Great Yarmouth Town Reserves 1 Hemsby 1. Saturday 3rd April 2021.
Report by Martin Baxter
This is the first game back at the Wellesley since we were exchanging Christmas cards and “Big Sean” received his Christmas stocking from the players.
This is also the clubs first match in the newly formed “Norfolk Premier Cup” which is played on a round robin group of games at this early stage, alongside our Charity Friends, The Offside Trust. The reserves also featured the new management team of Daniel Nolan and Paul Blissett with a new look squad starting to take shape.
Our first opponents Hemsby make it a local derby and it is good to see our club captain Ady Ager finally get a run out after a long term injury.
It is also very weird to be standing alone with a whole stand to myself, with a only a few seagulls as company due to the current covid Guidance.
As expected with a local derby the game starts with a few feisty challenges going in and for the first 15 minutes both sides look “ring rusty” and short of game time and a lot of passes are going astray.
The first chance is created by the away side as a Hemsby striker fires in a great strike from 20 yards out, which is tipped over the bar by keeper Fenn Nicholls.
Less than 2 minutes later Yarmouth take the lead When Alex Dalton converts from 10 yards out with a well taken strike, which beats ex Yarmouth keeper Tuffnall in the Hemsby goal.
This goal seem to give the home side a huge confidence boost and they now start to dominate possession and almost score a 2nd goal from a free kick, however the Hemsby defenders somehow manage to scramble the ball clear. Then the Bloaters create two further decent chances when firstly Melo tries to lob the ball over keeper Tuffnall’s head from 45 yards out, which he just manages to stop and then Alex Dalton is clean through on goal and takes the ball around Tuffnall only to see his effort cleared off of the line by a Hemsby defender tracking back.
Although Hemsby are comfortable passing the ball around they seem to lack a cutting edge in the final third and Yarmouth go in at the break 1-0 up.
Half-time. Great Yarmouth Town 1 Hemsby 0.
The 2nd half starts and Yarmouth make a couple of changes and one of the substitutes Ethan Hodge looks very lively with some great darting runs and on 55 minutes another substitute Naigen Lopes has a golden chance to put the home side 2-0 up, however he is thwarted by a last ditch block by a Hemsby defender.
Although Yarmouth are the dominant side whilst the score remains only 1-0 there is always a chance for the away side to get back in the match from a set piece and on 72 minutes this is exactly what happens when Hemsby equalise from a free kick with a close range far post header.
After so long without competitive football both sides then start to tire and the game becomes a bit scrappy and although there are a couple of opportunities late on with Lopes once again coming close for Yarmouth,but he is denied by a great point blank save from the visitors keeper and then finally a Hemsby striker has a very late effort just sail past the left hand post, and the match finishes with a probably fair 1-1 draw.
This game was never going to be a classic given how long the players have had to wait to get back out onto a pitch, however it was just fantastic to have football back at the Wellesley once again!
Great Yarmouth: Nicholls, Moyes, Skoyles, Agar, Sayer,Melo, Halliday, Cork, Dalton, Johnson, Jacobs. Subs: Hodge, Lopes, Jackson
Man of the match: Alex Dalton.