Rejuvenated Gorleston’s hat-trick bid

Woodbridge Town 1 Gorleston 2

The Greens got back to winning ways in the Ridgeons League Premier Division as they gained gained revenge for a home defeat suffered a month ago.

Gorleston made two changes to the side that had famously beaten Norwich City Reserves 2-1 in the Norfolk Senior Cup semi final.

Captain Eddie Thompson was rested due to a slight hamstring problem but there was still a Thompson/Thurtle centre back partnership as Olly Thompson made his first team debut. Kyle Howell started at right back.

The Greens dominated the opening, forcing Woodbridge into mistakes, and took the lead after seven minutes.

Gary Williams sent Christy Finch through on the right. he cut in towards goal and fired the ball past the keeper, writes DAVID HARDY.

Woodbridge’s first effort at goal came in first half stoppage time from a free kick, but was high over the bar.

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There were just eight free kicks in the entire half, one heavy challenge on Andy Howell resulting in a yellow card, but the important statistic was that Gorleston had hit the net once.

The Woodpeckers began to take control of the midfield, with Andy Howell struggling following the challenge on him just before half time which eventually led to Howell being replaced by another new signing Jack Marsden, making his second Greens debut.

After 71 minutes the Greens should have increased their lead when a Williams cross was diverted ont o the post by a defender.

The rebound fell to McKenna five yards out but he failed to get a clean connection and put the ball into the side-netting.

However, two minutes later it was 2-0. Bradley Hough closed down the keeper on the right, just outside his area, forcing him to rush his kick. The ball fell to Steve Taylor 10 yards into the Woodbridge half and he calmly curled the ball back into the empty goal.

If Gorleston thought that was the end of the game they were in for a shock as Woodbridge responded well.

Allicion Blake hit a cracking shot, which took a slight deflection that was enough to see the ball thunder back off the crossbar, with Elliot Pride beaten.

On 80 minutes Blake headed the ball into the net but was flagged offside then two minutes later he burst through again one on one but Pride saved well, however, again he was offside.

It was a case of third time lucky though for Blake as, with seven minutes remaining, a cross from Paul Hart found Blake unmarked in front of goal for a simple tap-in.

The Greens should have made injury time more comfortable with a minute left as they broke three against one defender. Hough’s cross was missed by McKenna but fell to Liam Harvey-Cooper however his shot was straight at the keeper.

Despite nearly five minutes of injury time Woodbridge were unable to force an equaliser and Gorleston picked up their first league win since November 19. The Greens have played better this season and lost so were happy to take the three points.

Gorleston: Elliot Pride, Kyle Howell, Reece Hunn, Andy Howell (Jack Marsden 69), Adam Thurtle, Olly Thompson, Chris Sandford, Gary Williams (Liam Harvey-Cooper 75), Ally McKenna, Steve Taylor, Christy Finch (Bradley Hough 65)

Goals: Finch 7; Taylor 73

Woodbridge: Tom Stills, Craig Stuart, Ryan Stafford, Kelsey Trotter, Mark Rooper, Liam Scopes, Lewis Pemberton, Arron Churchyard, Allicion Blake, Darius Laws, Tom Trevivian

Goal: Blake 83

Booking: Pemberton 40

Tomorrow the Greens bid to make it three wins in a row when they entertain Wivenhoe at Emerald Park (3).