Great Yarmouth Town Reserves 4 AC Mill Lane 6.
Saturday 3rd May 2021. Report by Martin Baxter.
Our reserves entertain AC Mill Lane in their last group game in the Norfolk Intermediate Cup.
This should be an intriguing clash as these two sides were placed in 1st and 2nd positions in the Anglian Combination 3rd division when the season was brought to a premature end by the winter lock down, and therefore both will be looking to prove a point.
Yarmouth welcome back several regulars who were missing from last weeks cup tie at North Walsham and also include first team players McAvoy and McAra in their line up.
The game starts with Yarmouth very much on the front foot and in the 4th minute following a calamitous mix up between the visitors keeper and defender McAra nips in to steal the ball off of them and slot home from close range to put his side 1-0 up. 5 minutes later after a great run and interchange between Hodge and McAvoy, the latter slots home with a superb strike from 15 yards to put the Bloaters 2-0 up.
This great start gives Yarmouth much needed confidence after a couple of poor results and they are looking sharp and hungry for more goals and Meakins almost makes it 3-0 in the 12th minute, however his effort is saved by the Mill Lane keeper.
The front 3 of Meakins, McAvoy and McAra are all working tirelessly and pressing their opponents at every opportunity and with Ethan Hodge playing an impressive creative role in midfield this is the best football this side have played under the new management team.
AC Mill Lane have several Portuguese players in their line up and one of them Beneto pulls a goal back for his team with a wonder strike from fully 45 yards which Yarmouth keeper Clements has no chance of stopping.
However less than 2 minutes later the Bloaters restore their 2 goal lead when a deflected effort is saved by the visitors keeper and the rebound falls to McAvoy who taps the ball home to make it 3-1.
The Portuguese contingent in the Mill Lane side look very impressive with their passing and movement and they create several decent chances without managing to score a 2nd goal and Beneto seems to be at the heart of all their good work.
In the 40th minute McAvoy has a chance of getting his hat trick, however after a mazy run on the edge of the box his shot goes just past the post, however a minute later Harry Atkins makes it 4-1 after McAvoy beats the off-side trap and is clean through on goal, however his effort is parried by the visitors keeper and falls to Atkins who calmly slots home. The turning point in this game happens just on half-time when after a penalty appeal is turned down by the ref following a tackle on McAra inside the area, Yarmouth’s Dan Pinherio is sin-binned for dissent and this means Yarmouth will have to start the first part of the 2nd half with only 10 men.
Half-time: Great Yarmouth Reserves 4 AC Mill Lane 1.
Within 2 minutes of the re-start AC Mill Lane pull another goal back taking full advantage of having the extra man and they now seem to have the bit between their teeth and on 57 minutes they are awarded a penalty which they convert to peg Yarmouth back to only a 1 goal advantage as the score is now 4-3. In the 62nd minute the AC Mill Lane number 9 is clean through on goal to strike but is thwarted by a great last gasp tackle from Ben Sayers, who turns the ball away for a corner. However the threat is very much still there and on 65 minutes Yarmouth fail to clear their lines from a corner and the visitors equalise with a far post header to complete the come back.
Things get even worse for the Bloaters as 2 minutes later the referee awards AC Mill Lane a 2nd spot kick when their number 9 is brought down in the box and the penalty is converted to give the away side a 5-4 lead.
Clearly losing a man for the sin bin period caused Yarmouth to lose their momentum and control and it is a classic case of how one incident can completely change a game. On 75 minutes the visitors are reduced to 10 men following a bad tackle on Ryan Jacobs, who has to leave the field and be replaced.
Now it is Yarmouth who have the man advantage in this action packed match, however on 78 minutes the AC Mill Lane number 9 beats the off-side trap and goes through to score the decisive goal and puts his side 6-4 up.
The visitors then go on to hit the post in the last 5 minutes and Yarmouth create a couple of very late half chances through McAvoy and Pinheiro, but they fail to take their opportunities.
Full Time: Great Yarmouth Town Reserves 4 AC Mill Lane 6,
After the game Yarmouth reserves joint manager Paul Blisset said: ” This was clearly a game of 2 halves and in the 1st half we played some of our best football all season with our pressing, Intensity, defending and composure on the ball. However the 2nd half was the opposite and all the hard work went out of the window. The best of luck to both AC Mill Lane and Norton in the later stages of this competition”
Yarmouth Line up: Clements, Atkins, Jacobs, Sayers, Moyes, Skoyles, Meakins, Pinheiro, McAvoy, Hodge, McAra. Subs: Dimsey, Orme, Oates.
Man of the match: Dec McAvoy.