Town's professional touch

Godmanchester Rovers 0, Great Yarmouth Town 2“A THOROUGHLY pro-fessional performance,” declared a satisfied Bloaters boss Paul Tong after a tough assignment.

Godmanchester Rovers 0, Great Yarmouth Town 2

“A THOROUGHLY pro-fessional performance,” declared a satisfied Bloaters boss Paul Tong after a tough assignment.

“This is never an easy place to get a result, but I have a good record here so I'm very pleased with the way the lads went about their work.”

Luke Fell's first goal for Yarmouth and an injury-time clincher from Jake Reed, once again, helped stretch the Bloaters' Ridgeons First Division lead to 11 points with neither FC Clacton nor Brantham engaged on Saturday.

In defence, Marcus Saunders took the eye with a man-of-the-match performance in his first game since December 1, and in combination with Steve Best formed a very effective shield in front of Michael Hilton. The keeper thus had a quiet first half but pulled off a couple of decent saves after the break.

First-half chances were at a premium as both sides came to terms with a sticky pitch. Reed put Gavin Norman through in the 12th minute but his shot was saved by the boot of home stopper Connor Jordan.

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Dominic Smith fired over from a throw-in on 22 minutes, and although the home side had more of the possession they could not find a way through Yarmouth's experienced defence.

With half-time imminent, an Olly Savage corner was palmed away by Jordan and Norman sliced an angled shot over the bar.

Hilton had his first save of note to make three minutes into the second period, and like his home counterpart earlier it was the boot that kept the ball out.

But Yarmouth by now had the measure of Godmanchester as they took a 51st minute lead. Fell, who had just missed a “sitter” at the back post after a good control and pass from Reed, did find the net after Jonny King - under instructions to raid down the wing - sent a ball into the danger area. Reed challenged Jordan and the ball broke loose to Fell at the far post, who lashed it back past the keeper.

Yarmouth began to play their normal passing game and a further shot from Fell went wide. Best was organising the back line at defensive set-pieces and also got up well to clear the long ball with his head, while the tackling of Saunders was of high quality.

With the game by no means won at this stage, the four bookings in 11 minutes (three for Yarmouth) still seemed out of keeping with a full-blooded but fair encounter.

Fernando Vide went on and won a corner from which Reed headed narrowly wide, then Liam Bartley replaced the hard-working Fell.

There was still some defensive work to do and Smith had to hack the ball away in a rare incursion into the Bloaters' penalty area.

Then came the clinching goal from Reed. With five added minutes already on the clock, Savage pushed a ball through the middle where Reed looked up, saw he was onside and took the ball on a few yards before unleashing a powerful shot past the advancing Jordan.

It was a truly great finish from the 19-year-old who has re-found his scoring touch with five goals in the four games since Christmas.

“Saturday saw the beauty of having a squad,” commented Tong. “With Roachy begging me to at least put him on the bench (I duly obliged), Adam Sewell also recovering from injury and Scott Woodcock still suspended.

“We had three good chances in the first half while Michael Hilton in goal was not tested. The only thing we lacked was keeping the ball up front, thus letting it come back too quickly. But we stuck with it and early in the second half Luke Fell finished with aplomb.

“Godmanchester came back at us and we dug in and showed resilience and patience which was rewarded when Jake scored a superb second.”

Yarmouth: M Hilton, J King, O Savage, C Roberts, S Best, M Saunders, L Fell (L Bartley 83), D Smith, G Norman (F Vide 70), J Reed, M Magee (C Owen 88). Unused subs: A Sewell, S Roach. Attendance: 58.