Great Yarmouth Town 1 Hadleigh United 3 (played at Hadleigh)
Bloaters Dumped Out Of FA Cup
For this re-arranged home FA Cup tie with Hadleigh United the Bloaters were forced to reverse the fixture due to the continuing maintenance of the Wellesley pitch, with the game being played at Millfield . The visitors were delighted to arrive at the home of the Brettsiders to find a beautifully manicured Millfield surface, perfect for this FA cup tie. The genial hosts even gave the tannoy duties to Gt.Yarmouth’s Paul “Squeaky” Hubbard.
The Bloaters’ squad was stretched to the limit with strikers Perfect and Cullumbine missing, alongside Sanders , Roots and Forbes. Oliver and Ward came in for their first starts and young starlet Hagan was rewarded with a start after a promising pre-season. Ben Lewis reverted to his more customary position in central midfield and Eagleton replaced Roots in the right back position. Captain Ager returned to partner Urry in defence with Rose at left back. The bench had a youthful look about it with Palmer ,Ford and call ups for Lewis Stebbings and youth player Ethan Hodge.
Joint-manger Adam Mason’s rallying cry was for his players to compete all over the pitch after disappointing defeats at Thetford and Newmarket where the Bloaters had uncharacteristically conceded nine goals.
The game kicked of in glorious sunshine and the immaculate pitch provided a perfect backdrop for this FA Cup tie. Hadleigh were first to show when Knight whipped in a dangerous cross that evaded everyone in the penalty area. A quick break by Oliver forced a corner but Ager’s goalbound header was halted for a foul by the Bloaters skipper. The Bloaters were finding their feet and Lewis found Ward bearing down on goal but his tame shot was easily gathered by Punter. A Barnes clearance again found Oliver in behind the Hadleigh defence but the young striker slipped at the vital moment and the chance was gone. The “visitors” were now asserting themselves with Lewis and Bartram winning the midfield battle and another chance for Ward was created by good play by Oliver, but his powerful shot whistled over the bar. The Brettsiders were struggling to contain the Bloaters but looked dangerous on the counter attack with the pace of Cassell and guile of Thrower looking likely to cause problems if given the chance. KIERAN HAGAN was tormenting the Hadleigh defence with a series of tricky runs but the final ball was either missing or the Hadleigh defence were able to clear the danger, to prevent the bloaters from taking the lead as they stormed forwards. The game continued with the Bloaters on top and the “home” side relying on swift counter-attacks, one of which saw Davis block a goalbound shot by Thrower. In the thirty seventh minute a good move found Kieran Turner on the edge of the area and his sweetly struck shot beat Barnes to give the Brettsiders the lead. The Bloaters stung by the setback then had a Lewis shot cleared off the line and a series of corners that were either gathered by Punter or cleared away by the Hadleigh defence. The hosts would have been delighted to go into half-time with an unlikely lead and the Bloaters would rue their missed opportunities after a dominant first half performance.
HT Great Yarmouth 0 Hadleigh United 1
The Bloaters came out for the second half determined to get back on level terms as Hagan whipped in another dangerous cross and then the young winger found space to fire in a goalbound shot that was deflected wide for a corner as the bloaters continued their assault on the Hadleigh goal. Urry went on a trademark mazy run and won a corner but again Punter rose to the occasion and plucked the ball out of the air to deny Ager. With the second half ten minutes old, another piece of good interplay found Haydn Davis in space and he fired in a low drive into the bottom corner past Punter to give the Bloaters a deserved equaliser. With parity restored it looked like the Bloaters would go on and win the tie as Ager volleyed over from close range after a corner and then Hagan had the ball in the net as Oliver and Davis combined to set the winger free but his effort was ruled out for offside. Barnes had to be alert to deny Knight but the ‘keeper was helpless as Cassell sprinted clear of the Bloaters defence and he rounded Barnes to restore the lead for the Brettsiders. Miles Palmer then came on to replace Ward. The “home” side were getting some joy with some direct play utilising the pace of Cassell as Barnes had to save well from the speedy striker. Oliver was replaced by Stebbings for his first appearance and Lewis was pushed up front as the Bloaters continued to push forwards for an equaliser. Immediately Lewis turned sharply and fired in a shot that cleared the bar ,but it was Hadleigh who scored the vital next goal. Some good play in midfield found Cassell in space and he outpaced Urry and squared the ball to Thrower who tapped the ball into an empty net to give Hadleigh an unassailable 3-1 lead. Ford then came on to replace Rose ,who had another excellent game, but without Lewis in the midfield the Bloaters appeared to lose their way and it was the Brettsiders who created the better chances towards the end of the game as the Bloaters ran out of ideas. Palmer fired in a shot that was saved and substitute Ferguson should have made it four but blazed wide in front of goal and the game was managed out to positive conclusion for Hadleigh who now meet the winners of the Clapton / Woodbridge tie in the next round.
A good pay day for the hosts as they advance into the next round and collect some good prize money, but a disappointed Adam Mason concluded “That is a hard one to take today. I felt we deserved so much more from the game . Ultimately for all our possession and half chances, some of which included some excellent build-up play, Hadleigh were sharper in both boxes than us and they are the areas in which games are won or lost. At 1-1 I felt we should go on and win but we got shown up at the back by a combination of poor defending and good finishing. This is probably the strongest squad I have ever managed but conceding twelve goals in three matches clearly speaks for itself.”
The club would like to thank Hadleigh United for accommodating this fixture and their excellent facilities, hospitality and friendliness were very much appreciated, we wish them well in the next round
FT Great Yarmouth Town 1 Hadleigh United 3 (played at Hadleigh)
Great Yarmouth : Barnes ,Eagleton, Rose, Bartram, Ager©, Urry, Hagan, Lewis, Oliver, Davis, Ward Subs Palmer, Ford, Stebbings, Hodge