Greens Have a Thrill in the Chill
By David Hardy
Gorleston made it six wins in a row in difficult conditions and continued their climb up the table.
Stewart Larter made just one change to the side that had put six past Hadleigh last time out with Joel Watts replacing Nathan Russell.
The Greens began with the strong wind behind them which almost put them in early difficulties when an Aarron Taylor backpass was underhit but Scott Foreman was quickly out of his box to clear.
Haverhill also caused the first save of the match in the 7th minute when Rafal Wozniak tried his luck from the edge of the box but Foreman got down to his right to turn the ball wide.
Seven minutes later Foreman was in action again when Gorleston were caught two against one at the back. Taylor did well to slow them down and Foreman was quickly off his line to block Thomas Newman's shot with Taylor mopping up the loose ball.
Despite the visitors having the best chances, the Greens were having the better of the possession and they eventually took the lead in the 20th minute.
Watts won the ball back on the edge of the Haverhill box and laid it back to Mitch McKay. McKay fed Jack Garrod twenty yards out and he passed the ball low, past the keeper and into the bottom corner of the net.
Nine minutes later Gorleston doubled their lead.
Ross Gilfedder collected the ball just inside the left edge of the penalty area and turned nicely before angling the ball goalwards across the six yard box. Jackson Ramm was in the middle putting defender Jemel Fox under pressure. The ball took a deflection off Fox as he tried to clear and found the net.
Three minutes before half time, Sean Perfect was racing onto a ball towards the edge of the area. He was grappled to the ground by Sam Holmes, who was the last man, but only saw yellow presumably because the ball wasn't going towards the goal.
Gilfedder tried his luck with a header and a shot from the edge of the box as the Greens tried to take full advantage of the wind but at the break were just two to the good.
With Rovers having the wind behind them for the second half the next goal was going to be crucial.
Two minutes into the half, Watts latched on to Garrod's pass but keeper Charlie Turner was equal to it.
Four minutes later, Sean Perfect sent Gilfedder through but Turner saved with his legs the ball breaking up the other end where Wozniak got in behind and bore down on goal, but Green's keeper Foreman was out to bravely save at the attackers feet.
That save proved critical as, two minutes later, Gilfedder got to the byline and drove into the Rovers penalty area. He appeared to stand on the ball and go down but the linesman had spotted a foul on the Greens striker just before that and, after a brief consultation with his assistant, the referee pointed to the spot.
Gilfedder made no mistake with the penalty to make it 3-0. Gilfy has now notched up ten goals in his last six games.
With an hour gone Gilfedder again charged towards the box and appeared to be brought down on the edge of the area, but this time the referee was having nothing to do with it, although it seemed a clearer foul than the penalty!
With the wind behind them Haverhill were putting the Greens under pressure. Jackson Ramm almost deflected a corner into his own goal but Foreman reacted quickly to kick the ball away from the post before Holmes tried his luck from twenty yards but the shot was straight at Foreman.
With 64 minutes on the clock Gorleston made it 4-0.
Gilfedder was heavily involved again, getting down the right edge of the box before drilling a low ball across the area towards Garrod. A defender got there before Garrod but all he could do was divert it into his own goal.
Five minutes later Rovers were inches away from pulling a goal back. Newman thumped a shot goalwards which bounced down off the underside of the bar onto the goalline. The linesman said the ball hadn't crossed the line and Foreman was fouled in the scramble to get to the rebound so Gorleston escaped with their clean sheet in tact.
However, Haverhill did ruin the clean sheet with seven minutes remaining when the Greens defence misjudged a high ball in the wind, the ball falling to Newman who struck it into the net.
Seconds later Foreman kept it at one with a low save whilst, at the other end, Ismael Fatadjo tried his luck with a chip which went over.
Match sponsor was the Butlers and they chose the Batemans man of the match as Jack Garrod.
The Greens have scored 25 goals in the run of six wins, fourteen coming in the last three games, and have climbed from 14th to 8th in the table. Plus, mathematically, they can't now finish in the bottom four!
Gorleston: Scott Foreman, Jackson Ramm, Kyle Ingram, Luke Goreham, David Shade, Aarron Taylor (c), Jack Garrod (Ismael Fatadjo 76), Mitch McKay, Ross Gilfedder (Peter Lambert 80), Sean Perfect (Isaac Burrage 71), Joel Watts
Goals: Garrod 20; Gilfedder 29, 54(p); Own Goal 64
Haverhill Rovers: Charlie Turner, Tommy Hardwick (Paul Miles 79), Jemel Fox, Alfie Carroll, Ryan Geoghegan, Sam Holmes (c), Ben Bradley, Thomas Newman (Harry Halls 88), Luke Haines, Rafal Wozniak, Kyle Clarke (Ben Tait 58)
Bookings: Holmes 42; Miles 88
Goal: Newman 83
Ref: Oliver Morris-Sanders
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