Yarmouth make waves for Yachtsmen

Great Yarmouth Town 1, Wroxham 2 (aet 1-1 at 90 mins)A MAGNIFICENT free-kick goal from Joe Bell was not enough to keep Yarmouth in the Ridgeons League Cup, though it did prolong this second-round tie into extra time when Wroxham found a late winner.

Great Yarmouth Town 1, Wroxham 2 (aet 1-1 at 90 mins)

A MAGNIFICENT free-kick goal from Joe Bell was not enough to keep Yarmouth in the Ridgeons League Cup, though it did prolong this second-round tie into extra time when Wroxham found a late winner.

With both teams making wholesale changes to their squads for various reasons on Tuesday night - Yarmouth had players cup-tied and Wroxham are in the middle of two important FA Vase matches - the first half was circumspect as both sides weighed each other up.

The Premier Division Yachtsmen opened the scoring, vitally just before half-time. Wroxham won a corner on their right which Shaun Howes swung beautifully into the middle where it came back off the bar and fell perfectly onto the head of Owen Paynter, who nodded home.

The second half was in marked contrast to the first, and was full of incident. Wroxham should have gone further ahead after 50 minutes but James Bulman screwed his shot wide when well-placed.

Yarmouth brought on Stewart Roach and Vida Formoso on the hour which livened play up and when the Bloaters were awarded a free-kick outside the box Olly Savage stung keeper Phil Smith's hands with a fierce shot.

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Yarmouth won another free-kick in the 84th minute some 25 yards out. It provided the perfect opportunity for Bell, who had just come on, to beat Smith with another wonderful effort.

The game grew in intensity in the final minutes and when the Yarmouth defence got in a muddle over a back-pass the whole Yarmouth team lined up on the goal-line as Wroxham took the indirect free-kick which was beaten away three times as shots rained in.

Hilton then produced a vital save in the fifth minute of added time as Yarmouth took their Premier visitors to extra time. As the legs tired the game opened up and chances came, particularly for Wroxham, but the defences held.

Another well-struck Bell free-kick this time only found the keeper who held on, and at the other end Savage produced a goal-saving clearance.

Then with four minutes left, and with some supporters wondering who would be taking the penalties, Wroxham struck.

A Paynter free-shot came down onto the bar, then as the attack continued substitute Olly King, looking suspiciously offside, was allowed to go on and shoot the winning goal.

It was tough on a Yarmouth side who have given the Yachtsmen three battling cup ties and now have an idea of what they will be up against next season should they obtain promotion.

Yarmouth: M Hilton, B Junior, O Savage, C Roberts, M Saunders, C Owen, F Vide (J Bell 80), D Smith, L Bartley (S Roach 59), J Reed, S Woodcock (V Formoso 59). Unused subs: M Magee, J Jessup (gk). Att: 64.

Gt Yarmouth Town 2, Saffron Walden Town 0

YARMOUTH emerged from a fog-bound Wellesley on Saturday with three points though for the first half the Bloaters failed to illuminate a tightly-fought game against a Saffron Walden side with the next best defensive record in the division.

The visitors had more of the ball but failed to trouble Michael Hilton in goal. Yarmouth went close for the first time after 25 minutes when Walden keeper Jason Harvey spilled a Stewart Roach shot and Scott Woodcock, rushing in, was unable to make any contact with the ball as Harvey dived back onto it. Walden wasted three chances from a corner just before the interval.

Yarmouth were a different side after the interval, giving the visitors' third-choice goalkeeper something to warm his hands at last.

However, Walden went closest to a goal so far in the 57th minute when Olly Savage was in the right place to kick a Greg Strong shot off the line by the foot of a post.

On the hour, Fernando Vide replaced the hard-working but out-of-luck Jake Reed, and almost immediately a Roach long throw, superbly aimed at the near post, was snatched off the head of Martyn Magee by Harvey. Scott Woodcock then had a fierce shot kicked away by Harvey as Yarmouth pressed the visitors back.

Yarmouth finally went ahead after 75 minutes. A Roach shot was deflected for a corner. When Woodcock's kick came over, Roach's effort was palmed away by Harvey only for Best to get a touch to send the ball over the line, his first goal for Yarmouth since signing from Mildenhall Town last month.

Five minutes later, substitute Vide lit up the match with a marvellous second after receiving a Roach pass and wriggling his way through the Walden defence.

Right on time, Vide almost grabbed a second but, after running half the length of the field with the ball, he elected to pass instead of shoot.

Hilton kept his 13th clean-sheet of the season thanks to a brilliant diving save near the end.

“It was tough, but I didn't expect anything else,” said Tong. “They're a quality, hard-working side, but my lads worked hard, kept it tight defensively and after we changed things at half-time the game opened up. It was a battle but we deserved to win for our second-half chances.

“Steve Best gave us a star performance in the defence and then provided the breakthrough goal, while another new signing Luke

Fell also gave us quality on the ball, and Dom Smith worked his socks off in midfield.”

Yarmouth: M Hilton, J King, O Savage, C Roberts, S Best, M Magee, L Fell (J Bell 90), D Smith, S Roach, J Reed (F Vide 60), S Woodcock (G Norman 72). Unused sub: B Junior. Att: 65.