Greens give Premier rivals a huge scare
Paddy Davitt Gorleston 1, Needham Market 2: Brave Gorleston's bid to upset the odds ended in Ridgeons League Cup final heartache at Brewers Green Lane. Glenn Haylett's young First Division outfit stunned the Premier Division runners-up and FA Vase semi- finalists when Peter Lambert nodded the underdogs in front.
Gorleston 1, Needham Market 2
Brave Gorleston's bid to upset the odds ended in Ridgeons League Cup final heartache yesterday at Brewers Green Lane.
Glenn Haylett's young First Division outfit stunned the Premier Division runners-up and FA Vase semi- finalists when Peter Lambert nodded the underdogs in front.
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Needham striker Glenn Snell volleyed the favourites level on the hour mark before man of the match Daniel Thrower's corner flew straight past Greens' stopper Tom Marsden.
The Suffolk club held out to lift their first-ever Ridgeons League Cup but Haylett was full of praise for his side's courageous effort.
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“I think everybody thought we'd come here and be the whipping boys,” he said. “People expected them to stick six or seven past us but all the lads are really disappointed, especially with the way the goals went in. We didn't close the guy down quick enough before he went to shoot for the first and I just don't know what happened with the corner. It was one of those things.”
Haylett insisted his club can plan for a bright future after also claiming the Premier scalps of Lowestoft and Haverhill on their run to the final.
“You can talk about a gulf between the two leagues,” he said. “But I've watched a little bit of the Premier and I think we have players here who would grace any team at that level. We just have our work cut out in the summer now to keep them happy so they come back, we add to it and go again next year.”
Teenage midfield Lambert stunned Needham with a close range header against the early run of play from Richard Fruin's inch perfect cross.
Greens' stopper Marsden had already acrobatically foiled Rhys Barber after the unmarked Snell headed over from point-blank range.
John Bell kicked Needham skipper Mark Bailey's towering header off the line before Richard Butler's goal- bound effort struck Ricci Butler and cannoned to safety.
Snell slashed home from 10 yards on 59 minutes after Gorleston failed to clear.
Ricci Butler's superb curler had Liam Jones' scrambling across his penalty box and then Lambert wriggled free but drove straight at Needham's keeper.
Thrower's left footed inswinging corner totally deceived Marsden at his near post to nudge the Premier side in front. Gorleston's keeper foiled Paul Berry then pushed Thrower's angled strike against his bar as the Greens threw men forward in a frantic finale.
t Gorleston: T Marsden, Howell (Todd 87), J Marsden, Bell, Thurtle, E Thompson, Ricci Butler, Lambert, N Thomspon, Ingram, (Bowler 75), Fruin (Forbes 83). Subs not used: Collier, Goreham.
t Needham Market: Jones, Pemberton, Wake, Bailey, Richard Butler, Barber, Evans, Thorogood (Buckle 62), Smith (Berry 81), Snell (Wark 89), Thrower. Subs not used: Szyszyk, Foster.
t Referee: S Long (Ipswich)
t Attendance: 339.