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Struggling Gorleston face a tough trip

PUBLISHED: 08:40 20 February 2016

Action from Gorleston v Walsham le Willows. Picture: David Hardy

Action from Gorleston v Walsham le Willows. Picture: David Hardy

Archant

Gorleston are on the road tomorrow (Saturday) with a tough-looking trip to Saffron Walden Town.

Action from Gorleston v Walsham le Willows. Picture: David HardyAction from Gorleston v Walsham le Willows. Picture: David Hardy

The two teams are side by side in the league table and Walden will feel they have a point to prove after losing 3-0 at Emerald Park in December in a feisty game which saw them reduced to 10 men.

The Bloods are in better current form than the Greens.

In their seven matches since the Emerald Park fixture, Saffron Walden have won four, almost doubling their total number of wins during the rest of the season.

Gorleston Reserves continued their march towards their promotion goal last week with a 5-1 victory at Scole Reserves.

Ashley King score four and birthday boy Elliott Hannant got the other goal.

The Reserves have two home games this week.

Tomorrow Attleborough Town Reserves visit Emerald Park for a 2pm kick off and then on Tuesday night, neighbouring Harleston Reserves are the visitors with a 7.30pm kick-off.

On Thursday there is even further action at Emerald Park when the under 18s take on their counterparts from Great Yarmouth with a 7.45pm kick off.

Gorleston 1 Walsham-le-Willows 3

Gorleston slipped to their sixth home defeat of the season at a freezing Emerald Park in front of the largest league crowd of the day.

It was a difficult result for Greens fans to take as the visitors showed they had the stomach to fight their way out of a relegation battle the hosts are in danger of joining.

In the opening exchanges Gorleston were pressing Walsham back and looking dangerous although the closest they came to a goal was in the fifth minute when a Middleton free-kick bounced in front of keeper Liam Bryant and was fumbled but, despite the earlier shouts from the bench to follow it in, Greens were on their heels allowing the goalkeeper to grab the ball at the second attempt.

That became indicative of the match with too many players off their game on the day.

The visitors took the lead in the 16th minute.

A corner from the right was cleared but fell nicely to Sam Peters who caught it superbly, giving MacRae no chance.

There was almost worse to follow moments later when another corner was turned clear but this time the shot went wide of the post.

A Middleton shot from range after a nice lay-off went a foot wide of the keeper’s right-hand post before, at the other end, Andrew Wood pounced on hesitation between Aaron Taylor and MacRae but saw his shot blocked by the keeper and his follow-up go wide.

There was very little finesse about the Willows play, but their very direct style put the defence under pressure and was effective.

There was a sense that there would be more goals in the game and Walsham nearly added to their tally after 29 minutes when a lob skimmed off MacRae’s fingertips and headed goalwards but the keeper managed to scramble and claw it off the line.

Mitch McKay had to leave the field injured and was replaced by youth teamer Sam Ellis who slotted in at right back.

The Greens came close to equalising on the stroke of half-time when Watts played a nice one-two with Lambert but the shot was straight into Bryant’s midriff.

Gorleston began the second half pushing their opponents back and looked likely to score but it was Walsham who doubled their lead in the 57th minute.

Gorleston made a mess of clearing the danger and Willows regained the ball which was played in to Wood on the edge of the box and his low, powerful drive found the bottom corner.

It should have been three six minutes later when Craig Nurse found himself with only MacRae to beat but he blasted over the bar.

Gorleston began to assert some pressure with Matty Brown putting a shot wide, Watts latching on to a Middleton pull back but having his shot blocked and a Lambert header well saved by Bryant.

With the Greens pushing on Walsham got their third two minutes from time when a nice move ended with Tanner Call’s simple tap-in.

Gorleston grabbed a consolation two minutes into injury time. Another youngster given a taste of first team action, 17-year-old Rhys Farrow-Blance.

He became the 38th player to play for the first team this season, and played the ball to Kyle Ingram who found Watts whose effort was parried and fell to Lambert to tuck in.

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