Patchy Bloaters still hit five

Debenham LC 2, Great Yarmouth Town 5

Manager Paul Tong was rueful of changes which his Yarmouth team were slow to react to on Saturday.

“I changed the system for the second half, which seemed to unsettle the players, and I take full responsibility for our patchy performance in the second half.

“However, as I said to the lads after the game, if someone would have said you’d have won the game 5-2 and only played in fits and starts, you would have gladly taken the three points.”

However he did reserve praise for his in-form players. “Dom Smith is back to his usual self with Ross Catchpole marshalling the middle, along with the creativity of the fab four of Jake, Gavin, Luke and Scott.”

Tong kept faith in the same team that beat Clacton last week, with Adey Ager and Olly McCarthy continuing their fledgling parnership, with Gareth Palmer returning to the squad but settling for a place on the bench.

For the first match in a while there were no goals within the opening 10 minutes, with fans having to wait until the 12th minute for the deadlock to be broken.

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Luke Fell delivered a cross which Gavin Norman drove low towards goal. The keeper saved well but was unable to hold on and Scott Woodcock ran in and scored from close range.

Yarmouth continued their dominance. Dominic Smith shot from far out but his fierce drive thundered against the bar. Within a minute Debenham’s first chance almost resulted in a goal, the ball hitting the inside of a post and deflecting back across goal to be cleared.

That was a warning but Yarmouth failed to heed it as Stuart Jopling reacted first after the ball got lost in a flurry of players within the Yarmouth box to restore parity.

Yarmouth were back ahead before the half-hour mark. Norman fed through, beating the offside trap, and the captain then crossed for Scott Woodcock to get his sixth goal in five games.

This started a period of dominance for Yarmouth, with Luke Fell and James Page linking well down the right and Norman and Jake Reed looking a constant threat up front.

The third goal came as Reed’s shot deflected through to Fell and the winger notched his fourth in four games with a clinical finish.

The next two minutes saw two more chances from similar positions for Reed and Smith. Michael Hilton was kept busy, saving an effort then seeing a guilt-edged chance from the dangerous Jamie Cole go wide.

The second half was greeted with an increased threat from Debenham, forcing manager Tong to replace Page with Gareth Palmer, with McCarthy changing to left back and Jo Bell pushing on.

In the 70th minute Debenham’s pressure was forgotten as Reed rushed through, and with the defence claiming offside, the striker had the composure to head over the on-rushing keeper and passing into the empty net.

In the final 10 minutes Adey Ager was adjudged to have pulled a shirt and a penalty was awarded which substitute Heathcote dispatched.

Woodcock then put the ball through for Reed, and the striker ran into the box and cut the ball back for Smith to thunder home from outside the area to complete the nap hand.

The Reserves had a disappointing draw at home to Needham Market Reserves 2-2 although the result means they have reduced the gap with second-placed Diss Town Reserves to five points with four games in hand.

This weekend they travel to Dereham Town Res, 3pm. They will also be in action on Wednesday when they travel again to face Debenham LC Reserves at Maitlands, 7.45pm.

Sunday results: The U11 side captured to Norfolk and Suffolk U11 League Cup when they beat Waveney Youth A 2-1 in the final at Emerald Park. The U14 beat St Benets Wasps A 7-3 and the U16 defeated Shrublands 8-0.

The Men’s side reached the Division One League Cup final, beating Hemsby 7-0 and the Ladies demolished Dereham Town Ladies 10-0.

Sunday fixtures: U16 v Burrage Centurions (NSYL Cup Final, Emerald Park 12.30pm, U14 v Waveney Youth A (home), U11 v St Benets Wasps B (home). Mens v Windmill (home 10.30am), Ladies no fixture.

Yarmouth team v Debenham LC: Hilton, Page (Palmer 56), Bell, McCarthy, Ager, Catchpole, Fell (Spooner 76), Smith, Norman (Barnden), Reed, Woodcock. Subs not used: Jessup. Goals: Woodcock (2), Fell, Reed, Smith. Bookings: None Att: 50.

Yarmouth team v Leiston: Hilton (McCarthy 62), Page, Bell, Palmer, Ager, Catchpole, Fell (Barnden 90), Smith, Norman (Short 90), Reed, Woodcock. All subs used. Goal: Reed. Bookings: Catchpole. Att: 158.