New boys Gorleston make mark

Wroxham 1 Gorleston 2

GORLESTON travelled to Trafford Park with an injury-hit squad, but returned with all three points from the title-chasers.

Adam Thurtle was out with a groin strain and replaced by debutant Gareth Palmer, whilst Liam Harvey-Cooper dropped to the bench to be replaced by Aaron Huggins-Bowers.

The Greens had a first-minute shout for a handball and what could have been a penalty and red card, but the referee ignored the appeals.

However, just three minutes later Gorleston took the lead. A deep cross-come-shot from Thomas Daniels deceived Wroxham keeper Robert Woodcock, struck the post and rebounded for loan signing Jamie Godbold to head in his first Gorleston goal.

Ali McKenna was barged over on the edge of the box after 13 minutes, Godbold curled the free kick just wide.

Pride made his first save of the game after 15 minutes before, 10 minutes later, Christy Finch was sent through on goal. He beat the advancing keeper with his effort but the ball bounced back off the foot of the post.

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Two minutes after that Wroxham equalised when one of their players fell under pressure in the box and the ref had no hesitation in awarding the penalty.

Jordan Rocastle sent Pride the wrong way with his spot-kick.

Gorleston responded well and after 31 minutes went back in front. Reece Hunn went on a mazy dribble down the left, beating three defenders and cutting in before sliding a ball through for McKenna. McKenna crossed to the far post where Finch tucked the ball in.

Five minutes before the break Finch was clean through again but shot early and Woodcock made the save.

Wroxham looked devoid of ideas relying heavily on the long ball to use the pace of Rocastle, possibly because of how hard the Greens were working to hassle and close down their opponents.

When the ball did go forward Eddie Thompson and Palmer got in the way of most things in the best 45 minutes of football Gorleston have played this season.

Wroxham pressed from the start of the second half. Pride pushed away a drive in the second minute and was fortunate to see the ball divert between two incoming forwards. He was then in the right place to hold on to a Gavin Lemmon header.

Daniels broke down the right after 20 minutes and hit a great cross to Chris Sandford but he could only stab it wide and six minutes later Finch crossed and again Sandford’s effort went wide, this time via the keeper.

Wroxham pushed Damien Hilton up front and went even more direct but again the Gorleston central defenders were able to deal with most things.

Sandford put Daniels in after 82 minutes but the keeper got in the way as he attempted to square the ball across goal.

Danger threatened with three minutes left when Rocastle raced through and round the advancing Pride, but he was forced wide and made to cross deep and the danger cleared.

The Greens almost finished with a flourish when a Finch free kick was pushed away by Woodcock and found its way to Godbold following up at the far post, but again the ball rebounded away off the frame of the goal.

Team: Elliot Pride, Tom Daniels, Reece Hunn, Andy Howell, Gareth Palmer, Eddie Thompson, Chris Sandford, Jamie Godbold, Ali McKenna, Christy Finch, Aaron Huggins-Bowers (Darren Cockrill 82).