Promotion boost for Greens
Gorleston, who climbed to second place in the Ridgeons First Division on Tuesday night by beating promotion rivals Diss at Emerald Park, tomorrow travel to play league leaders Cambridge University Press. The Greens are currently four points behind CUP but have five games in hand.
Gorleston 4, Diss Town 0
THE Greens continued on their fine run to make it six wins in a row and leap-frog their opponents in the league.
The match started at a frantic pace with both sides not allowing the other to settle and Diss perhaps gaining the upper hand early on.
But the Greens soon found their rhythm, and the tone of the game was set in the seventh minute when a 20-yard Richard Woodrow shot seemed to slip out of Diss keeper Mark Cambridge’s hands, going just over the bar.
With 17 minutes on the clock, Diss full-back Jason Cole launched himself through the back of Steve Taylor close to the left touchline to give away a free-kick and earn himself a booking.
The kick was launched into the box where the crowd of players attacking the ball were stopped by the referee’s whistle. Diss players were aghast to realise the referee had spotted a foul on Ali McKenna, who had received a kick to the head, and awarded the Greens a penalty.
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Gary Williams stepped up to convert the spot-kick.
Both teams were committed to the cause with some good, old-fashioned challenges being made that the referee was happy to let go, which helped to contribute to the entertainment of the half.
Gorleston were passing the ball around well whilst Diss were looking to the talented Jordan Rocastle as an outlet, but Kyle Howell kept him quiet.
Eddie Thompson hit a volley over the bar from a corner and a Diss cross evaded everybody as the ball rolled across the box with the game was nicely poised.
But the balance tipped in the Greens’ direction after 35 minutes.
A weak Taylor shot from the edge of the area seemed an easy pick-up for keeper Cambridge, but he fumbled the ball back out into the box, where it fell nicely for McKenna to score his third goal in three games.
More Diss-aster was to follow for the Tangerines two minutes later as Chris Sandford drove a 25-yard free-kick into the box, where the ball deflected off a defender and into the goal.
Gorleston began the second half on top with Woodrow running the midfield, and they might have had another penalty in the 52nd minute when a Williams cross struck Cole’s hand, but just a corner was awarded.
Danny Partridge could have pulled a goal back for Diss but blazed wide from close range before Gorleston made sure of victory on the hour.
A superb Woodrow pass picked out DJ Kareche on the left. He attempted to square the ball along the edge of the box to McKenna where Cole stuck out a leg to intercept.
Unfortunately for him, he only succeeded in firing the ball towards his own goal where his keeper was unable to react quick enough, the ball finding a gap between Cambridge and the post to make it 4-0.
By now Diss were launching balls to their big men up front but Thompson and Adam Thurtle were equal to everything, with Thurtle completing one excellent block midway through the half.
Mitch Forbes came off the bench and could have scored soon after but the keeper pushed his shot around a post.
As the game entered injury time Forbes was worrying the defenders again and an attempted clearance by Cambridge fell to Forbes just outside the box. He lobbed the ball nicely over the keeper but it bounced back into play off the top of the bar.
It is now eight straight wins for Gorleston since the turn of the year.
Thanks went to supporters Rob and Pauline Richardson for sponsoring this game.
Team: Elliot Pride, Kyle Howell, DJ Kareche, Gary Williams (Reece Hunn 69), Adam Thurtle (Darren Cockrill 80), Eddie Thompson, Chris Sandford, Aaron Huggins-Bowers (Mitch Forbes 62), Ali McKenna, Steve Taylor, Richard Woodrow.