Late double wraps up away win for Gorleston
- Credit: Archant
Fakenham 0 Gorleston 3
Gorleston enjoyed their second win and second clean sheet of the season at Clipbush Park.
Fakenham are yet to earn a point or score a league goal this season and Gorleston started well, with Russell’s pace immediately evident on the right.
However, the Ghosts soon found their feet in the game and Robbie Harris had the first real chance after 12 minutes when he got behind the defenders and through on George Macrae, but the Greens keeper was out quick to block with his feet.
Fakenham were having the better of the possession and looking the team most likely to score and midway through the half perhaps would have but for one of their own players’ intervention, when a thunderbolt of a strike from Matt Gilchrist struck Harris on his head, knocking him off his feet.
Against the run of play Gorleston took the lead in the 59th minute. Clearing a Fakenham attack two first-time passes saw Russell put the ball over the defence for Chris Sandford to run on to, one on one with the keeper, and he kept his cool to slot the ball home.
As the game entered injury time Joel Watts was fouled 22 yards from goal. He had to be replaced, with Hayden Ingram coming on for his first team debut and becoming the 21st player used by manager Ricci Butler already this season.
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The Greens considered trying to run down the clock from the free-kick but instead opted to shoot. Keegan Middleton bent one of his trademark free-kicks around the wall, with two Gorleston players chasing it in without getting a touch but doing enough to make the keeper hesitate, and the ball duly found the bottom corner.
Three minutes later the Greens put something of a shine on the result when Russell weaved into the box from the right and, from a narrow angle, blasted the ball into the roof of the net with the last kick.
Gorleston 1 Hadleigh 2
A controversial late goal cost the Greens against the 2014 champions, Hadleigh.
For the fourth game in a row Gorleston lost out to a goal in the final minute.
The Greens didn’t start well and Hadleigh scored in the 12th minute, when Danny Thrower drilled a low effort into the net from 20 yards.
The first Green threat came in the 20th minute when a Kyle Ingram run on the right saw him unleash a left-footed effort from 25 yards but the ball didn’t curl in enough.
Gorleston began to find their feet and Chris Sandford hit a drive from 25 yards but the ball failed to dip enough.
Five minutes before the break another Sandford effort was saved by Ben Nower, the ball spilled into the six-yard box towards Kyle Ingram but, just as the Gorleston man was about to shoot, a flying challenge from Stafford cleared the ball.
Seven minutes into the second half Hadleigh came close to doubling their lead when a dipping long range shot beat Macrae but smacked back off the bar.
With 20 minutes remaining Ricci Butler made the first of two changes when Conna Harris went on for Damon Wise and the Greens went to three at the back.
Gorleston equalised in the 78th minute. A long, high ball picked out Kyle Ingram who turned and fired it in to McKenna just inside the box. McKenna’s first touch was excellent, his second was to turn well and his third was to bury it into the net.
With seven minutes remaining Connor Ingram drove into the box and unleashed a drive which was saved by a defender diving low to his right. It looked a penalty but neither ref nor linesman saw it as such.
The danger of going for the win was that the Greens could be exposed and that proved the case in the 90th minute.
There was a scramble in the middle of the Gorleston half before the Thrower went through and slotted past Macrae. He was offside but according to the officials, he didn’t score!
Greens’ annoyance was obvious with Butler sent from the bench and Sandford picking up a yellow.
Feelings were compounded when Liam Brown got to the byline. A defender slid in to block and the ball struck his arm. Again appeals were ignored by the officials.
Match sponsor Mick Payne gave the man of the match to Aaron Taylor.
Gorleston: Macrae, Wise (Harris), Brown, McKay (C Ingram), Taylor, Cockrill, K Ingram, Goreham, McKenna, Sandford, Watts.