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Yarmouth keeper earns plaudits

PUBLISHED: 16:11 08 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:43 03 July 2010

Teenage Great Yarmouth town keeper Michael Hilton.

Teenage Great Yarmouth town keeper Michael Hilton.

Great Yarmouth Town 1, Diss Town 1

Adam Sewell saved a point for Yarmouth with his second-half goal, but the Bloaters real saviour was 19-year-old keeper Michael Hilton who pulled off a string of fine saves, including one from the penalty spot.

Great Yarmouth Town 1, Diss Town 1

Adam Sewell saved a point for Yarmouth with his second-half goal, but the Bloaters real saviour was 19-year-old keeper Michael Hilton who pulled off a string of fine saves, including one from the penalty spot.

With Diss leading 1-0 from a fourth minute strike by defender Ed Cussons after Adam Sullivan had kicked a corner off the line, Hilton was somewhat unfortunately adjudged to have impeded Diss player Andy Moody at a 15th minute corner.

The Tangerines' most experienced player, Adie Hayes stepped up but Hilton guessed correctly, leaping to his left to turn the spot-kick aside for another corner.

Hilton was a Diss player last season but had no knowledge of the spot-kick abilities of Hayes who joined Diss in the summer. “I'd never even seen him play before so didn't know what he was going to do; I just guessed and fortunately got it right this time!” said the modest youngster, who has played second fiddle to Elliot Pride most of the season.

Playing down the accolades being heaped upon him for that save and several others of high quality, Hilton merely remarked: “It's just what I'm there to do!”

Yarmouth endured a torrid first half and were lucky not to be further behind. Diss' pace and quick thinking won them many chances and Yarmouth were pinned back in their own half for long periods.

Dominic Smith produced a smart piece of acrobatics to clear a Cussons corner from his line in the 10th minute, and Hilton denied Danny Partridge with a leaping push over the bar from the corner that resulted from the penalty save.

When Yarmouth could break out, it was penetrating throws from Sewell that threatened the visitors, with the best one ultimately seeing a cross from Mark Thompson narrowly missed by Scott Woodcock at the back post after 30 minutes.

With Gareth Palmer, back from suspension, on for Mark Thompson the second half saw Yarmouth quickly equalise. Nine minutes into the half Woodcock played the ball up to Sullivan who crossed into the box and Sewell glanced a delightful shot beyond Matty Hill into the far corner of the Diss goal.

Hilton was not out of work yet, and a remarkable recovery saw him save from Partridge after the Diss man looked to have escaped his attentions. Hayes sent a snap-shot wide, but Palmer was influential in the middle for Yarmouth with some forceful runs, one of which supplied Sullivan in the box. His turn and shot were excellent but the ball was agonisingly wide.

Yarmouth had two good openings but neither Stewart Roach nor his substitute Jake Reed could finish them off before Hilton again won the applause of Yarmouth's largest league crowd of the season for three remarkable saves in the latter stages.

Then, five minutes from the end, and with both sides going all out for a deciding goal, Diss substitute Robbie Lawrence came close to snatching the points but his 20 yard shot crashed against the bar and came out to Danny Jones whose shot from the edge of the penalty area was superbly tipped over by Hilton.

Joint manager Paul Tong was relieved his side made their point after a poor first half. “We could have been three or four down at the break,” he said, “but Michael kept us in it. We came back in the second half but a draw was a fair result on the day. That's four points from the holiday games, and I would have taken that beforehand.”

Bloaters - Michael Hilton, Johnathan Watt, Olly Savage, Dominic Smith (Chris Squire 61), Adey Ager (c), Alan Darby, Scott Woodcock, Adam Sullivan, Stewart Roach (Jake Reed 76), Adam Sewell, Mark Thompson (Gareth Palmer 46). Unused Subs: David Hinton, Elliot Pride. Att - 106.

The U18s have an attractive fixture next Thursday when they entertain Lowestoft Town Youth in the Ridgeons Youth Cup (Wellesley, 7.45).


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