Greens suffer from double

Gorleston 1, Halstead 2GORLESTON suffered defeat by their Ridgeons Division One promotion rivals as Halstead completed a double over them, writes David Hardy.

Gorleston 1, Halstead 2

GORLESTON suffered defeat by their Ridgeons Division One promotion rivals as Halstead completed a double over them, writes David Hardy.

Tomorrow, Gorleston travel to play FC Clacton, another side hopeful of promotion, who are currently second in the table. On Tuesday night they entertain Swaffham.

There was an even start to the weekend's game with both sides having a couple of long-range sighters, but Halstead began to get on top and were keeping the ball well.

Eddie Thompson produced some great skill on the right wing, laid the ball back to Reece Hunn, whose cross found Neil Hurren's head but he directed the ball a foot wide.

Four minutes later Halstead's Ray Turner headed wide from a corner.

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Those were the best chances of the half, but Gorleston were almost in twice before half-time when a terrific Thomas Daniels cross flicked off a defender's head as Hunn was lining up a shot.

Hurren then crossed towards Peter Lambert steaming in at the near post, but a defender slid in and just got there first to divert the ball for a corner.

Gorleston were slow starting the second half and were almost punished when Seb Murfet's cross was just missed by Turner.

Hurren nearly got through then Lambert almost turned back a deep free-kick before Terry Rainer's diving header went wide at the other end as the game ebbed and flowed.

Elliot Pride was then forced into action as Lee Townrow beat the offside flag.

Just after the hour mark a defensive mistake allowed Alex O'Leary in on the left. He was forced wide but still managed to get a cross in to Rainer, who made no mistake and put Halstead ahead.

Midway through the half Lambert was awarded a free-kick which Jamie Stockeld took. Lambert got himself on the end of it to head over the keeper and equalise.

Turner headed wide and was twice denied by Pride whilst Gorleston's best move of the game saw Kevin Howes agonisingly close to turning the ball goalwards.

Five minutes from time the winner came from a Gorleston attack. Halstead countered and left Chris Bryan with a simple finish.

An almighty goalmouth scramble in the Halstead box saw chances fall to several Gorleston players and again Howes was close to finishing, but the ball didn't sit right.

Eddie Thompson was pushed up front but Halstead were experienced enough to see out the game.

Team: Elliot Pride, Adam Thurtle, Thomas Daniels (Mitch Forbes 69), Adam Ferguson, Jamie Stockeld, Eddie Thompson, Reece Hunn, John Bell (Aaron Bowers 84), Peter Lambert, Steve Taylor, Neil Hurren (Kevin Howes 60)

The Greens have been drawn at home in the semi-finals of the First Division KO Cup where they will play either FC Clacton or Saffron Walden on February 9.

Gorleston Reserves are at home tomorrow to Ipswich Wanderers in the Chell Trophy quarter-finals, kick off 3. They got back to winning ways last week with a 6-1 victory at Whitton Reserves.

On Thursday night the Under-18s are at Norwich United.