Roach leaves sick bed to bug Gorleston
Gorleston 0, Great Yarmouth Town 1Stewart Roach got off his sick bed to notch the only goal of Monday's derby and thus ensure Yarmouth a hat-trick of wins over Gorleston this season and their first league double over the Greens since 1991-92 season.
Gorleston 0, Great Yarmouth Town 1
Stewart Roach got off his sick bed to notch the only goal of Monday's derby and thus ensure Yarmouth a hat-trick of wins over Gorleston this season and their first league double over the Greens since 1991-92 season.
Roach had spent most of the weekend suffering from a mystery bug but, not for the first time this season, exemplified the character that runs through this year's Bloaters to haul himself into the big game which he relishes.
The goal came after only three minutes when Scott Woodcock, a late replacement for Jake Reed with whom he swapped places on the bench, delivered a perfect
free-kick into the area where Roach stooped to swivel a header low between the diving Elliott Prideleft hand and the post.
It was Roach's 22nd goal in all competitions this season, and his 187th in all for the Bloaters.
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Woodcock's free-kicks were a feature of the game and Roach might have had a second almost identical goal just before the break, but this time the ball flew just wide of the top corner.
There were plenty of heroes on both sides in this eagerly-awaited and keenly-fought match.
Gorleston's captain, Eddie Thompson, put aside his tragic personal circumstances to take part in the game but unfortunately was unable to conjure up a consoling win.
Yarmouth's man of the match was keeper Michael Hilton, who at times in the second half, when Gorleston stormed the Bloaters' defences, kept his side in the game all by himself with some remarkable saves, using all parts of his body. He also had the assistance of a well-organised defence and Olly Savage and Steve Best - back after injury - produced goal-line clearances, the latter at the expense of a cut lip for which he was taken off to the nearby hospital for stitches.
Yarmouth had their chances too and might well have sewn the game up themselves in the latter stages but Gavin Norman skied a chance when well-placed.
“My lads didn't need motivating today,” said Bloaters' manager Paul Tong. “They responded to the situation with grit and determination and sometimes you have to win ugly.
“After the break we could have gone two up, but when they then bossed the game, our boys dug in, showed resilience, and we had a bit of Lady Luck when they were denied a possible penalty. Maybe they deserved a draw but we also had enough chances to have finished the game off. We were perhaps a bit fortunate in the second half but you make your own luck sometimes. We've had a few decisions go against us this year, but today we had a few go for us. So you have to enjoy it while you can.”
Gorleston: Elliott Pride, Kyle Howell, Ryan Bloomfield (Jamie Stokeld, 57 minutes), Aaron Blowers, Aaron Thurtle, Eddie Thompson, Chris Sandford (Robbie Oldham, 90 minutes), Liam Bartley, Peter Lambert, Steve Taylor, Garry Williams (Mitch Forbes, 80 minutes). Unused subs: Thomas Daniels, Ryan Pearson.
Yarmouth: Michael Hilton, Adam Sewell (Fernando Vide, 72 minutes), Olly Savage, Craig Roberts, Marcus Saunders, Steve Best (Ross Catchpole, 80 minutes), Scott Woodcock, Dominic Smith, Stewart Roach (Jake Reed, 72 minutes), Gavin Norman, Luke Fell. Unused subs: Mark Thompson, Bernardo Junior.