Bloaters 0 Norwich United 2
Bloaters Brought Back Down to Earth By Planters
After two good wins against Thetford and Kirkley the Bloaters were brought back down to earth by a rejuvenated Norwich United side on a cold Tuesday evening at the Wellesley .
Managers Sinclair and Mason kept faith with the side that won at Kirkley and therefore Ager ,Davis ,Catchpole, Palmer and Holmes had to be content with a place on the bench.
The visitors showed their intent right from the kick off as Ben Jones hit a cross from the right and Jackson headed narrowly wide to give the Bloaters an early scare. The Planters looked a different side from that which was beaten a few weeks ago in the corresponding fixture at Plantation Park. They were sharper and looked the hungrier of the two sides. Barnes had to be on his guard as another cross from Jones has claimed by the home ‘keeper. The home side were struggling to retain possession with a combination of swift closing down by the Planters and some wasteful passing in midfield. Watts –Sturrock then fired in a speculative shot that went narrowly wide before a good chance for Jones was saved by Barnes and scrambled away by the home defence.
For all their dominance the scoreline remained blank, but the visitors were given a let-off when Perfect sprinted past the two centre-backs,bearing down on goal , but dragged his shot wide with only the ‘keeper to beat. A series of corners for the visitors were either scrambled away or headed wide as the visitors continued to press home their superiority. With the clock winding its’ way to half time the home side strung together a fine move that culminated in Eagleton firing in a powerful shot that was tipped over his bar by Pearson in the visitors goal. From the resulting corner a swift break by winger Forbes, his pas found the lively Liam Jackson, and he made no mistake to give the visitors a deserved lead on the stroke of half-time. An impressive half from the visitors who looked a much-improved outfit than they did a couple of weeks ago.
HT Bloaters 0 Norwich United 1
From the restart Sanders fired in a shot from the edge of the area that whistled over the bar ,as the Bloaters looked to get a foothold back in the game. The home side were then forced into a change with Eagleton suffering a knock after five minutes of the restart. Davis came on to replace the midfielder and Ager replaced Bartram to make it a double substitution for the hosts. Lewis was pushed into midfield to add some much-needed power in the centre of the park. Substitute Davis then fired in a powerful drive as the home side began to show their teeth. At the other end Barnes had to be alert as Forbes fired in a shot for the visitors and the winger’s namesake Jordan Forbes had to be alert to clear away former Bloater ,Sam Applegate’s cross. There were chances for both sides but the home side raised their game with fifteen minutes to go. Chris Holmes was now on the pitch and he was agonisingly close to getting a touch to SEAN PERFECT’s powerful cross-shot across the Planters goal. Another good move from the Bloaters finished with Hagan cutting inside and firing a shot narrowly wide of the far post. Minutes later Holmes was unlucky when his well-struck free-kick hit the side netting, as the hosts went searching for an equaliser. The home side continued to press without controlling the game and the play swung from end to end as the visitors continued to look dangerous when going forwards,and were resolute at the back. Perfect had a couple of chances towards the end as he shot from the edge of the area and then volleyed across goal from a deep corner, but the visitors held firm. Ex-Bloaters favourite Sam Applegate seemed to be everywhere for the Planters as the hosts were contained whilst the visitors managed the game out to a conclusion. As in the first half, the Planters finished their night’s work when the ball was gifted to Jackson and he finished well past Barnes to seal the win in the ninety fourth minute to make the game safe for the visitors.
The Bloaters gave a much better showing in the second half but the rejuvenated visitors will be happy with their first half performance in particular, that saw them avenge the defeat in the corresponding fixture from earlier in the season . A disappointed Adam Mason concluded “ It was a strange game really because I never felt we were in control, but we probably created the four best chances in the match. Norwich United made our lives very difficult in the first half, and kept the ball well. I thought we had weathered the storm but to concede so close to half-time meant we had to go for it in the second half, and the game became stretched. Disappointed to lose our momentum but we must pick things up again, Saturday’s game is an important one for us.”
Bloaters: Barnes, Urry, Ford, Bartram, Lewis©, Forbes, Roots, Eagleton, Perfect, Sanders, Hagan,. Subs : Davis, Holmes Ager, Catchpole, Palmer
Man Of The Match: Jordan Forbes
Attendance : 90