Hockey derby may be last for some time
Gorleston 2, Lowestoft 1Lowestoft Town Hockey Club are currently bottom of Division Three North East in the NE14 East Men's League and have already cancelled three away games for lack of players.
Gorleston 2, Lowestoft 1
Lowestoft Town Hockey Club are currently bottom of Division Three North East in the NE14 East Men's League and have already cancelled three away games for lack of players. One more cancellation with 12 games still to play and they will automatically be withdrawn from the league with the prospect that participation at any future level in all competitions of the sport will be at the management committee's sole discretion.
Perhaps in the knowledge they could have one last foray with the “old enemy”, Lowestoft were able to muster a full squad for their visit to Cliff Park and after a tight and fractious game Gorleston managed to avenge the 2-1 defeat they suffered at Kirkley in their opening game of the league season.
Gorleston, buoyed by their thumping victory over Norwich Dragons, within a minute had taken the lead as former Lowestoft player James Clarkson broke into the D to cross for Monty Raymond to finish at the far post.
Lowestoft battened down the hatches and withstood the home side's further pressure until it surprisingly eased after 15 minutes. Thereafter Lowestoft began to make inroads into the Gorleston defence and shortly before half-time they were awarded a short corner which skipper Chris Thornton converted.
Under the floodlights the second half was a disappointment as Gorleston missed opportunities and both sides became increasingly verbal. The flash-point occurred 20 minutes from the end when Lowestoft's centre forward Simon Harris received a straight red card. The game had to be suspended for 10 minutes whilst tempers cooled.
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On the restart the 10 men of Lowestoft tried to pack their defence but Gorleston at last settled down again to use their extra man and skills. Russ Crawford Richard Pallant and MoM James Clarkson combined well for James to fire in his second goal and clinch a victory which should have been easier.
Gorleston at the Christmas break are now back in fifth place in the league table on 18 points and will hopefully stabilise that spot in the new year. Their next game is a friendly at Cliff Park Community pitch on January 2 when Gorleston entertain Lowestoft Railway 1st X1 - pushback at 2.30pm. All members and any potential new players are invited.
As for Lowestoft, their future at this level looks bleak and a long period of rehabilitation with new younger players seems inevitable. That is what happened to Gorleston 10 years ago when the club dropped voluntarily to Division Six and regrouped. It certainly did them no harm at all in the long run.