Greens Leave it Late but Begin with a Win
The proverbial game of two halves saw Gorleston snatch victory in second half stoppage time.
Gorleston's first line up of the season saw two debutants in Connor Deeks and Ismael Fatadjo and Reserve team gaffer Scott Butler standing in for his brother in the dug out. George Yusuff was making his 50th appearance.
The Greens began well having the better of the opening exchanges but then began to give away silly free kicks around the edge of their own box giving Thetford opportunities to launch the ball into the penalty area and apply pressure.
They came closest with the first free kick. As the ball came into the box keeper Taurean Molloy called but didn't make it. Alex Stillinger rose highest and nodded the ball over the keeper but it bounced back off the post.
Gorleston regrouped and, after 15 minutes, hit the woodwork themselves when a Mitch McKay free kick from 25 yards beat the keeper but struck the base of the post.
Max Melanson hit a shot straight at Molloy before Joel Watts had an effort straight at Kingsley Barnes up the other end.
Fatadjo then almost got on the end of a rebound but poked the ball wide.
The lively Fatadjo was giving the opposition the runaround and Melanson went into the book for a foul on him. McKay again took the free kick which Barnes saved with his defence clearing the rebound. From the resulting corner Aarron Taylor flicked a near post header wide.
Gorleston were increasing the pressure and it seemed just a matter of time before the found the net and, so they did, three minutes before the break.
A corner into the six yard box was headed clear to the edge of the area where it was collected by Deeks who then drilled it back through the crowd of players and in off the far post.
If the Greens had the edge in the first half, then it was Thetford who bossed the second pushing Gorleston back from the off.
The equaliser came in the 54th minute. Bradley Sandell was given far too much space to measure his cross in to the near post where Stillinger arrived unchecked to nod the ball past Molloy.
Five minutes later the Greens came close to regaining the lead when Fatadjo's side foot from just inside the box bounced away off the crossbar.
Fatadjo then wriggled away from his marker and cut into the box before hitting a tame left footer straight to the keeper when he probably should have squared the ball.
At the other end a good burst forward by Johnny Conroy looked dangerous but the Brecklander scuffed his effort wide.
Thetford were looking the most likely at this stage with Gorleston having lost their way and playing on the counter.
As the game entered stoppage time it looked as if it would end as a draw, which would have been a fair result.
However, sub Jay Turner, who had replaced McKay in the 69th minute to become the third debutant of the night, picked up the ball on the edge of the box and lifted it towards the back post.
Barnes looked to have the situation under control as he reached up to catch the ball but it slipped from his grasp and fell nicely for poacher Connor Ingram to tap in the winner from a yard out.
There was still time for a fourth debutant when Daniel Pinheiro came on.
Match sponsor Stuart Low of Bluelight Surveys named the Batemans man of the match as Connor Deeks.
Gorleston: Taurean Molloy, George Yusuff, Kyle Ingram, Luke Goreham, Isaac Burrage, Aarron Taylor (c), Ismael Fatadjo (Daniel Pinheiro 90+2), Connor Deeks, Connor Ingram, Mitch McKay (Jay Turner 69), Joel Watts (Jordan Stanton 82)
Booking: Yusuff 83
Goals: Deeks 42; C Ingram 90+1
Thetford: Kingsley Barnes, Sam Bond (c), Alex Mcintosh, Ross Bailey, Ryan Sanders, Matthew Morton, Bradley Sandell (Ben Mannion 83), Max Melanson (Robbie Priddle 48), Alex Stillinger, Danny White(Tanner Call 59), Johnny Conroy
Booking: Melanson 30
Goal: Stillinger 54
Ref: Ryan Head
|5||Other efforts on target||2|
|4||Other efforts off target||2|
|2||Other efforts against woodwork||1|
|8||Free kicks for||11|