Greens’ great run continues

GORLESTON are on course to join east coast rivals Great Yarmouth Town in the Ridgeons Premier Division next season.

The Greens are second in the First Division, one point behind leaders Cambridge University Press, but with four games in hand.

They need to keep their momentum going, and the Bloaters need to retain their top-flight position which they achieved last season.

Tomorrow, Gorleston entertain mid-table Halstead Town at Emerald Park kick-off 3pm, writes David Hardy.

Halstead have only picked up five points from their last six games since they were beaten by the Greens 1-0 at Rosemary Lane and have struggled in the league away from home all season, losing seven of their 11 games.

Gorleston 1, Godmanchester 0

Manager Richard Daniels said his team had to expect sides to put 10 men behind the ball. “But when you have players like Ally McKenna on the bench, you have a chance.

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“We brought him on with 25 minutes to go. Bradley Hough had a good 65 minutes but it was not happening for him.

“Within five minutes McKenna scored. Godmanchester had to come out, we created more chances but we’ll take 1-0,” said Daniels.

“That’s now only two goals conceded in 10 games, one a penalty, so we are not doing badly at the back either.”

This is now Gorleston’s longest run of straight wins since the 2000-01 season under Robert Fleck, when the team had 12 wins in a row.

Reece Hunn continued at left-back following Kyle Howell’s injury at March, whilst the only other change to the starting line up was Aaron Huggins-Bowers replacing the unavailable Darren Cockrill.

Godmanchester came into the game on the back of four straight victories, scoring freely, but the early stages suggested they would be happy with a point, making sure they were all back behind the ball using Paul Bass as an outlet.

It took Gorleston 11 minutes to create their first effort on goal with Richard Woodrow and Steve Taylor linking well on the left. But goalkeeper Gavin Armitage palmed away Woodrow’s effort.

Midway through the half a Taylor cross caused confusion in the Rovers’ box between a defender and Armitage but no Gorleston player was on hand to pick up the pieces.

At this stage Gorleston were struggling to get their passing game going and were playing at a frenetic pace. Two misses in two minutes made fans wonder whether it was going to be ‘one of those days’.

After 31 minutes a Rovers free-kick was cleared to Chris Sandford who outpaced a defender to hit a shot from just inside the box which Armitage saved.

Two minutes later a Bradley Hough flick sent Sandford through on the keeper. This time Sandford’s effort beat the keeper but rolled just wide.

Ten minutes before the break Carl Foreman fired over Elliot Pride’s goal after strong hold-up play from Bass.

The Greens began the second half with more control and created better early chances. Hough cut in from the left onto his right foot but fired well over, then a Sandford free-kick was deflected wide.

A 55th minute Hunn free-kick from close to the right corner flag was turned goalwards by Bowers but a defender blocked the ball.

On the hour came a moment of controversy. A long ball forward saw Hough offside about 10 yards into the Rover’s half. Hough made no move to the ball and Woodrow came from deep to collect it, and the match continued for at least a minute.

The ball was worked wide and then crossed into a crowded penalty area where Sandford rose at the far post to head in. The referee awarded the goal but was then alerted by the Rovers to his assistant still standing with his flag raised further back up the pitch. Without any consultation he ruled the ‘goa’l out and gave the free-kick.

Midway through the half manager Richard Daniels replaced midfielder Gary Williams with striker McKenna.

Almost immediately McKenna was found by a Hough pass, but the ball was played just behind his run towards the six-yard area so he couldn’t get any power into the shot and it fell nicely for the keeper.

A 73rd minute Woodrow free-kick was deflected into the keeper’s arms, and then Hough was replaced by Mitch Forbes.

The goal came in the 77th minute when Bowers threaded a ball through for McKenna to run on to. As the keeper came out McKenna tucked it past him and into the bottom corner of the goal.

With Rovers then forced to push on looking for an equaliser there was more space for the Greens’ attack. Gorleston made another positive move, taking off right-back Djamel Kareche and replacing him with a striker, Lewis Smith, with Sandford filling in at full-back.

Almost nine minutes of time were added but Gorleston saw the game out to extend their run to 10 straight wins since the turn of the year.

Team: Pride, Kareche (Smith 80), Hunn, Williams (McKenna 68), Thurtle, Thompson, Sandford, Huggins-Bowers, Hough (Forbes 75), Taylor, Woodrow

Gorleston Reserves were in action on Tuesday night when they beat Leiston Reserves 4-0.

They have won their last three home games, scoring 21 goals in the process and on Tuesday, March 15 will host Dereham Reserves.