Winning start for Greens

Gorleston 3, Brantham 1THIS was an exciting match to start the new season at Emerald Park on Saturday when Gorleston entertained newcomers to the Ridgeons Division One Brantham.

Gorleston 3, Brantham 1

THIS was an exciting match to start the new season at Emerald Park on Saturday when Gorleston entertained newcomers to the Ridgeons Division One Brantham.

The Greens had to come from behind to clinch the three points.

Brantham had an experienced look to their side, which contained midfielder Simon Head, keeper Nathan Munson and striker Darren Bethel from AFC Sudbury, while Tony Hall also formerly of Sudbury is their manager.

The conditions were tricky with wind and rain but both sides adapted quickly and adopted attacking policies.

Gorleston had slightly the better of the early play but despite creating openings it was Brantham who took the lead after 26 minutes when they broke quickly on the right and Aaron Skeggs, a signing from Harwich, lashed the ball home as it came low into the area.

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Gorleston had adapted a 4-3-3 combination with Chad Pillar as the central striker with Nathan Thompson on the right and Ricci Butler on the left. The midfield comprised of Steve Taylor, John Bell and Nathan Drake, who added support consistently.

On 34 minutes Gorleston's efforts were rewarded when Ricci Butler received the ball on the left, cut in and unleashed an unstoppable shot which gave keeper Munson no chance. A great individual effort.

Both teams provided commitment and attacked in turn but Gorleston delighted their fans when they took the lead just prior to the interval.

This was another high quality goal resulting from a quick passing movement releasing Ben Manning on the left. He strode forward and placed a perfect low cross into the area which was finished in fine style by Steve Taylor who had raced into the box, showing great anticipation.

Gorleston made an ideal start to the second half when they scored a third goal which was to seal the match.

John Bell won the ball in his own half and sent Chad Pillar away with an astute pass. The centre forward skipped past his marker and switched the ball quickly to Ricci Butler who reacted instantly and raced through to draw keeper Munson and slip the ball past him into the net.

The remainder of the match saw both sides create good chances. Brantham's strikers Steve Downes and Michael Brothers were proving a handful but Gorleston's defensive pairing of skipper Eddie Thompson and new signing Leon Harewood from Kirkley were in top form, well supported by full-backs Paul Todd and Ben Manning.

Behind them keeper Tom Marsden made two superb saves from close range efforts and handled crosses well.

For Gorleston, Nathan Thompson brought one tremendous save from Munson when he hit a powerful

close-range shot which the keeper pushed behind.

Chad Pillar fired a low drive just wide and Ricci Butler hit another drive over the bar. He was substituted suffering from cramp but had enjoyed a fine match. Luke Goreham came on to replace him and worked well.

Brantham looked a useful side who should settle down well in the league.

Team: T Marsden, P Todd, E Thompson, L Harewood, B Manning, N Drake, J Bell, S Taylor, N Thompson, C Pillar, R Butler. Subs: G Ingram, L Goreham, G Todd, R Harman, J Long.

Brantham were the latest opposition to compliment the club on the

playing surface at Emerald Park, congratulations to John Nicholls

and his team.