Bloaters on road to victory
Ipswich Wanderers 1, Great Yarmouth 3: Goals either side of half time by Jake Reed set Yarmouth on the road to opening day success in Ipswich. After Wanderers dominated possession without really bothering new Yarmouth keeper Stephen Lewis, a replacement for the injured Michael Hilton, the Bloaters struck with devastating force seconds from the interval: Reed pounced on a pass through the middle, shook off the attentions of a defender and calmly stroked the ball past advancing home 'keeper Hammond.
Ipswich Wanderers 1, Great Yarmouth 3
Goals either side of half time by Jake Reed set Yarmouth on the road to opening day success in Ipswich. After Wanderers dominated possession without really bothering new Yarmouth keeper Stephen Lewis, a replacement for the injured Michael Hilton, the Bloaters struck with devastating force seconds from the interval: Reed pounced on a pass through the middle, shook off the attentions of a defender and calmly stroked the ball past advancing home 'keeper Hammond.
Reed was at it again barely 30 seconds into the second half, taking a pass to the left from Stewart Roach and again coolly shooting past Hammond.
Ipswich pulled one back after 80 minutes from a penalty kick but Yarmouth wasted no time in restoring the two-goal cushion when captain Adey Ager headed home at the far post from a Scott Woodcock corner. This was a very “professional-style” performance from Yarmouth on what was a difficult pitch.
Yarmouth carried their pre-season form into the new season with a 3-1 success at Ipswich Wanderers as the Ridgeons (Eastern Counties) League recorded its earliest ever start.
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Only in the re-start after WW1 has Great Yarmouth begun earlier, an East Anglian League match with Gorleston on August 6 in 1919.
After what has been seen in the pre-season games, the supporters must be full of hopes for a successful season. Paul Tong's additions to his squad have given him the strength in depth throughout the side he lacked last season, and competition for places is going to be intense.
Martyn Magee has added experience and guile to the midfield, Craig Roberts has brought extra height and craft to the back line where the experience of Marcus Saunders has already proved invaluable, and the Portuguese pairing of Junior Bernardo and Vida Formoso have given the team a new and exciting continental twist with their deft footwork and attack-minded passing.
These five newcomers have featured regularly in the pre-season games but there are others from whom fleeting appearances have also shown promise, including several Youth players. Equally importantly, last seasons' regulars have remained loyal to the Bloaters: last year's captain Adey Ager looks as strong as ever, and the front pairing of Liam Bartley and Jake Reed have enjoyed a profitable summer of goals whilst fellow-youngsters Adam Sewell and Dominic Smith have both started very well. Olly Savage, Alan Darby and Gareth Palmer are all available for defensive duties and Stewart Roach and Scott Woodcock, last season's two leading scorers, are also ready to take up the goal challenge again.
Michael Hilton, when he recovers from his present injury, looks secure in his goalkeeping spot though his absence has given others the chance to impress. Mark Thompson, Johnny Watt, Toby Gorbould, David Lawrence and Bobby Hill must not be forgotten either and those who miss the first team cut will form a very strong Reserves side which begins its first Ridgeons Reserve League season under new manager Mark Brooks assisted by Andy Deeley.
Tong said he has been pleased with the play and the fitness that the squad have shown in the summer games: “It has gone well, but you get no points for winning pre-season games. It's all about trying to blend the players together and working on systems and how we're going to play.
“We're trying something completely different this year and it's a case of so far so good. We've got the personnel now to adapt our football and I feel we can play with the best.”