Last game will decide
Gorleston 1, Lowestoft Railway 1st X1 1LOWESTOFT Railway came to the Cliff Park community pitch determined to spoil Gorleston's chance of winning the EML Division Four North East Championship outright.
Gorleston 1, Lowestoft Railway 1st X1 1
LOWESTOFT Railway came to the Cliff Park community pitch determined to spoil Gorleston's chance of winning the EML Division Four North East Championship outright. And so it proved.
This 1-1 draw, coupled with Ipswich IV's 3-2 win at Dereham and UEA II's 13-0 trouncing of Pelicans III, means Ipswich win the title and Gorleston must now win their final home game against Watton to secure the remaining second-place promotion spot.
As befits two sides in the top four, the match was keenly fought with many moments of speed and quality, but Gorleston undoubtedly had most of the possession and will bitterly regret not converting several of the attacks and short corner chances they had into goals.
Particularly so in the first half when the visitors were reduced to 10 men after Richard Pallant was sin-binned for 10 minutes after retaliating for an offence against him.
Following the interval the game continued at the same furious pace until the 20th minute when another Gorleston short corner routine saw a Lowestoft defender illegally stop a certain goal on the line. Up stepped Peter Jones to take the resulting penalty and his shot into the corner of the net gave Martin Howes in goal no chance.
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Lowestoft continued to probe away at the Gorleston defence, and when four minutes later they were awarded a short corner of their own, Jamie Clarkson scored with a powerful first time strike to show the home side that sometimes over-elaborate routines are not always as effective or indeed necessary.
In the final session both sides battled strongly to find the winner with at one end Jamie Higginbotham and Adam Stone both going close while at the other Barney King earned the man of the match award in the Gorleston goal, pulling off a fine save to deny the visitors.
But a draw was just about the right result for the neutral, although there were few of those about in this local derby.