Rovers’ winning margin is unfair on Gorleston

Narrow-escape-for-the-Gorlesto

- Credit: Archant

Gorleston 0 Godmanchester Rovers 3

The record books will show what appears to be a comfortable win for the promotion-chasing visitors but on the day they were not three goals better than Gorleston.

The difference was that they had that little more quality in the box to convert their chances.

Manager Ricci Butler made three changes from the narrow loss at Saffron Walden.

There was no place for Sam Ellis, who was with the Reserves, or Jason Thompson and Cain Eagleton, dropped to the bench.

The Greens had a new-look defence with Nathan Welton coming in at left back for only his third appearance and Reserve teamer Daniel Goodrum making his first team debut at centre half.

Joel Watts returned to the starting line-up and congratulations go to him after he became a dad during the week.

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Not surprisingly the high-flyers had the majority of the pressure in the opening period of a largely uneventful first half.

Watts almost latched onto a ricochet after 10 minutes but couldn’t get the ball under control then, at the other end, Luke Brown got the ball stuck between his feet when in front of goal and couldn’t get a shot away.

The first shot of the game came after 27 minutes when Kyle Ingram found Peter Lambert and he drilled one goalwards but straight into the keeper’s hands.

The Rovers keeper also had to produce the next save to keep his side on level terms after a Keegan Middleton cross-field pass found Watts on the right and his shot from the edge of the box produced a flying save.

George MacRae’s first and only real save of the game came as the game approached half-time when Tom Sparks found himself clear in front of goal but shot straight at the Greens stopper.

The Middleton-Watts combination created another chance 10 minutes into the second half but this time Watts was denied by the keeper’s feet before an excellent last-chance challenge by Welton stopped Brown as he looked sure to score.

Gorleston felt they should have had a penalty when Kyle Ingram had his legs taken from under him as he turned inside the box but referee Laflin, wasn’t interested.

Many Greens fans will remember, and are yet to forgive, the referee from the FC Romania game when he gave a penalty and a sending off for one of the best tackles seen at Emerald Park.

Gorleston were defending well and not looking unduly troubled by a side with lingering title ambitions and it took a huge stroke of fortune to gift Rovers the lead.

A long throw from Lewis Macdonald was allowed to bounce in the box where it struck Goodrum and deflected into the empty net.

Four minutes later the visitors doubled their lead. Again there was an element of misfortune for the Greens.

Harley Clements was barged off the ball on the touchline at the halfway line. The referee gave nothing until Kyle Ingram battled to win the ball back and was penalised for something.

The free kick, taken a further 10 yards infield from where the incident happened, was launched into the box where it fell to Brown who shot the ball down into the ground where it looped up and into the net.

The Rovers keeper was twice forced to tip efforts over his bar before the visitors put the gloss on the result through a Charlie Bowen volley with four minutes remaining which was a cue for celebrations which showed how much it must mean to opposition players to score at Emerald Park.

Match sponsors DP Leisure awarded the man of the match award to Matty Brown.