Greens Can't Stand in Way
Stanway came into the game fighting for a top five finish whilst Gorleston were happy to be mid-table and safe.
The Greens had to shuffle the team for this match with call offs meaning they could only muster two players on the bench, along with head coach Matty Potter.
Adam Thurtle was ill so Kyle Howell moved to centre back with Adam Mills slotting in at right back and Steve Taylor coming in to the number 4 role. Jack Garrod and Mitch Forbes were injured so Liam Harvey-Cooper and Bradley Hough came into the starting line-up. Christy Finch was serving the last game of his suspension.
Gorleston made a good solid start to the game and were knocking the ball around well although it was Rovers who came closest to scoring.
Elliot Pride saved from Michael Cheek from point blank range after 13 minutes then produced the save of the game after 19 minutes when Lee Townrow drove a shot from 20 yards that was moving in the air and heading for the top corner, but Pride managed to reach it and turn it onto the inside of the post, Howell getting back to block Cheeks follow up into what would have been an empty goal.
Cheek was denied again after 28 minutes when Pride had to let go of the ball on the edge of the box or he would have been in danger of carrying it outside. As the ball headed goalwards Mills was covering to calmly control it and clear.
Ten minutes before the break it was Gorleston’s turn to have one cleared off the line after good link up play between Ally McKenna and Gary Williams saw the latter’s effort destined for the bottom corner until a defender got back to clear.
Gorleston took the lead two minutes into the second half.
Harvey-Cooper broke on the right and tried a speculative effort from 25 yards. The shot proved too hot for keeper Paul Rutherford to handle and he dropped it over the line.
Stanway then upped their game and the Greens struggled to contain them.
Cheek shot wide when through then mark Maher drilled an effort wide before the equaliser came after 55 minutes when a ball crossed from the left was knocked back across the box where it found Ben Newson who turned it in from close range.
Midway through the half the game became like a basketball match.
Michael Fitzgibbon had a shot saved by Pride. Gorleston responded with Hough’s close control creating himself a chance which the keeper pushed away and then Stanway broke back with Cheek’s effort beating Pride but bouncing back off the post.
Substitute Luke Catchpole found himself in on goal, lifting the ball over the keeper but also over the bar before another Cheek effort rattled back off the Gorleston crossbar.
The winner came on 76 minutes when a corner from the left saw the Greens rooted to the spot as Tom Devaux came in at the backpost unchallenged to head home.
Gorleston worked hard and played the better football, although they didn’t work the home keeper enough, but Stanway played to their strengths with a direct style and, in the end, their greater physical presence helped them to the victory.
Gorleston: Elliot Pride, Adam Mills, Reece Hunn (Josh Armes 82), Steve Taylor, Eddie Thompson, Kyle Howell, Chris Sandford, Gary Williams, Ally McKenna, Bradley Hough, Liam Harvey-Cooper (Luke Catchpole 57)
Goal: Harvey-Cooper 47
Stanway: Paul Rutherford, Andrew Joslin, Daniel Slatter (Josh Gould 73), Michael Fitzgibbon, Tom Devaux, Ross Norfolk, Kevin McLeod, Mark Maher, Michael Cheek (Martin Calver 83), Lee Townrow, Ben Newson
Bookings: Townrow 31
Goals: Newson 55, Devaux 76
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