By Kevin Forbes
Away Day Blues !
The Bloaters arrived at Debenham Leisure Centre to find a well-manicured playing surface looking resplendent against the bright sunshine that nobody expected given the weather forecast. The visitors made a couple of changes from the midweek victory over Sudbury Reserves, Fionn Goodwin-Wright was given a start along with Cameron Wing who had both impressed coming off the bench in recent games.
As the home side were in their yellow and black stripes, the visitors had to wear their change kit of all blue. The home side were without their regular goalkeeper and outfield player Tobie Stollery took the gloves for this battle of mid-table with the Bloaters occupying tenth place and the home side in eleventh before this game.
From the kick off the visitors went on the attack as Wing and Attree got into the final third with Attree’s shot blocked. The home side responded when Watling teed up a shot that went high and wide. There was an early scare, when from a series of corners skipper Crowe headed narrowly wide, moments later Putnins made a great save from another powerful header from a corner. The hosts were enjoying more of the ball with the benefit of the prevailing breeze at their backs. There was a break in play after ten minutes as Poxon received treatment and was later stretchered off to hospital. After early pressure from the home side it was no real surprise the home side went in front when a cross from the left by the lively Holmes found the head of substitute Cole whose header back across goal found the bottom corner of the net. The Bloaters responded when Hunter’s cross was grabbed by the goalkeeper and then Goodwin-Wright’s flick on from a Howell throw went narrowly wide of the post. Marcus Taylor then curled in a fine effort on the wind that cannoned off the bar, with Putnins beaten. On a tight pitch and a congested midfield the Bloaters were struggling to get a foothold in the game with the hosts gaining in confidence after the goal. Another long throw by Howell caused some confusion in the home defence who managed to scramble the ball away, only to find Hunter who blasted his shot over the bar from ten yards. The Bloaters thought they had equalised when another Howell throw ended with the ball bouncing about dangerously in the area and Attree got his head to the ball and the diminutive ‘keeper reached up and palmed the ball onto the bar to save his side. An innocuous looking ball deep into the Bloaters’ half saw a moments’ hesitation from Wenn and Holmes seized his opportunity and toe-poked the ball past Putnins into the net, to double the lead for Debenham in the fortieth minute. With the clock ticking past forty five minutes due to the early injury, the Bloaters were given a lifeline when Goodwin-Wright was hauled down in the area and referee Chris Darling awarded the penalty. Goodwin-Wright buried the ball in the bottom corner despite Stollery getting his hand to spot-kick. The Bloaters’ joy was short-lived as a curling cross deep into the visitor’s penalty area was met by Hunter whose intended clearance header sailed over the head of Putnins and into the net to give the home side a 3-I lead at half-time. The visitors would have been disappointed with their performance against a resurgent home side.
HT Debenham LC 3 Great Yarmouth 1
The Bloaters had a mountain to climb, but now had the wind at their backs. Swatman latched onto a poor pass and found himself deep into the Debenham half, but was unceremoniously hauled to the ground earning a booking for Taylor. Swatman’s free-kick from twenty yards drifted narrowly over the bar. The Bloaters were now matching the home side but their play lacked direction and were unable to put much pressure on the home goal. Whilst the visitors were enjoying a lot more possession the home side were creating the better chances as Putnins saved well from a Holmes header and Marcus Taylor missed the target with a sharp volley when well-placed. Hunter sent over a decent cross but to no avail, and then the home side scrambled the ball away after another foul on Swatman. Substitutes McAra and George came on to add some much-needed impetus and McAra fired in a shot that was deflected over the bar immediately after joining the action. The home side were managing the game well and had a couple of further opportunities to increase their lead but the best chance of the half came with six minutes left to play, from a Swatman pass Goodwin-Wright got the better of his marker and fired a firm shot past Stollery but the ball smacked the post and bounced clear to deny any hope of a Bloaters comeback.
This match was won by the home side in a disappointing first half for the visitors and the Bloaters will have to raise their levels with some important fixtures coming up. Manager Rob McCombe added “ Simply put today’s performance was not good enough. We all feel like we’ve let ourselves, the club and each other down. The first half was the worst since I’ve been at the club. It’s now all about seeing a positive reaction from the lads. We’ve discussed what wasn’t right and identified the issues so I’m confident the lads will now respond.”
Great Yarmouth : Putnins Wenn Hunter Howell Ager© Blake Wing Bobby Attree Swatman Goodwin-Wright Subs Atkins McAra George Smith