Key fixture for free-scoring Greens
MIDWEEK cup tie winners Gorleston, who have hit the net 12 times in their last two league games, travel to fellow Ridgeons First Division promotion hopefuls Whitton United tomorrow, ko 3pm.
Whitton are third, just two points ahead of the fifth-placed Greens, but they have played a game more.
The Suffolk side have also been in good scoring form, scoring five in their last match at Swaffham and putting four past Thetford the week before.
With the top two, Cambridge University Press and Diss, playing each other, this will be an interesting weekend.
On Tuesday night, Gorleston won 2-0 at Fakenham in the KO Cup for their division.
Gorleston 5, Downham Town 1
Gorleston showed just one change from their previous league game with Thomas Daniels returning to defence and started off on the front foot with a good tempo in Saturday’s league match.
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Chris Sandford had a second-minute shot go straight into the keeper’s arms and in the next minute a 30-yard Gary Williams free-kick was helped on by Steve Taylor but hit the bottom of a post.
The Greens took the lead in the sixth minute when Bradley Hough twisted and turned in the box before he was tripped by Jason Knight. With usual penalty taker Liam Bartley on the bench, Peter Lambert sent keeper David Martin the wrong way.
Midway through the half Gorleston doubled their lead.
Williams set Sandford up to power in a shot that the keeper could only fumble and Mitch Forbes was following up to slot the ball in.
Three minutes later it was 3-0 when Sandford ran onto a ball on the left and crossed low into the six-yard box where Lambert poked home.
Downham’s Matthew Garrod almost curled an effort into the bottom corner of Elliot Pride’s goal two minutes before the break, but Gorleston scored again on the stroke of half-time when a terrific Tom Daniels cross found Forbes and Taylor arriving together at the far post to turn the ball in, Taylor getting the final touch.
Gorleston scored a minute into the second half. Williams was fouled but the referee played a good advantage as Sandford was in on goal and finished coolly.
The Greens then eased off. On the hour Pride brilliantly turned a Lee Frappell header onto the bar, not knowing the linesman’s flag was up, and Downham who had the better of the second period.
Gorleston had only one more chance of note when Lambert tried a deft chip over an advancing keeper but failed to get any pace on it.
The scoreline gave Mike Derbyshire, standing in for manager Richard Daniels who was serving his ban in the stands, a chance to give Carl Burgess a debut, replacing Sandford in centre midfield.
Then came the individual
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goal of the game when Downham’s Ryan Pearson, who had made eight appearances for Gorleston last season, controlled a ball on the right and hit a volley over Pride.
Team: Elliot Pride, Sean Blowers (DJ Kareche 46), Tom Daniels, Gary Williams, Jack Herbert, Eddie Thompson, Chris Sandford (Carl Burgess 63), Bradley Hough, Mitch Forbes, Steve Taylor, Peter Lambert (Callum Jones 73).
Fakenham 0, Gorleston 2
On Tuesday Gorleston made the trip for this First Division Knockout Cup first round tie showing three changes from Saturday’s league game.
DJ Kareche came in at right back whilst Robbie Oldham and Callum Jones both started in midfield.
Gorleston began playing in to a strong wind and found it very difficult to get out of their own half.
Elliot Pride was the busier of the two goalkeepers, palming over a Jake Betts corner and producing a terrific reflex save from a close range Karl Pask header. Ben Coe headed well wide as Fakenham dominated in a first half that will soon be forgotten.
Gary Williams kept his free-kick down in the first minute of the second half and forced keeper Tom Rix to punch away.
Gorleston took the lead in the 58th minute when Steve Taylor seized on a defensive slip to pounce on the ball, round the keeper and side-foot into the empty goal.
Coe had a long range effort saved by Pride before the best piece of passing football in the game saw Kareche and Williams linking on the right. Williams cross was turned back to the edge of the box for Mitch Forbes to power in a drive which the keeper saved.
Reece Hunn, who has joined the Greens permanently after an 11-game loan spell last season, came on as a substitute and Carl Burgess replaced Oldham in midfield. .
With three minutes left Taylor floated in a free-kick from the left for Bradley Hough, who had ghosted in at the far post, to head home.
Team: Elliot Pride, DJ Kareche, Tom Daniels, Gary Williams (Jack Garrod 89), Jack Herbert, Eddie Thompson, Robbie Oldham (Carl Burgess 76), Bradley Hough, Mitch Forbes, Steve Taylor, Callum Jones (Reece Hunn 70).
The Reserves, who lost 4-3 at Needham Market Reserves last Saturday will be hoping to bounce back on Tuesday night when they travel to play Dereham Reserves.
The U18s travel to Plantation Park to play Norwich Utd on Thursday.