Promotion main aim for Greens

Gorleston, who scored seven in the league last week but suffered a Challenge Cup defeat on Tuesday, are in league action tomorrow at home to Downham Town, kick-off 3pm. On Tuesday they visit Fakenham in the Ridgeons First Division KO Cup.

The Reserves travel to play Needham Market tomorrow. The U18s play at Kirkley on Thursday night.

Gorleston 7, Swaffham Town 2

GREENS manager Richard Daniels was delighted. “We played very well. The league is paramount this year – our main objective is to finish in the top three and get promotion.”

Thomas Daniels was suspended and replaced by Liam Bartley who played as a right wing back as the Greens went with three at the back, writes David Hardy.

With Peter Lambert returning to the starting line-up and Mitch Forbes and Bradley Hough also starting, the side had a very attacking look about it. And they got off to the best possible start, going ahead in the fourth minute.

They could have taken the lead a minute earlier when Mitch Forbes was brought down as he burst towards the box and another referee on another day may well have shown Swaffham defender Matthew Parkinson a red, but this time it was only a yellow. Gary Williams fired the free-kick just over.

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It was just a temporary reprieve for the Pedlars as, in the next attack, Williams glided through, sliding the ball wide to Forbes who made no mistake in front of goal.

The vulnerability of trying a back three was shown in the 10th minute when, despite Elliot Pride’s best efforts, Nathan Cross capitalised on the space to equalise.

Pride had to be at his best two minutes later to prevent Swaffham taking the lead but it was the Greens who got their noses back in front on 14 minutes, with more than an element of luck involved.

Pedlars’ keeper Dean Mayes raced out of his box to clear a long ball that was held up by a strong wind. The ball smacked into his own defender Dwayne Hockton and rebounded nicely for Forbes to turn and score.

After 38 minutes the Greens increased their lead when Forbes fed Hough, who coolly knocked the ball under the sprawling keeper for his first Gorleston goal.

Four minutes later Jake Platten’s shot beat Pride but came back off the post.

First half injury time saw a Williams free kick well saved by Mayes but the ball ballooned up and struck Ben Durrent on the arm, giving Gorleston a penalty which Bartley thumped home for his third spot kick success in four games.

The half had developed almost like a basketball game. Virtually straight from the re-start Swaffham attacked and Platten blasted home Swaffham’s second goal from 20 yards.

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The second half began the same as the first with Gorleston extending their lead four minutes in when Forbes again finished well for the Greens fifth and to complete his own hat-trick. He also scored three the last time these two sides met in February.

Bartley was then on the post to head a Parkinson header off the line to preserve the lead.

Scott Voutt shot wide following a Jackson free kick before Hough was denied by Mayes and then Pride saved from Christopher Ward.

Danny Mitchell replaced hat-trick hero Forbes for the final half an hour and was soon on the score sheet himself when he rounded the beleaguered Mayes and put the ball into the goal to make it six.

Finally, in the last minute Mitchell was through again but this time the keeper saved well but, from the resulting corner, first Lambert and then Herbert were denied on the line before Mitchell thumped the ball in from two yards to complete the scoring.

This was Gorleston’s biggest winning margin since they beat Swaffham 5-0 back in February and the last time they hit seven goals was also against Swaffham in March 2009.

Team: Elliot Pride, Sean Blowers, Liam Bartley, Gary Williams (Callum Jones 69), Jack Herbert, Eddie Thompson, Chris Sandford, Bradley Hough (Robbie Oldham 79), Mitch Forbes (Danny Mitchell 62), Steve Taylor, Peter Lambert.

Diss Town 2, Gorleston 0

Gorleston made five changes to the starting line-up for this League Cup game on Tuesday night and despite the result the performance showed the quality in the Greens squad.

With the rain making the surface slippery the game began at a frantic pace and it was Gorleston having the better of it.

Callum Jones shot over after seven minutes, Chris Sandford had a header diverted over the bar, Liam Bartley had two good chances then Mitch Forbes and Sandford played a one-two in the box but the shot was tame, all in the first quarter of an hour.

Elliot Pride was called into action after 17 minutes when he held the greasy ball at the second attempt from a Luke Catchpole shot and after 28 minutes pushed away a good Kirk Bardsley effort.

Seven minutes later Forbes burst into the Diss box and appeared to be pushed and, to his credit, stayed on his feet but was unable to get a decent shot in whilst off balance.

Seven minutes later a Diss player made the most of an Eddie Thompson challenge as his theatrical fall earned his side a free kick. To rub salt into the wound Thompson was booked by the duped referee for voicing his opinion to the player.

Dubious as that decision was there was no doubt about the well-worked free kick where a double switch opened a gap wide enough for George Watts-Sturrock to drive the ball into the goal to earn Diss a half-time lead against the run of play.

Gorleston made a slow start to the second half struggling to keep the ball and Jack Herbert was called upon to intercept a poor back pass and divert it for a corner.

The Greens got back into it and a good, low Jack Garrod cross was not attacked in the box before the passing game produced a good chance for Robbie Oldham but he couldn’t keep his shot on the run down.

Bradley Hough came on and within five minutes had rattled the bar although the linesman’s flag had gone up and it did seem Gorleston were on the wrong side of most of the 50/50 decisions.

With 13 minutes left Diss were awarded another free kick towards the left corner of the box. This time Watts-Sturrock struck it into the box where it was missed by everybody and found the net to seal the win.

As sometimes happens in football the scoreline wasn’t a true reflection of the game although Gorleston could have perhaps been more decisive in the final third especially in the second half. But the performances of Jones and Garrod were big positives.

Team: Elliot Pride, Thomas Daniels, Daniel Lowe (Sean Blowers 57), Callum Jones, Jack Herbert, Eddie Thompson, Chris Sandford, Liam Bartley (Bradley Hough 60), Mitch Forbes, Robbie Oldham (Steve Taylor 79), Jack Garrod,