Greens look for another win

ON the back of Tuesday night's League Cup win and the weekend's nap-hand league win at Fakenham, Gorleston entertain a Long Melford outfit third from bottom of Ridgeons One tomorrow.

ON the back of Tuesday night's League Cup win and the weekend's nap-hand league win at Fakenham, Gorleston entertain a Long Melford outfit third from bottom of Ridgeons One tomorrow. It offers another chance to improve promotion hopes.

Gorleston 4, Ely City 2

Gorleston welcomed high-flying Ely City to Emerald Park for a delayed Ridgeons League Cup quarter-final and, after a intense and open cup tie, kept the Norfolk flag flying into the semi-finals.

The Greens are in the last four for the seventh time in their history and for the first time since 1992 when they went on to be runners-up in the competition to Norwich United.

Tom Marsden made a welcome return in goal after three weeks out through injury and Gary Todd was recalled up front in place of Nathan Thompson.

There was an action-packed start with both sides on the scoresheet with less than seven minutes played.

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The Robins were in front on four minutes with their first attack when Simon Warrewn forced the ball

home in a goalmouth scramble. But Gorleston were level less than three minutes later. Ely keeper Lee Pacey was perhaps rather lucky to see only a yellow card for bringing down Gary Todd and Gary Ingram fired home the resultant penalty.

The early action continued unabated and within three minutes the Greens were in front when Ricci Butler stroked the ball home.

The same player then almost added a third just past the quarter-hour mark but was foiled by a good save from Perry.

The Robins re-grouped and Tom Pell shot over, but Gorleston nearly extended their lead when Ingram and John Bell combined well only for Bell to shoot narrowly wide.

Eight minutes from the break again Ely were almost level but Marsden produced a fine save to beat away an effort from Josh Beech.

Robbie Mason then shot just wide as the visitors continued to press for an equaliser.

Ely began the second half still pressing and inside the first two minutes Marsden again had to be at his best, producing a full-length save to keep out former Southampton striker Mark Paul.

Gorleston were then denied a second penalty when Peter Lambert was felled apparently a yard inside the area but the referee, from well behind the action, awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box.

Richard Grimster then headed over from almost under the crossbar as the Robins began to dominate.

The Greens seemed to have weathered the storm - Gary Todd shot wide when well placed and then Gorleston spurned a gilt-edged opportunity.

Gary Ingram was pulled back by Richard Grimster, who received no card, but from the spot Ingram was unable to repeat his first success.

A rather tame penalty was parried by Pacey before the defence scrambled the ball away to safety.

With five minutes remaining Gorleston finally gave themselves vital breathing space with the crucial third goal.

John Bell did the hard work down the right before cutting the ball back for Gary Todd to sweep it into the net. However, with two minutes left Ely pulled a goal back when Andy Chatters crossed from the left for Bradley Stone to glance the ball home at the near post and breathe life back into the tie.

Gorleston, with almost five minutes of stoppage time having elapsed, finally killed off the game when Gary Todd thumped home the decisive fourth goal to cap another excellent Greens performance and end the Robins' spirited resistance in a superb cup tie.

Gorleston: T Marsden, K Howell, L Goreham, R Fruin, A Thurtle, E Thompson, J Bell, P Lambert, G Ingram, G Todd, R Butler. Subs : N Thompson (for Fruin 81 minutes),

M Bowles (for Butler 85 minutes), H Madison (for Bell 90 + 5 minutes),

K Solomon.