Late Goal Earns Share of Spoils
By David Hardy
An injury time Kyle Ingram goal gave Gorleston a deserved point at Haverhill.
The Greens showed five changes to the side that went out of the Vase a fortnight earlier.
Out went Charlie Hitch, Luke Goreham and Peter Lambert with Daniel Pinheiro and Mitch McKay dropping to the bench.
They were replaced by Harley Clements, Alex Kounnas, Elliott Hannant, Ross Gilfedder and Ismael Fatadjo.
Rather than playing on the usual grass pitch at The New Croft, Rovers had suggested earlier in the week that the game be switched to the 3g pitch which is normally home to Haverhill Borough, who were away. This proved a wise move as the grass pitch was unplayable and it prevented another postponed match so, thanks to their committee for that.
Perhaps not surprisingly, as presumably they train on it, the hosts settled the quickest on the artificial surface and went ahead in the fifth minute, although Gorleston were a little unfortunate in the concession.
A low cross from the left didn't look like it would cause too many issues, until Elliott Hannant stuck out a leg to try and hook it away. The ball screwed off his foot, past Taurean Molloy and into the net off the base of the post.
Jonathan Milne headed Rovers first corner over before the Greens got their first effort in on target after Gilfedder was upended twenty yards out and Ingram's resultant free kick was fisted away by Charlie Turner.
Molloy was the next keeper in action, saving a header low down, then Kounnas almost snuck through on the Rovers goal, poking the ball past the keeper but a foul by Gilfedder helped the Haverhill defence out.
Fatadjo saw a low effort fingertipped wide although Haverhill broke from the resulting corner and it was Molloy then forced into a save, denying Mitchell Burr.
The Greens began the second half better and pushing forward, with Fatadjo looking the danger.
On the hour, Kounnas won the ball strongly in midfield and burst forward but Turner raced from his goal to stop him.
Fatadjo's cross was plucked out of the air by Turner with Gilfedder poised to pounce before an excellent Ingram ball put Fatadjo in on goal but he couldn't get the ball out from under his feet and the danger was averted.
Stewart Larter introduced Mitch McKay to the fray and went to three at the back with Kounnas pushing on although it was Molloy who kept his team in it after Milne got through with ten minutes to go.
Jackson Ramm saw an effort take a slight deflection which caused the keeper to punch the shot away before Ingram scuffed another effort wide.
The hosts had to play the game out with ten men after Harry Halls limped off, with Rovers having used all their subs.
Larter then sent on striker Jack Cottingham in place of defender Owen French with his side appearing to be in something of a 2-5-3 formation as they searched for the equaliser!
As the game entered stoppage time, Gorleston finally grabbed their deserved equaliser.
After Kounnas was fouled on the edge of the box, close to the byline, McKay played in the free kick but it was cleared by the first defender. McKay retrieved the ball and played it back in to Ingram who worked the opening and drilled the ball from an angle into the net.
Almost direct from the restart the Greens could have snatched the win when Fatadjo was sent through the middle and was only denied by some brave goalkeeping.
Gorleston: Taurean Molloy, Harley Clements (c), Alex Kounnas, Elliott Hannant (Mitch McKay 73), Aarron Taylor, Owen French (Jack Cottingham 85), Kyle Ingram, Jackson Ramm, Ross Gilfedder, Ismael Fatadjo, Joel Watts
Bookings: French 46; Ramm 53; Clements 58
Goal: Ingram 90+1
Haverhill Rovers: Charlie Turner, Alfie Carroll, Jemel Fox, Jonathan Milne, John Camfield, Sam Holmes (c), Marc Abbott, Ben Bradley (Harry Halls 73), Jordan Palmer (Kyle Clarke 62), Luke Haines (Rhys Shulver 65), Mitchell Burr
Booking: Camfield 68
Goal: Hannant OG 5
Ref: J Croft
|3||Other efforts on target||5|
|6||Other efforts off target||5|
|0||Other efforts against woodwork||0|
|13||Free kicks for||10|