Greens hit FA Vase trail to King’s Lynn

GORLESTON follow the FA Vase trail to King’s Lynn Town tomorrow in the second round, writes David Hardy.

A coach leaves Emerald Park at 11.30am. There are very few seats remaining. Those interested in travelling should contact the club first.

The Linnets currently sit second in the United Counties League and have already won at Dereham and beaten Great Yarmouth Town in this competition. In the last round they won 4-2 at Thrapston Town.

Lynn joint boss Kevin Boon has already predicted: “It will be a good game, they (the Greens) will be well organised and they will be well prepared.”

Whitton Utd 3, Gorleston 3

A trip to third-placed Whitton, who had not lost in their previous seven league games, was considered by some as Gorleston’s first real test of their promotion credentials, and the match produced the proverbial game of two halves which home fans and neutrals would have enjoyed.

Playing in an unfamiliar red kit, the Greens began attacking down the quite considerable slope, but it was Whitton who had the early chances.

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Elliot Pride saved well from Oliver Brown coming in on the right and then Jamie Clark had a shot, but it was always going wide.

It was Gorleston who struck first after 18 minutes when Chris Sandford broke forward and helped the ball on to Bradley Hough. He seemed to have missed his chance to play in Mitch Forbes, who had made a strong run forward, but put the ball through at the second attempt and Forbes finished with his usual quality.

Two minutes later it was two. This time Sandford played a nice ball through to Forbes who squared across the keeper and in at the far post.

Whitton were thrown a lifeline in the 32nd minute when their No 11 was given far too much room on the right and was eventually fouled in the box. Kevin Inglis blazed the penalty high over the bar.

A minute into first-half stoppage time Sandford burst into the box, the keeper did well to palm away his effort, Forbes just unable to connect with the loose ball.

But, from the resulting corner, keeper Darren Moyes totally missed the ball, which then struck his shoulder and went backwards into the goal to give Gorleston a 3-0 lead at the break.

It was obvious Whitton would give it a go, playing down the slope, second half.

They made a double change, pushed three up front and pressed Gorleston back right from the restart.

Whereas in the first half the

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Greens had played some nice, passing football and cut through Whitton’s defence with ease, in the second they struggled to get hold of the ball and were reduced to a panicky, long ball game.

Gorleston’s midfield had disappeared from the game allowing Whitton too much room to control the play and manager Richard Daniels attempted to shore the middle up by bringing Robbie Oldham on for Hough.

It seemed more a case of when, not if, Whitton would score but when it happened there was an element of luck about it.

With 14 minutes left Jack Herbert made what looked a good challenge by the touchline and received an accidental knee to the head. Whilst he was off the field receiving treatment, Whitton, who had been awarded a free-kick from Herbert’s challenge, played a high ball into the box and the Greens, missing their towering centre half, were unable to head the ball away, allowing Marcus Josiah to come in at the back post to fire home.

Three minutes later they were right back in the game.

A Whitton player looked to be at least a yard offside but was allowed to play on, causing Pride to save well with his feet, the ball going just over the bar for a corner. From that corner the ball found the head of Neil Shade to make it 3-2.

Three minutes from time came the equaliser, a fantastic drive from a good 25 yards by Josh Brown that gave Pride no chance.

It was only in the last two minutes that Gorleston passed the ball again with Sandford and Forbes going close.

Gorleston manager Richard Daniels said: “It was a hard game. We were 3-0 up but the Whitton pitch is well known for its slope and they came back at us in the second half.

“The boys defended well — Eddie Thompson, Thomas Daniels, Jack Herbert and Sean Blowers were outstanding at the back.”

Gorleston have now gone five league games without defeat and it’s only one defeat in nine in all competitions. Seven points separate the top seven of the league and all have games in hand on the leaders Cambridge University Press.

Team: Elliot Pride, Sean Blowers, Tom Daniels, Gary Williams, Jack Herbert, Eddie Thompson, Chris Sandford, Bradley Hough (Robbie Oldham 72), Mitch Forbes, Steve Taylor, Reece Hunn.