Baker Helps Serve Up The Points
Gorleston kept up the pressure on the top two with a good three points at struggling Clacton.
Ricci Butler made two changes from the midweek loss to Brantham.
Joel Watts was away . Connor Ingram was dropped to the bench, alongside Jack Garrod and Damon Wise, as punishment for a Friday night out.
There was a welcome return for Harley Clements and Isaac Burrage was given a deserved start with George Yusuff moving from centre back to centre forward.
The Greens couldn't have got off to a better start, taking the lead in the 47th second.
Burrage pumped the ball forward behind the defence and Clacton keeper Paddi Hawkins was forced to race from his box and head clear.
Kyle Baker picked up the clearance and dribbled around the keeper before picking out Yusuff. Yusuff pulled back to Keegan Middleton who fired the ball past the covering defenders into the goal.
Yusuff almost doubled the lead when he pounced on a miscued clearance but the defender got back to block before the Greens did score their second in the 14th minute.
Jacob Short won the ball in midfield and found Baker on the left. He cut inside and hit a 20 yard drive which crashed into the net off the underside of the bar.
From the restart Clacton pressed and the bounce into the box favoured them but Jake Clowsley blazed his shot wide.
Baker then had an effort towards the hosts goal where a divot forced the ball to rear up in front of the keeper but Hawkins managed to grab it.
Yusuff beat the offside appeals to go through but could only direct his shot straight at the keeper before Clacton forced Taurean Molloy into his first save two minutes before the break.
Gorleston were slow out of the blocks at the start of the second half and Clacton looked a lot sharper.
Three minutes into the second period they pulled a goal back following a free kick 25 yards out.
Twice Kevin Coyle dummied to cross it into the box. The third time he actually took the free kick, hitting it low around the outside of the wall. Molloy got down to save but the ball rebounded back into play where there was a scramble before it was poked back into the net by Adam Daniels.
Aaron Taylor had been struggling with a knock and was replaced by Garrod, with Yusuff returning to the back four. The substitution took an inordinate amount of time whilst the referee sorted out some other issues but this did allow Gorleston to regroup.
The Greens regained their two goal advantage in the 65th minute.
Baker was involved again, closing down the keeper who had again left his box to clear and forcing him to miskick his clearance.
Garrod picked it up and ran into the box, hitting a drive which the keeper saved. Kyle Ingram gathered the clearance and played inside to Peter Oldham whose diagonal ball picked out Kyle Ingram back inside the box. Ingram slid the ball across the six yard box to where Baker arrived to sidefoot home.
The remaining goals both came in time added on.
Connor Ingram had replaced Baker with 15 minutes to go and, in the first minute of stoppage time, raced onto a through ball before rounding the goalkeeper and shooting past a covering defender.
Three minutes later Clacton got their second in similar circumstances to their first.
A free kick was saved by Molloy but the attackers reacted the quickest to follow up and Adam Daniels was on hand again to poke home from close range.
The result leaves Gorleston eight points behind leaders Mildenhall with their next fixture a mouthwatering trip to visit the league leaders on Tuesday night.
Gorleston: Taurean Molloy, Harley Clements (c), Kyle Ingram, Jacob Short, Isaac Burrage, Aaron Taylor (Jack Garrod 52), Luke Goreham, Peter Oldham (Kieren Hagan 85), George Yusuff, Kyle Baker (Connor Ingram 75), Keegan Middleton
Goals: Middleton 1; Baker 14, 65; C Ingram 90+1
FC Clacton: Paddi Hawkins, Joe Moore (Harvey Cowler 41), Jimmy Shuttlewood, Jake Clowsley, Lee Clowsley, Adam Daniels, Jamie Beecham (Jordan Brazitis 75), Louie Newland (Ollie Law 64), Sam Cripps, Keiron Baker, Kevin Coyle
Bookings: Cowler 55
Goals: Daniels 48, 90+4
Ref: David Hutton
|5||Other efforts on target||3|
|2||Other efforts off target||6|
|0||Other efforts against woodwork||0|
|10||Free kicks for||13|