Gorleston 1, CRC 1
This was a good game for the neutral between two sides who played good, passing football, and it ended in a fair result.
Gorleston made three changes from the side that lost at Stanway.
Thomas Daniels replaced the injured Reece Hunn at left back. Adam Thurtle returned at centre back allowing Kyle Howell to move to full back and Adam Mills to slot into centre midfield where Steve Taylor was rested. Keegan Middleton was given a start in place of the injured Liam Harvey-Cooper.
CRC began well and took the lead after just three minutes. Lamell Howell pounced on a defensive slip and broke down their left. Twice he beat Elliot Pride as defenders rushed to cover before pulling the ball back to Sean Latimer who put it in the net.
The visitors were all comfortable on the ball, making the Greens chase but Gorleston slowly began to get into the game.
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Chris Sandford was denied by keeper Ryan Dunn after a good Bradley Hough run and the Greens first real piece of passing football ended with Gary Williams shooting wide.
With 20 minutes gone Williams played in Sandford on the right, Sandford pulled the ball back to the far post where Middleton was waiting to steer the ball home and equalise.
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Middleton’s first goal for the first team meant he has now scored six goals in six days at all levels for the Greens. Twice for the under 18s on Thursday, a hat-trick on Saturday for the Reserves and then one for the first team.
CRC almost regained the lead six minutes later when Nathan Heath seemed to run unchallenged through the Gorleston midfield and into the box. He slid the ball past Pride but Mills had got back to cover and clear off the line.
On 27 minutes Hough jinked his way into the visitor’s penalty area and went down under a challenge but the referee waved away the penalty claims.
Gorleston ended the first half and began the second on top playing some nice football. Both Hough and Mills had low drives saved and then Hough shot just over the bar following a strong run.
Christy Finch, who had replaced Middleton, sidefooted a Hough cross wide before Ally McKenna stooped to head a low Williams corner goalwards but Dunn was able to tip the ball over the bar.
CRC began to push the Greens back towards the end but, with four minutes to go, it was the Greens who had the best chance to score.
McKenna weaved his way along the edge of the penalty area and fell under pressure from a defender. The referee had no hesitation in blowing for a foul and pointing to the spot.
Mills stepped up to take the penalty but keeper Dunn did well to save the original kick and then get back on his feet and down again to save Mills follow up.
In injury time CRC attacked on the right. Pride pushed the original shot back out into the middle of his goal where a visiting attacker put it into the empty net only to have his celebrations cut short by the linesman flagging for offside.
• Gorleston: Elliot Pride, Kyle Howell (Kyle Ingram, 46), Thomas Daniels, Adam Mills, Adam Thurtle, Eddie Thompson, Chris Sandford, Gary Williams, Ally McKenna, Bradley Hough (Luke Catchpole, 89), Keegan Middleton (Christy Finch, 65)
Booking: Williams (80)
Goal: Middleton (20)
• CRC: Ryan Dunn, Kieran Westwood, George Coy, Sam Hope (Troy Copland, 76), Nathan Heath (Ryan Horne, 46), Macauleigh Richards, Lamell Howell (Ben Prin, 65), Barny Williams, Sean Latimer, James Akintunde, Bobby-Joe Taylor
Goal: Latimer (3)
• Attendance 93