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Sticky task for Bloaters

PUBLISHED: 09:14 28 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:45 03 July 2010

AFTER two postponements, Great Yarmouth Town take to the road to Tiptree United tomorrow. This should prove a searching examination of manager Kevin Cruick-shank's new-look side with the Essex team odds-on favourites for the Ridgeons first division title having already ensured promotion.

AFTER two postponements, Great Yarmouth Town take to the road to Tiptree United tomorrow. This should prove a searching examination of manager Kevin Cruick-shank's new-look side with the Essex team odds-on favourites for the Ridgeons first division title having already ensured promotion.

When the Jam Makers visited the Wellesley last September a 3-0 defeat for the Bloaters resulted.

Since Nick Banham's resignation as manager, new director of football Dale Gordon and new chairman Stephen Brierley have fully supported and backed Cruickshank, and a number of new signings have been made, writes Gerry Brown.

Most significantly are strikers Nick Crawley and former Bloaters' favourite Stewart Roach who between them have amassed 20 of the 28 goals scored since the change of management.

Cruickshank has made changes throughout the team, apart from in goal where Elliott Pride holds sway, and only five of the squad that performed in Banham's last game in charge were in the team that represented Yarmouth in the most recent fixture at Hadleigh on

March 15.

Adam Sullivan and former Bloater youth Steve Taylor have been brought into the midfield to great effect. Paul Dyer, at left-back, has joined a defence which has seen Gareth Palmer recalled to partner Toby Gorbould in the centre while Johnathan Watt has been promoted to team captain from the right-back slot.

Adam Sewell, Mark Thompson, Tommy Gardiner and Liam Bartley have variously been selected to fill the wide midfield positions.

Ben Le Compte is another returning former Wellesley favourite to feature recently, but as with any change of management there is always a fall-out and Will Lewis, Nathan Drake, Mario Davids and Danny Crane have all left for pastures new.

Tomorrow's squad includes the two latest acquisitions - Bruno Correia, a 22-year-old Brazilian whose last club is said to be 'Villa Rio' and for whom international clearance has had to be obtained, and 17-year-old youth prospect Sam Watt from Wroxham.

Team: (from) Elliott Pride, Johnathan Watt, Paul Dyer, Steve Taylor, Gareth Palmer, Toby Gorbould, Adam Sewell, Adam Sullivan, Stewart Roach, Nicky Crawley, Liam Bartley, Mark Thompson, Bruno Correia, Ben Le Compte, Paul Gartland, Sam Watt.

Coach, Wellesley 11.15am.

During the six weeks of your correspondent's recent absence, both the Reserves and Youth have finished their fixture programmes. The Reserves ended with three defeats and a draw in their final four games and will, in all probability, finish fourth from last in Anglian Combination Division Two. Under new manager Daryl Godbold they won two and drew one of their final ten games but throughout the season, under various managers, have created something of a club record regarding the number of players called on to serve the side with no player completing even half the fixtures. Granted, a Reserve side is bound to change from week to week but this is a wee bit excessive and something that must surely as far as possible be addressed for next season.

The Youth team, after a 100 percent away record had helped them to the top of their Ridgeons Eastern Division table, look to have blown their chances of winning the division after losing their last two matches at Dereham and Lowestoft; Lowestoft, Kirkley and Gorleston could all still pip them for the honour.

The Blues, three points behind, have two away games left at Wroxham and North Walsham; Kirkley are four points behind with three games yet to play though one of these - scheduled for Wednesday last - is at home to Gorleston who are five points adrift and who have to meet rock-bottom Fakenham at Emerald Park in their final game, a foregone conclusion surely. So, any of the four east coast teams could yet be crowned champions - a fascinating scenario for the final weeks of an interesting season for the U18s. Liam Bartley currently tops the Youth League scoring list with 15 but Kirkley's L Newberry is only two behind.

The two matches postponed this week have been rescheduled as follows Stowmarket at home on Tuesday, April 29, and Gorleston away on Tuesday, April 22.

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