Four king Mel
After gaining 6 points from 9 over the Easter period, Gorleston had high hopes of picking up something from Melford who hadn’t won in five games.
Once again there were numerous changes to the Gorleston line-up from the midweek win at Ipswich Wanderers.
Harley Clements and Peter Lambert were both out injured, with Clements likely to be ruled out for the season.
Ross Goodwin and Connor Ingram were left at home to prevent them becoming ineligible for the Reserves cup final later this month and Joel Watts was unavailable.
Conna Harris slotted in at right back with Mitch McKay making his 50th appearance in midfield. Joe Bracewell, Gerson Soares and Tom Markham all made their first starts after a handful of sub appearances between them.
On a pitch that looked good the first quarter of the match was a fairly even midfield battle.
Melford keeper Sam Mansfield came close to handling outside his box after 12 minutes but the ref gave him the benefit of the doubt and George Macrae did enough to put off Jamie Griffiths at the other end in the 31st minute.
The first time the ball was directed towards goal in anger was a 34th minute Ross Waugh header from a corner but it was always going wide.
The opening goal came in the 37th minute when Scott Yearling ran on to a pass. A reliable source said he was a yard offside. However, the linesman didn’t agree and Yearling passed the ball past MacRae into the goal.
Before the restart, McKay had to go off injured and was replaced by Mark Clay.
A minute later MacRae had to be at his athletic best to tip over a Griffiths drive.
Gorleston’s first shot came four minutes before the break when Kyle Ingram linked up well with Clay on the left, twisted and turned in the box then lifted his effort wide.
The Greens began the second half well, keeping the ball better but, six minutes into the half the hosts doubled their lead when they were caught out by a straight, long ball over the top which Griffiths ran on to and lobbed over MacRae.
MacRae saved well twice more before Gorleston’s best moment of the game after 74 minutes when Keegan Middleton drove a low ball across the face of goal but just out of reach of the oncoming strikers.
The game was put out of Gorleston’s reach in the 79th minute when Melford were allowed to cross too easily from the left to Griffiths, unmarked between the centre halfs, and he planted his free header into the net.
Middleton tried his luck from distance 5 minutes later but the effort didn’t dip enough before Long Melford put the gloss on the result five minutes from time after a poor clearance fell straight to Yearling in the centre of the box and he sidefooted into the goal.
With Whitton losing, the Greens have now amassed enough points to ensure they won’t finish bottom and one more point will mean that Fakenham can also not overtake them.
Gorleston: George Macrae, Conna Harris, Matty Brown, Cain Eagleton, Joe Bracewell, Liam Brown, Kyle Ingram, Mitch McKay (Mark Clay 37), Tom Markham, Gerson Soares (Rhys Farrow-Blance 71), Keegan Middleton (c)
Booking: Eagleton 82
Long Melford: Sam Mansfield, Josh Dalziel, Jake Jackson (Steve Chisholm 82), Jamie Clark (Harry Fryer 77), Ross Waugh, Anthony Waugh, Dan Swain, Reece Clarke, Scott Yearling, Jamie Griffiths, Nathan Rowe (Alfie Bedingham 73)
Goals: Yearling 37, 85; Griffiths 51, 79
Ref: S Cheek
|0||Other efforts on target||4|
|2||Other efforts off target||5|
|0||Other efforts against woodwork||0|
|11||Free kicks for||11|