Bloaters Clinch Fifth Spot In First Season Back In The Premier League
Brettsiders Sunk By Cruise "Missile"
Bloaters Clinch Fifth Spot In First Season Back In The Premier League
For the last game of the season the Bloaters travelled to a much-improved Hadleigh United side. The Brettsiders had already defeated Gorleston and Ipswich Wanderers in recent weeks and were a shadow of the side comprehensively beaten 4-0 at The Wellesley earlier in the season. There is a real sense of community with the Sufflok club who had enlisted the help of their youth sides to enjoy a day out with the first team, along with a large contingent of visiting supporters , the Millfield stadium made for a good atmosphere.
The Bloaters were without skipper Andersen, leading goalscorer Forbes, Taylor and midfield playmaker Applegate, and had to dig deep into the squad. Josh Ford continued at centre-back after some impressive recent displays and there was a welcome return for Jamie George to the side. Payton Swatman returned to his more familiar role in central midfield.
The excellent surface at The Millfield looked in perfect condition for a football match ,and with a decent crowd and good conditions was all set for a cracker of a game ,and so it proved . The bloaters started well as Jamie George drew a save from goalkeeper Mansfield. The home side responded as Sam Sharp found his way through the defence but pulled his effort wide of the target as both sides began in attacking mode. Cruise Nydazayo was beginning to exert some pressure on his full-back as a couple of powerful runs and crosses into the box caused problems in the home defence. The Bloaters weren’t having everything their own way and Putnins had to be alert to save a couple of long-range efforts from Hammond and Driscoll. The home side were neat and tidy in possession but the visitors looked dangerous every time they moved forwards. Perfect and Nydazayo’s pace was a constant threat and the home side were grateful to captain Burdett who made a last-ditch tackle to thwart Perfect as he threatened to open the scoring. After a whirlwind twenty minutes the game had settled and a tactical change saw the visitors switch to 4-3-3 to bring Davis into the centre of midfiled , the move almost paid instant dividends as George did well to hold the ball up for Nydazayo to run onto and his excellent cross was met on the volley by Davis, but his well-struck effort flew narrowly over the bar. The Bloaters were now in the ascendency as Nydazayo once again rounded his marker from an excellent pass by Howell, and was halted by another vital interception as the young winger bore down on goal. From the corner Ager’s header found Sean Perfect but again the effort was off target. The breakthrough came in the 35th minute, Perfect robbed a defender deep in home territory and the ball fell to another United player and Perfect stole the ball for a second time and ran through to score a fine individual goal to put the visitors a goal up.
It was 2-0 two minutes later as Nydazayo’s persistence paid off and he rolled a pass into Jamie George who thumped home from close range to stun the home side. The Brettsiders manged a goal back just before halftime as a shot from distance bounced back to Sharp who prodded the ball home to set up an exciting second half.
HT : Hadleigh Utd. 1 Great Yarmouth Town 2
From the restart the visitors created three good chances in as many minutes as they looked to finish the game off. First Perfect did well to set up Davis and his drive cannoned back off the post with Mansfield beaten and then Perfect turned in the area and shot narrowly wide. Howell then found George who was about to shoot when another last-ditch tackle saved the home side. An excellent start to the second half for the Bloaters as five minutes later Nydazayo was played in by Perfect and Mansfield did well to save.
The home side continued to be neat and tidy through midfield and looked anything but a side recently reprieved from relegation. Young Josh Ford proved his value to the team as he recovered to rob Sharp of the ball as he threatened the visitors goal. At the other end Nydazayo won a header and George’s attempted lob over the ‘keeper ,narrowly cleared the bar. More excellent play by Swatman, Howell and Perfect brought a corner for the visitors and seconds later Swatman, George and Perfect played some intricate passes only to see Swatman’s shot fly over the bar. The home side had brought on leading scorer Cassell and he was having an impact on the game with a couple of powerful runs and the Bloaters were grateful to Putnins as the substitute striker fired in a powerful shot ,that was well saved by the bloaters ‘keeper. With most of the second half action in the home half ,almost out of nowhere some good movement by Veitch found himself some space and he unleashed a powerful volley that brought the equaliser for the hosts. The home side now sensed an opportunity to get something from the match and a spectacular volley by Cassell , thankfully flew wide of the target . Five minutes later, in this end to end match, the Bloaters regained the lead , a great ball by Kyle Howell found Jamie George in space and he hit a fine volley on the turn into the net, to cap a fine performance from the striker. Veteran striker Chris Holmes was then sent on as the Bloaters re-shaped .Two minutes later Holmes was denied a spectacular goal as his overhead kick was brilliantly saved by Mansfield in the home goal. With ten minutes left Nydazayo picked the ball up on the left wing and sprinted past his defender and then unleashed a shot from fully 35 yards out , with keeper Mansfield caught off his line the ball flew into the top corner of the net for a brilliant fourth goal for the visitors.
Alex Armes was then introduced to the action with three minutes left on the clock, and unfortunately for him his first touch was a foul on Cassell that brought a penalty for the hosts that was converted , to set up a nervy ending for the visitors. Despite sending the ‘keeper up for a corner and a free-kick the Bloaters survived to win probably the best game, certainly in terms of entertainment, of the season . Congratulations to our excellent hosts for their generous hospitality and excellent facilities and on this form should be nowhere near the relegation zone.
Final score : Hadleigh United 3 Great Yarmouth Town 4 (George 2 ,Perfect, Nydazayo)
Great Yarmouth Town : Putnins,Savage, Bartram , Ager ©, Ford, Nydazayo, Swatman, Perfect, George, Davis. Subs : Holmes, Armes, Bond, Catchpole
As the news filtered through that Stanway had been held to a draw at Godmanchester , the Bloaters knew that they had finished fifth in the table, their highest finish for almost twenty years and signalled the Bloaters excellent return to the top flight of the Eastern Counties League.
Joint-Manager Martin Sinclair added “ To finish fifth in this division is a remarkable achievement, and we are delighted. The players, supporters ,sponsors ,committee and everyone connected with the club have contributed enormously to our success ,we thank each and every one of them. We have jumped twenty places since gaining promotion last season, which sounds incredible. We have brought in players from lower leagues and blooded a few youth players and they have all worked hard and done themselves proud. Our expectations at the start of the season were to stay in the division and perhaps push for mid-table, to finish fifth is just brilliant. With our reserves winning their league and good young players coming into the club via the youth team, the Club is in a good place right now !”
The Bloaters Reserves won their final game of the season at home to Mulbarton 2-1 goals from Matt Wallis and Scott Calver brought the curtain down on a fine season for Travis Manning’s men, winning Anglian Combination Division 5 South.