Lilley shines as Gorleston go down battling

Gorleston 0 Sudbury 2

Gorleston Hockey Club went down battling when they hosted high-flying Sudbury on Saturday.

Sudbury are pushing for a successive promotion in the East Men’s League Divison Two North and would be tough opponents, having thrashed Gorleston in the reverse fixture.

The game was an enthralling one, with both sides playing their full part.

Sudbury came to win the game and set out to attack Gorleston from the off, but Gorleston were resolute in defence and midfield, snuffing out any serious threat from the visitors.

Gorleston had a wonderful opportunity to take the lead mid way through the first half when Rob Harlow stormed into the Sudbury circle with the goal at his mercy, only to take his eye off the ball at the crucial moment and completely miss his shot.

With Gorleston midfield duo of Pallant and Lilley combining well, Gorleston took the game to Sudbury and both forwards Long and Hudson had opportunities to break into the Sudbury circle but were unable to beat the commanding Sudbury Keeper.

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Both sides amassed a number of short corners in the first half and it was from one of these that Sudbury eventually took the lead, near to the end of the half.

Having already hit the post once, a deflected shot finally beat Captain Barney King in the Gorleston goal.

Gorleston started the second half in the ascendancy, and pushed Sudbury back for a while.

However, Sudbury play a possession game and were able to move the ball around the pitch at great pace. Despite valiant efforts from the team, Gorleston began to look less likely to score.

Then Sudbury handed an advantage to Gorleston when one of their players made a poor tackle and the Umpire send him into the Sin Bin.

Despite the player advantage, Gorleston could not find a telling pass in the final third of the pitch. As Sudbury were restored to full strength, the advantage swapped in the other direction as Gorleston’s Pallant was sent to the sinbin after what seemed an innocuous challenge and then Sudbury doubled their lead.

After good work down their right wing, the ball was shipped to the top of the Gorleston circle to an unmarked attacker who planted the ball past the outstretched leg of the home keeper.

Gorleston still had time to push again and won a penalty when a Sudbury defender used the back of his stick in the circle.

Jamie Higginbotham stepped up to take the flick and sent it powerfully past the post after sending the keeper the wrong way.

A committed effort from Gorleston, sponsored by The Albion Pub, but not quite good enough. Man of the Match was Andrew Lilley for a gritty performance in the centre of midfield.

Squad: B King (C), K MacDonald, J Higginbotham, J Austin, H Cheung, R Harlow, M Vaudin, A Lilley, R Pallant, R Crawford, S Long, N Hudson, P Jones