Gorleston Reserves 1
Gorleston Reserves were knocked off the top of their league last week when they drew at Aldiss Park and Leiston Reserves won convincingly 7-1 at Stowmarket.
Scott Woodgate, who recently rejoined Dereham from Gorleston, gave the Magpies a half time lead but the Greens fought back and equalised in the second half through Kyle Howell.
The Reserves then travelled to Diss last Friday night.
Gorleston began the game at Brewers Green Lane well and took an early lead through Keegan Middleton.
Diss equalised before a long range shot from new signing Dale Smith put the Greens back in front before half time.
Two goals after the break from the Tangerines put them 3-2 ahead and, after Elliot Hannant was sent off, the game looked to be drifting away from the Greens.
However, playing good football, Gorleston kept going and goals from Matty Anderson, Harley Peek and Peter Oldham gave the Greens the points.
Tomorrow (Saturday) the Reserves travel to play Debenham LC Reserves.
The draw for the semi final of the Chell Trophy has been made and Gorleston Reserves have been handed a home tie against Felixstowe and Walton United Reserves. The game will be played on February 14th.
The other semi final is between Heybridge Swifts Reserves and AFC Sudbury Reserves.
Norwich Utd U18s 1 Gorleston U18s 1
The Young Greens will be wondering how they failed to win this game at Plantation Park last week.
The Under 18s were totally dominant with the Planters reduced to sporadic attacks.
Gorleston were creating many chances but lacked the clinical finish including from an indirect free kick awarded on the penalty spot after the Norwich Utd keeper picked up a back pass.
A free kick bounced off the top of the bar and another effort bounced back off the post, with the keeper saving the follow up well just before half time.
The second half continued mostly in one direction. With the Planters keeper barely able to move due to injury, his goal was leading a charmed life and once again the Greens struck the post.
With virtually their first effort at goal Norwich Utd took the lead when a long range effort dropped down onto the bar, bounced out into the six yard box where a striker was on hand to tap in.
Another Gorleston effort thumped against the underside of the bar and bounced away before the Greens finally got the equaliser they deserved two minutes from time through Jack Miller.
Last Wednesday night the Under 18s began a run of four home games in a row against Kirkley & Pakefield but lost 1-4, the Greens goal coming from Ashley King.
Their final game of 2011 will be on Wednesday 14th December when bottom side North Walsham Town visit Emerald Park.