Norman maintains his Yarmouth goals form

Haverhill Rovers 1, Great Yarmouth Town 1

Yarmouth have reserved the best of their performances for their away games.

On Saturday, after conceding the lead early on, the Bloaters steadied, equalised and could have won in what is becoming a typical second-half spirited fight-back. Perhaps manager Paul Tong should switch his inspiring half-time team talks to before the game! writes Gerry Brown

After a quiet opening, Yarmouth had the first real chance of the game after 15 minutes when Jake Reed burst into the area. Although he appeared to be fouled, he kept on his feet but was unable to finish.

The first goal came three minutes later when 17-year-old keeper Jake Jessup raced from goal and in trying to clear brought down Marc Abbott just inside the box. A yellow card followed, not red as there were covering defenders, and Stuart Wardley tucked the penalty away with venom.

Undeterred, Yarmouth mounted raids that won corners with Reed always a danger. But it was the home side that nearly scored again when Joe Bell had to clear off the line from Wardley after a corner.

Haverhill went close again on the half-hour when a shot from Abbott skimmed the outside of a post. But moments later, Yarmouth went very near too.

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From a Scott Woodcock corner won by Reed, Dominic Smith’s shot was put behind by the home defence and from the second corner Gavin Norman weaved his way through, and although his shot was blocked Norman won possession again and crossed for Woodcock who just failed to reach the pass for what would have been a certain goal.

Haverhill had the better of the half but Yarmouth’s grit, commitment and determination shone through. And early in the second half the Bloaters reaped the reward.

A combined move involving Fernando Vide, Smith and Reed saw the latter slide the ball over to Norman. He run unchallenged to the edge of the box and curled a shot beyond Haverhill keeper Matt Morrisson for a deserved equaliser after 52 minutes.

It was the fourth game in a row that Norman has scored.

The game remained very open and entertaining but Yarmouth held the upper hand with Smith and Ross Catchpole dominating the midfield.

There was just one moment of panic as Jessup raced towards the touchline on the hour with his attempted tackle failing. Fortunately the ensuing centre was totally inaccurate and Yarmouth survived the scare.

Reed could have scored from a Woodcock cross but could not quite get a decisive touch as the ball bobbled in the Haverhill area, and the leading scorer had another good opening but a covering defender just got the ball away for another corner.

By now, Jonny Miller had come on as Yarmouth decided to try and close the game out, with Norman dropping back too.

Chris Duffy and Gareth Palmer continued their sterling work in the heart of the defence and Yarmouth did not suffer from Duffy’s one mis-timed tackle in front of the area as Abbott popped the free-kick over Jessup’s bar.

Yarmouth survived some late Haverhill pressure which brought only corners, and might have won it themselves but Reed in space down the left was caught marginally offside from a searching Bell pass.

Yarmouth: J Jessup, L Fell, J Bell, G Palmer, C Duffy, R Catchpole, F Vide, D Smith, Norman (c), J Reed, S Woodcock. Subs: J Miller (Vide 73), C McAra, J Hume.

Attendance: 122.