Greens win away, lose at home
Cornard 0, Gorleston 2The Greens began their season with a comfortable victory at Cornard, writes David Hardy.Gorleston should have taken the lead as early as the sixth minute when a Gary Williams run created a chance for Mitch Forbes, but Forbes diverted the ball off the top of the bar from two yards out.
Cornard 0, Gorleston 2
The Greens began their season with a comfortable victory at Cornard, writes David Hardy.
Gorleston should have taken the lead as early as the sixth minute when a Gary Williams run created a chance for Mitch Forbes, but Forbes diverted the ball off the top of the bar from two yards out.
Midway through the half Matty Taunton and Forbes linked up, the ball ricocheting to Scott Woodcock whose shot was deflected wide.
After 33 minutes, with Gorleston dominating possession, Williams closed down a defender to put himself through, but he dragged his effort wide.
Two minutes later Gorleston took the lead when Taunton slid a ball through to Forbes, who had loads of time and kept his cool to slot past the advancing keeper.
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Forbes had another chance shortly after but this time his volley was of target.
Gorleston continued to keep the ball with ease into the second half, although perhaps not creating as many chances as they would like.
Woodcock dragged an effort past the far post and then a Forbes shot on the run rose over the bar.
Woodcock was sent away wide in acres of space. He slid the ball in to Adam Thurtle, who found himself in unknown territory bearing down on the opposition goalkeeper. Thurtle had the vision to pull the ball back to Luke Catchpole, but his strike was well over the bar.
Danny Mitchell replaced Forbes and within 10 minutes had virtually made the game safe.
Williams pulled the ball back from the left byline and Mitchell took his time to fire it into the top corner of the goal.
The Greens had further chances with the keeper saving from Catchpole. With three minutes left, in almost a repeat of Forbes' effort in the opening minutes, Mitchell scooped over from four yards when it seemed easier to score.
Team: Elliot Pride, Sean Blowers, Thomas Daniels, Matty Taunton (John Bell 68), Adam Thurtle, Eddie Thompson, Chris Sandford, Gary Williams, Mitch Forbes (Danny Mitchell 59), Luke Catchpole, Scott Woodcock (Robbie Oldham 80).
Gorleston 0, Fakenham 1
Any team that thinks Fakenham will be pushovers again this season will be in for a surprise.
They were helped by an early goal, which gave them something to fight for.
Fakenham's goal, which contained an element of fluke, came in their first attack after 12 minutes, after Eddie Thompson and Mitch Forbes both had chances to score for the Greens.
A cross from the left found its way to Sam Garner, who had ghosted in on the far side of the box. He seemed to miscue the ball off his foot but the effort lobbed over Elliot Pride from close range.
Sean Blowers cleared off the line as Fakenham began to find their way through the Gorleston midfield with ease.
Gorleston rallied and Scott Woodcock hit a thunderbolt from 30 yards which keeper Tom Rix tipped over.
Although the Greens had good possession, Fakenham were getting everybody behind the ball and working hard.
Gorleston began the second half with an increased tempo, pushing Fakenham back, but all too often the final ball was letting them down.
Fakenham were a threat on the counter-attack and Pride had to save well from a Garner break.
Perhaps the best chance to equalise came on the hour when Forbes did well down the left and his deflected cross was missed by the goalkeeper. John Bell headed back towards the bottom corner but a Fakenham defender got back to clear off the line.
Danny Mitchell took a shot early but it was straight at the keeper, and then some terrific skill by Chris Sandford set Forbes away - but his shot was blocked at source.
The Greens had plenty of possession, albeit lots of it sideways, and all too often tried to play through the congested centre of the park where the well-organised Fakenham side repelled most advances.
It was the ball into the box which lacked quality and manager Richard Daniels will probably learn more about his squad from this defeat than from the comfortable victory at Cornard.
Team: Elliot Pride, Kyle Howell, Tom Daniels (Michael King 76), Matty Taunton (Danny Mitchell 51), Sean Blowers, Eddie Thompson, Chris Sandford, Gary Williams, Mitch Forbes, Luke Catchpole (John Bell 37), Scott Woodcock.
This week Gorleston are in FA Cup action at March Town. A coach will leave Emerald Park at 11.30 for the game, costing �5 a head.