Great Yarmouth Town Reserves V Long Stratton Reserves.
Saturday 12th March 2022. Report by Martin Baxter.
On a sunny but windy Saturday afternoon Yarmouth reserves entertained 2nd place Long Stratton reserves in a very tough encounter at the Wellesley.
Before the game Yarmouth joint reserve manager Paul Blissett told me, ” We have had 4 players who played on Tuesday evening called up to the first team squad for their game against UEA today and this leaves us well short of a full squad for today ”
The big plus side of this is that the system is clearly working well as the youngsters are progressing through the youth set up and then into the reserves, where if they make an impression are given their opportunity in the first team.
Youth football is all about producing the first team players of the future and at Yarmouth this is being finely tuned at the moment.
Yarmouth started the game with the wind in their favour against their well organised and very physical opponents and in the 2nd minute Gomez-Lopez tested the visitors keeper with a curling effort from 20 yards out that went just wide of the right hand post.
In the 10th minute from a Yarmouth corner a Long Stratton defender made a hash of his attempted clearance and sliced the ball straight to Gomez-Lopez who headed home from virtually on the goal line to put his side 1-0 up.
10 minutes later and from another corner Yarmouth doubled their advantage when after the ball is initially cleared it is perfectly crossed back into the box a 2nd time for Reegan Perry to nod home from close range.
The Bloaters were taking full advantage of the wind behind them and almost made it 3-0 in the 40th minute but were foiled by a a superb point blank save from the Long Stratton keeper.
Long Stratton were not really coping well with the wind against them and many of their long balls up-field were going astray rather than finding their 2 strikers, however in the 42nd minute an extremely long throw in from the visitors left back is sent into the danger area and headed home to put them back in the game.
Just before half-time Yarmouth striker Duffield found himself clear through on goal but he put his effort just wide and failed to give his side back a 2 goal advantage at the break.
Half-time: Great Yarmouth Reserves 2 Long Stratton Reserves 1.
The 2nd half started and as so often happens when a side scores right on half-time it was now the visitors who were asking all the questions and with the wind now in their favour they were starting to dominate this match, however it was Yarmouth who had the first chance after the break when the lively Gomez-Lopez tested the visitors keeper with a decent strike which was well saved.
On 55 minutes from a free kick on the right Long Stratton equalised with yet another headed effort in the box which beat Clements in the Yarmouth goal.
On the hour mark Gomez Lopez appeared to be scythed down by a Long Stratton defender, however the ref played on ignoring the Yarmouth appeals and 30 second later he is involved in another coming together and in frustration he lashed out with his elbow and earned himself a straight red card.
This meant that Yarmouth now had to see out the remaining 30 minutes with only 10 men, however it was the very lively Duffield who on 70 minutes had another opportunity to put the Bloaters 3-2 up, but his shot went just wide.
In the last 10 minutes Yarmouth had their backs to the wall as their visitors kept pumping in crosses into their penalty area and after a couple of near misses they finally succumbed to a header from a corner in the 85th minute. which settled this eventful and highly entertaining encounter.
Full Time: Great Yarmouth Reserves 2 Long Stratton Reserves 3.
Yarmouth Line up: Clements, Spinks, Mawby, Moyes, Sayer, Perry, Meakins, Hughes, Duffield, Jonas, Gomez-Lopes. Subs: Miller, Liffen, Skoyles.
Man of the match: Louis Duffield.