Game Over After 10 Minutes
Gorleston 3 Great Yarmouth 0
With the Bloaters in decent form with a good win against Stanway and the Greens having lost all five of their previous fixtures this was an opportunity for the Bloaters to gain revenge for the Boxing Day home defeat against local rivals Gorleston. Nydazayo was included after spending time on trial with Leicester City and Sam Applegate and Mitch Forbes returned to the starting lineup. Alex Armes switched to left back and Payton Swatman was employed in the right back position with skipper Andersen,Taylor and Savage unavailable. For the Greens, without injured danger man Jack Garrod, there was a surprise inclusion of former Lowestoft Town player Reece Hunn at left back.
The Greens started brightly as Baker fired in an early cross to test Putnins, who smothered the ball into his chest on the tricky surface. The early momentum was with the home side when the incident that eventually determined the outcome of the game came in the tenth minute. A through ball to Connor Ingram, who even Greens fans were suggesting was offside, put the youngster through on goal until a rescue challenge by ex-Green Kyle Howell was adjudged to have been a free-kick by referee Ryan Head. After consulting with his assistant they deemed that Howell was the last man and therefore prevented a goalscoring opportunity and was given a straight red card, which incensed the Yarmouth faithful. Worse was to come as Bakers’ freekick bounced off Putnins and the alert Connor Ingram reacted quickest to stab the ball home from close range to give the Greens a controversial early lead. To accommodate the loss of Howell young 16 year old JOSH FORD entered the action for his first derby match, to replace Charlie Bartram. The young centre-back went on to have a very good game in a feisty match. The Greens buoyed by the early goal then controlled possession for a while and should have extended the lead when a Hunn cross was headed back by Short for Ingram to volley over. Davis then found space to whip in a cross that Molloy punched clear and Swatman fired a free-kick narrowly wide as the Bloaters were limited to scraps of counter-attack possession. After a twenty minute period the shell-shocked Bloaters gradually clawed their way back into the game as both sides exchanged chances. First Perfect hit a shot wide of the post before Baker and Watts fired in efforts wide of the target. The visitors were awarded several free-kicks around the Greens penalty area but all failed to trouble ‘keeper Molloy. After a difficult start to the half the Bloaters had rallied well and were matching the Greens in a keenly-contested match, however the Greens always looked dangerous with their lively front three of Watts, Ingram and Baker.
HT Gorleston 1 Great Yarmouth Town 0
The Bloaters started the second half on the front foot as Nydazayo was fouled as he threatened to breach the home defence but again the free-kick was wasted. Another turning point in the match as a long ball found Nydazayo through and as he was about to sprint clear, a clumsy George Yusuff challenge sent the forward tumbling, referee Head awarded the free-kick and only booked Yusuff for the challenge, which seemed harsh given that Howell was sent off for an identical incident in the first half. After consulting with his assistant the yellow card decision stood and no further action was taken. Davis hit a fine free-kick destined for the top corner that Molloy saved well. There was a renewed enthusiasm about the Bloaters and the Greens were happy to soak up pressure and play on the counter attack. The fact that they tried to waste time at every opportunity gave testament to the Bloaters improved performance. The ever dangerous Kyle Baker was proving a nuisance for the Bloaters as he fired in a dangerous cross that was gathered by Putnins and then the same player got himself behind the Bloaters defence but his far post cross eluded everyone.
The Bloaters were desperately trying to get the elusive equaliser and the home side suffered a scare as a high challenge on Forbes by ex-Yarmouth man Yusuff only brought a telling off for the youngster, when most in the ground felt a second yellow card would have been a more appropriate punishment . Greens manager Ricci Butler must have felt the same, as he replaced Yusuff with young defender Isaac Burrage. As the game wore on it became more feisty and it looked like the Greens were content to defend their lead, but should have been two up as Goreham was gifted the ball on the edge of the box, but his shot flew over the bar. The Bloaters brought ex-green Sam Jones into the action replacing Applegate, who himself was treading a fine line with referee Head ,and pushed Swatman into his more familiar role of centre midfield.
Another disappointment for the Bloaters as a clear handball in the area was not seen by the officials as the ten men became more desperate for an equaliser. Armes was sacrificed for Holmes as the Bloaters switched to three at the back. With eight minutes left ex-bloater Jacob Short fired in a shot that took a wicked deflection and wrong-footed Putnins to make it 2-0 to the hosts, and effectively seal the win for the Greens. A few minutes later a good move between Baker and Watts saw Watts power in a shot that hit the bar and the ball fell to Luke Goreham who made no mistake to make it 3-0 to the hosts. Jones then made a last-ditch tackle to deny Watts a fourth as the Greens finished the game strongly.
On reflection this was a bad defeat for the Bloaters, and unfortunately it is their local rivals who have been the only team this season to do the double over them. However most unbiased judges would agree there is not too much between the two sides, and the 3-0 scoreline somewhat flatters the Greens. The Bloaters had some luck against Stanway on Saturday unfortunately they had no luck whatsoever in this match, against a well-drilled and organised Gorleston side, with all of the major decisions going against them. The Greens took their chances well and the Bloaters, despite working their socks off were unable to cause too many problems for the home ‘keeper. Both clubs have enjoyed good seasons and it is great to have the local derbies back, hopefully the local football communities will continue to support both clubs as they look to further improve their fortunes next season.
Final Score Gorleston 3 Great Yarmouth 0
Bloaters : Putnins ,Swatman, Armes, Bartram, Ager©,Howell , Nydazayo, Applegate, Forbes,Davis, Perfect Subs : Ford, Holmes,SJones, Doddington,JGeorge
Greens : Molloy , Clements, Hunn, JShort, Yussuff,Taylor,Goreham, Oldham,Baker, IngramC,, Watts