Greens Go Blue and Gain a Point
Keegan Middleton's 15th goal of the season was enough to earn the Greens a share of the spoils at Whitton.
Manager Richard Daniels made five changes to the side that had lost against Kirkley.
Liam Hembling returned in goal, and there was a return from suspension for Thomas Daniels who replaced Mitch McKay. Adam Plumstead returned to defence with Reece Borrett dropping to the bench and Lee Roots was handed a start in place of Nathan Russell who also sat on the bench. Meanwhile, Peter Lambert's cricket season has started so Joel Watts came in up front.
There was also a change of kit for the Greens who had to wear their blue away kit for the only time this season as Whitton are also the Greens.
Just to complicate things further Gorleston tried a new shape, with three at the back and Roots and Liam Brown playing as wing backs.
The visitors started well and were pressing their hosts high up the pitch, harassing them into mistakes, with Watts making sure nothing was easy for the defenders.
Chris Sandford had a couple of early sighters go over before the Greens high pressing brought its reward in the 25th minute.
Watts harried the centre back and won the ball off him 25 yards out squaring it to Middleton who ran on and slotted low into the bottom corner.
Two minutes later a ball through the middle saw Watts run round the full back to latch on to it but the linesman adjudged him to be offside.
Ten minutes before half time Whitton equalised.
Allicion Blake and Kyle Howell chased a high ball back into the Gorleston penalty area. Blake took a tumble and the referee fell for it, awarding the home side a penalty, which Blake comfortably converted.
Seven minutes into the second half Bradley Hough tricked his way through and was brought down, falling well inside the penalty area however the free kick was given a yard outside. Middleton hit the set piece into the wall, the ball fell to Sandford who shot straight to the keeper.
A long ball over the top set Chris Williams in behind the Gorleston defence but the low shot was claimed by Hembling scrambling across his goal. Then another bouncing ball was not dealt with by the Greens but Blake could only shoot into the side netting.
Gorleston should have had a penalty when Roots was tripped in the box, which was seen by the Assistant who then didn't assist the ref by flagging.
The same linesman did, however, flag to give Middleton offside even though the Gorleston player was in line with the defender, and me. Fortunately for the linesman, the strikers first time lob from 35 yards came back off the bar.
Watts had an effort saved and soon after was through again. He laid the ball back to Brown who perhaps should have had a shot but squared to Sandford instead who fired over.
Two minutes later it was Hough's turn to shoot over.
Gorleston invited pressure on themselves by not finding 'row Z' five minutes from time with Whitton gaining four corners in quick succession but Gorleston defended stoutly and the last chance of the game fell to Williams two minutes from time where Hembling was able to save easily.
Although Gorleston have now reached the so called magic 40 points, with Wivenhoe still winning games mathematically the Greens need three more points to ensure safety.
Gorleston: Liam Hembling, Kyle Howell, Liam Brown, Lee Roots, Aaron Taylor, Adam Plumstead, Thomas Daniels, Chris Sandford (c), Joel Watts (Scott Woodgate 85), Bradley Hough, Keegan Middleton (Nathan Russell 73)
Goal: Middleton 25
Whitton: Liam Jones (c), Aaran Sheppard, Ethan Clarke, Jordan Dye (Liam Bevis 76), Robbie Knott, Scott Marjoram, Tom Trevivian (Dan Squibb 76), Anton Clarke (Jack Mead 83), Allicion Blake, Chris Williams, Miles Powell
Goal: Blake 35(p)
Booking: Trevivian 52
Ref: J Whittaker
|3||Other efforts on target||2
|6||Other efforts off target||4
|0||Other efforts against woodwork||0
|10||Free kicks for||5