Town aim for stirring finish
GREAT Yarmouth are on the road again tomorrow, visiting Long Melford (ko 3, coach 11.30).Long Melford were dumped onto the bottom of the Ridgeons first division when Fakenham hauled themselves above last place for the first time this season by thumping Cornard 5-2 last Saturday after Cornard had beaten Melford 2-0 five days earlier.
GREAT Yarmouth are on the road again tomorrow, visiting Long Melford (ko 3, coach 11.30).
Long Melford were dumped onto the bottom of the Ridgeons first division when Fakenham hauled themselves above last place for the first time this season by thumping Cornard 5-2 last Saturday after Cornard had beaten Melford 2-0 five days earlier. Melford won at the Wellesley in October by the only goal of the game.
The Bloaters badly need to get back to winning ways after recent narrow defeats by two of the top three teams, first Hadleigh and now Tiptree, writes Gerry Brown.
They have also lost by odd-goal margins to Ely (currently second) and Debenham LC since the new year, and have put together good wins over Downham, Halstead and March, so progress is being made.
After tomorrow's trip, Yarmouth have four home games in the last six to try and achieve the usual good finishing run.
Cornard at home on April 12 is followed by the two aways, Godmanchester (19) and Gorleston (22), before the finishing line is in sight with Halstead (26), Stowmarket (29) and Saffron Walden (May 3) all to visit the Wellesley to complete the season.
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Tiptree United 2, Great Yarmouth Town 0
THE Bloaters were left ruing their first-half missed chances after Tiptree rallied in the second half to score twice and thus assure themselves of promotion to the Premier Division.
“For the first 20 minutes we were the better side,” said Town boss Kevin Cruickshank. “We had at least two good chances and then what looked to us a good Nick Crawley goal disallowed. Elliott Pride made a first class save that was out of this world later in the half, but we were a bit unlucky overall. In the second half we didn't create much and were the poorer side.”
The Jam Makers scored early in the second half and went on to dominate the rest of the game, adding a second minutes from the end.
After Tom English received his Supporters' Player of the Year trophy on the pitch, Tiptree - needing only one point to confirm Premier Division football next season - kicked off.
But it was the Boaters who made the early running with three well-worked openings in as many minutes featuring recent signings Bruno Correia and Sam Watts. However, home stopper Aaron Benstead was equal to the demands made on him and proved an impenetrable barrier all afternoon.
Tiptree's first attack on five minutes saw a corner won off Gareth Palmer whose attempted header back to Elliott Pride was just wide of the post, but Richard Manning fired over from the place kick.
However, Yarmouth's good start continued though Benstead kept up his sterling work before Tiptree's Luke Callender put two shots over the Yarmouth bar.
Watts, 16, was showing well and forced a corner in the 22nd minute. The kick was only cleared as far as Watts who then crossed, only for Benstead to produce a marvellous fingertip save under the bar. He fell in making the save but recovered to keep out Yarmouth's follow-up attempt.
A Tiptree corner was then defended grittily by Yarmouth before Taylor produced a wonderful touch in midfield, only for the following pass to Roach being wasted. Watts was involved again and won a throw from which Crawley put the ball in the net - but the referee blew for a foul.
Yarmouth were certainly more than matching their high-flying opponents for industry and artistry as Tiptree were coming to terms with a sterner challenge from Yarmouth than they had encountered at the Wellesley in September. The Jam Makers had yet to get a shot on target as Gareth Palmer and Toby Gorbould locked up the centre of the defence.
Pride produced a great save at the feet of James Arlick, but his big moment was just to arrive. In the 38th minute an English free-kick was delivered towards the top corner and the Bloaters' 'keeper leapt across his goal to push the ball over the angle, a save of the highest order.
Just before the break, a Taylor effort had Benstead again scrambling to keep the ball out and the experienced keeper had to turn smartly to retrieve the half-stopped shot.
Soon after the restart, 28-goal English, who had had a quiet first half, missed a golden chance, shooting wide as Pride advanced from goal. But the frustrated Tiptree supporters did not have much longer to wait.
In the 52nd minute, the home side worked the ball down the right and Callender crossed perfectly onto the head of the onrushing Arlick whose flying header from 15 yards beat Pride all-ends-up for a fine goal.
Tiptree picked up their game, started to play like potential champions, and Yarmouth were never the same force again.
The Bloaters created a good chance after 65 minutes when Taylor crossed to the far post where substitute Mark Thompson tried to chip Benstead, but the keeper clawed the ball down.
Callender headed wide from a Gary Wraight free-kick as all the pressure came from Tiptree with the Bloaters' defence remaining strong.
Yarmouth had a rare opening from a Taylor free-kick when Watts' centre took a deflection but Benstead was first to the loose ball.
Tiptree wrapped up the points with three minutes left. Substitute Liam Bartley's enthusiasm gave the ball away in a dangerous position, Arlick crossed and with the defence already committed English was left in front of goal with a chance he could not miss, driving the ball under the diving Pride from 12 yards.
Cruickshank continues to be impressed by Steve Taylor's performances and enthused over young Sam Watts' contribution on Saturday. Youth team captain Adam Sewell also came in for praise, as did central defenders Toby Gorbould and Gareth Palmer who, he said, were really gelling as a partnership.
Yarmouth - Elliott Pride, Johnathan Watt (c), Adam Sewell, Steve Taylor, Gareth Palmer, Toby Gorbould, Sam Watts (Robbie Oldham 76), Adam Sullivan (Liam Bartley 76), Stewart Roach, Nicky Crawley, Bruno Correia (Mark Thompson 58). Unused subs: Damon Wise, Carl Hatton. Attendance - 92.