Once again it was another blank day for the Greens but the pre-Christmas results proved enough to keep them in the division.
There were just three changes this week from the previous defeat. Joe Bracewell was out after being kicked in the face playing for the youth team whilst Jordan Stanton and Connor Ingram dropped to the bench.
In came Rhys Farrow-Blance at centre back, Elliott Hannant in to centre midfield and Joel Watts in attack.
Four of the 14 are still playing for the Under 18’s whilst captain for the game was Mitch McKay on his 20th birthday.
Gorleston began well in the opening five minutes but the hosts went ahead in the seventh minute.
A cross from the left was flicked on at the front post to the back where Karl Andrade was free to head in.
Four minutes later it could have been two when Wayne Chapman had a header in front of goal but George Macrae acrobatically pushed it over the bar.
It was two though after 18 minutes when Gorleston failed to clear the ball and it fell to Aaron Condon on the left to slot past MacRae.
The Greens first half chance was on 20 minutes when Ashley King headed over a Keegan Middleton free kick whilst under pressure.
Gorleston were holding a good line at the back with Clacton continually running offside.
After 28 minutes the linesman flagged for the sixth time and, from the restart, Joel Watts got through on Joe Fowler in the hosts goal but the shot was straight at him.
The keeper wasted no time in launching his own team into attack. This time Andrade got through the middle, beating the offside, and drove his shot over MacRae, through his hands into the goal.
With nine minutes to half time Fowler came out of his box to head away, the ball falling to Middleton ten yards inside the Clacton half who hit it back first time towards the empty goal but the ball drifted wide.
Three minutes later Matty Brown tried his luck with a 25 yard free kick but the ball went through to the keeper.
Before half time there was still time for an Andrade cross to skim the top of the bar, for MacRae to deny Andrade with his legs and for another Clacton effort to be cleared off the line.
Seven minutes into the second half a Watts cross was turned goalwards by King but went over the bar.
Five minutes later Condon dribbled through several attempts at challenges before unleashing a shot that struck the post. The rebound was put into the net but the lineman’s flag was raised again.
Just after the hour a Middleton free kick was charged down by the wall, Middleton thumping the rebound back at goal but straight into the keeper’s arms.
The fourth goal came after 66 minutes, a replica of the first – cross from the left, near post flick and turned in at the back post by Condon.
Matty Brown saw a low drive almost catch out the keeper at the near post before Watts cut in onto his right foot but shot over the bar.
With time running out Kevin Coyle got through Gorleston’s defences but Liam Brown was back to scramble the ball off the line.
So the fourth month of the year saw Gorleston play four, lose four and concede four goals in each!
Butler’s brief at the start of the season was to keep Gorleston in the Premier Division with virtually no budget and play the youngsters. With the Greens finishing fifth bottom this has been achieved.
If he is able to strengthen the spine of the side and bring in a few experienced players who will stay for the whole season, next year should see an improvement.
Gorleston: George Macrae, Sam Ellis, Matty Brown, Elliott Hannant (Cain Eagleton 63), Rhys Farrow-Blance, Liam Brown, Kyle Ingram (Connor Ingram 63), Mitch McKay (c)(Jordan Stanton 76), Ashley King, Joel Watts, Keegan Middleton
FC Clacton: Joe Fowler, Max Kirkby, Parris Newland, Wayne Chapman, Kevin Coyle, Ben Parkin, Aaron Condon (c)(Ashley Stein 67), Jordan Brazitis, Karl Andrade, Charlie Thompson (Adam Daniels 77), Billy Wales (Danny Parish 69)
Goals: Andrade 7, 29; Condon 18, 66
Ref: Daniel Richardson
|4||Other efforts on target||8|
|4||Other efforts off target||2|
|0||Other efforts against woodwork||3|
|11||Free kicks for||7|