By Kevin Forbes
Bloaters Leave It Late !
On a cold and miserable evening at the Wellesley the Bloaters entertained a young Sudbury Reserves who had scored twelve goals in their last two matches notably the 7-1 thrashing of Diss Town last Saturday. The Bloaters made a couple of changes with Tom Hunter coming back into the side to replace Will George and new signing Harry Atkins came in for his debut. Charlie McAra had to drop out just before kick off after feeling ill. The young visitors buoyed by recent results made the long midweek journey on a Tuesday night to the Wellesley.
As usual the Bloaters started well, Hunters’ fine cross found Attree and his shot on the turn was blocked and the follow up cleared off the line. From the corner Attree headed over when off balance. Sudbury then created an opportunity when a free kick came back off the Bloaters’ wall and then a skimming shot through a crowd of players was saved by Putnins. Swatman and Blake then created an opportunity and cross for Attree but the young ‘keeper misjudged the header but was relieved to see the ball sail narrowly over the bar. Attree then made a couple of attempts on goal first with a header from a corner that was saved and then a shot that was deflected wide, as the hosts looked for an early goal.
After a Sudbury attack in the twenty sixth minute an off-the ball incident involving Ager and Horlock which was carefully considered by referee Pace and his assistant, led to the young Sudbury striker receiving his marching orders, to give his side a mountain to climb. To their eternal credit the Sudbury lads worked their socks off to stay in the game, closing down and chasing every lost cause, making life extremely difficult for the home side to break down. Despite lots of possession and territorial advantage for the home side, the visitors deservedly went in level at Half-time. The Bloaters would have been disappointed with their first half showing as they had not given the visiting goalkeeper enough to do despite the early endeavours.
HT Great Yarmouth 0 Sudbury Town Reserves 0
The Sudbury lads continued to defend well and kept the home side at bay however they were walking a tightrope with referee Pace as several yellow cards were brandished for poor challenges. Unusually for such a young side there was plenty of fight in the away side and they were determined to get something from the game indeed they could have gone ahead on the hour mark when impressive centre-forward Morris sent in a dangerous cross from the left and the ball fell kindly to Tysoe whose volley whistled past the post. This scare seemed to jolt the lacklustre home side into life and a minute later they were in front. Swatman grabbed the ball in midfield and rode a couple of challenges before sending an inch-perfect ball through to Hunter, the young winger composed himself and finished well to give the home side some much-needed relief with a well-taken goal.
The bloaters made a couple of changes which proved significant with Wing replacing Atkins and Goodwin-Wright on for Smith. Some excellent play by Goodwin-Wright saw the striker retain possession and pick out Hunter but his shot went over the bar from eight yards. Three minutes later the resilient visitors equalised when Morris picked the ball up and drove at the home defence, after breaking through a couple of challenges the young striker fired in an unstoppable shot past Putnins to put the visitors level with an excellent goal. The home side now had fifteen minutes to find a winning goal. A couple of more yellow cards for the visitors only highlighted their desire to stay in this match despite being a man down. Yarmouth were still in the ascendency with regards to possession and territory but could not break down the visitors defence, who were well- organised and defending well. There was a scare they may take all three points when the home side had to clear a ball off their own goaline after a goalmouth scramble. With the clock ticking down Cameron Wing went on one of his trademark darting runs and sent over a tantalising cross that managed to evade everyone. Wing was becoming influential as another dangerous turn of speed brought a corner as the home side went searching for a late winner. With the game now into over-time Wing was sent through by an arrow-like pass from Swatman and his cross this time was turned in by Goodwin-Wright, much to the relief of the home supporters who had braved the elements. Even then, the brave young visitors mounted a couple of attacks that the home defence cleared away and after seven extra minutes referee Pace blew the full-time whistle.
Another hard-earned three points for the home side despite being a long way from their best but credit must go to a very young Sudbury side who after going down to ten men restricted the home side to very few chances, and probably deserved a point themselves.
For the Bloaters this was another important win and despite a disappointing performance they found a way to win the game, something that was lacking earlier in the season, as they climbed the table another place, up to tenth.
Manager Rob McCombe concluded “Whilst I am delighted to get the three points, we were well below levels we expect from the lads. Once again I felt the squad depth showed tonight with the three players coming on all having a positive impact on the game. Credit to the lads though as we are now showing better mental strength and finding different ways to win.”
Man Of The match presented by Gary Bennett and Jack Jay : Payton Swatman
FT Great Yarmouth Town 2 Sudbury Town Reserves 1
Bloaters : Putnins Wenn Hunter Howell Ager © Blake Atkins Bobby Attree Swatman Smith Subs : McAra Wing George Hodge Goodwin-Wright