Great Yarmouth Town boosted by Stevenage boys
Great Yarmouth Town go looking for a fourth consecutive win on Saturday – an unlikely scenario just a few short weeks ago.
The Bloaters had sunk to the bottom of the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division table after a run of nine league defeats in a row.
But three consecutive wins – the last won a 2-0 Boxing Day success over local rivals Gorleston – have lifted the spirits considerably. The Bloaters travel to 11th-placed Whitton United and while they have only one team below them, they have avoided being cut adrift.
The run of wins has coincided with the arrival of two young Stevenage players, Under-18s duo Harry Draper and Dylan Switters who arrived on work experience loans before Christmas.
Striker Draper scored on his debut in the 2-1 win at Haverhill a week ago while Switters netted the second goal against Gorleston.
Draper was taken off against the Greens after a collision with keeper George Parkin, who will be out for at least six weeks with a fractured eye socket, but the momentum is now with the Bloaters, clearly helped by a big derby win.
“We were absolutely fantastic for the entire 90 plus 10 minutes and thoroughly deserved the points,” said joint-manager Martyn Sinclair.
“To do it in this style in front of a bumper crowd of 580 was special and it was great for Dylan to cap a man of the match performance with the second goal.
“It’s been a long time since we played like that in a derby and the perfect Christmas for all connected to the Bloaters.
“We hope that the injuries to George Parkin and Harry Draper are not too serious and that both are back playing soon.”
Gorleston will be aiming to get the derby defeat out of their systems when they entertain sixth-placed Brantham. After a decent run of results the Greens have taken just one point from their previous three league games.
Norwich United entertain top-of-the-table Godmanchester Rovers and will be buoyed by recording their first win in 12 league games on Boxing Day.
The Planters came from behind to win local bragging rights in a hard fought 2-1 win at Wroxham thanks to goals from Sam Watts and Andy Eastaugh.
Craig Bussens returned to the starting line-up after injury and Ben Jones made a substitute’s appearance after a lengthy lay-off – both are expected to feature.
Godmanchester will be determined to take all three points as they sit just one point above Histon who have three games in hand on the current leaders.
Wroxham have just one point from their last five league games and will be looking to rectify that when they head to FC Clacton.
Thetford are in a similar boat, with just one point from a possible 15 which has seen them slip to 16th in the table. It doesn’t get any easier when they host in-form Kirkley & Pakefield. The Royals have won three of their last four and sit comfortably in fifth place, five points behind second-placed Histon.
The big match in Division One North is at the Football Development Centre in Bowthorpe where fourth-placed Norwich CBS are at home to leaders Harleston Town. The city side have won three of their last four games, but are still 16 points behind the leaders, who have scored 72 goals in their 22 games, including 35 on their 12 away games.
Mulbarton Wanderers are seven points back but even without a game his weekend they will remain in second, with Swaffham Town seven points back in third. The Pedlars have a trip to March Town United – one place and one point below them.
Downham Town are at home to sixth-placed Fakenham, second bottom Diss host fellow strugglers Wisbech St Mary and King’s Lynn Town Reserves are away to Haverhill Borough.