Clean Sheets All Round
After the avalanche of goals in the previous home game it was almost inevitable that this one would produce Gorleston’s first no score draw of the season.
Eddie Thompson returned to partner Adam Thurtle at the back with Josh Armes retaining his place but pushing into a holding midfield role alongside Andy Howell. Jack Marsden came in at right back and Jack Garrod and Ally McKenna returned to the starting line up.
Prior to the game Arthur Ottley presented Andy Howell with the supporters First Team player of the season award and Keegan Middleton was presented with the supporters Reserves and Under 18 player of the season trophy.
Despite there being no goals, the game was an entertaining end-to-end, end of season offering, full of good football.
Brantham started the stronger and were well organised and difficult to break down, as befitting a side third in the Premier League.
Elliot Pride was called into action after just six minutes pushing an Olly Mann effort over the bar and then diving full length to deny Alex Drennan from the corner.
The Greens began to find their feet and were knocking the ball around well with Jack Garrod producing their first effort on target with a twenty yard shot which the keeper held.
Gorleston almost gifted their opponents a goal after 31 minutes when a short back pass set Joshua Mayhew through one on one with Pride but the Gorleston keeper was down quickly to save on the edge of his box as the striker attempted to drill the ball low past him.
McKenna had a header deflected wide from a Howell free kick and then it was Brantham keeper Ryan Bedingfield’s turn to pull off a great save on the stroke of half time after Liam Harvey-Cooper cut in from the left and drilled a right foot shot that looked destined for the corner of the goal until the keeper dived to turn it round the post.
Both sides continued to look for an opening as the game moved into the second half but defences were standing solid.
Howell had a header cleared away from the line and Christy Finch saw an effort deflected wide with the keeper stranded.
With 69 minutes on the clock Gorleston were handed an ideal opportunity when Garrod was tripped in the box and the assistant referee flagged to give the penalty, although it was debatable whether it was actually one of his own players who had tripped him up.
The Greens have struggled from the spot this season so it was no real surprise when Chris Sandford scuffed the spot kick giving Bedingfield an easy take.
Armes and Finch both had further efforts for Gorleston but, at the final whistle, 0-0 was a fair result and the Greens could be rightly proud of another good performance against one of the top teams in the league.
If they manage to sort out their problems against some of the poorer teams in the league, and if the crop of youngsters continue to progress well, next season could see a high finish.
Gorleston: Elliot Pride, Jack Marsden, Reece Hunn (Thomas Daniels 51), Andy Howell, Adam Thurtle, Eddie Thompson, Chris Sandford, Josh Armes, Ally McKenna, Jack Garrod (Keegan Middleton 83), Liam Harvey-Cooper (Christy Finch 56)
Brantham Athletic: Ryan Bedingfield, Alex Drenna, Daniel Pryke (Lee Grimwood 70), Thomas Wray, Jack Sibbons, Simon Mann, Marc Lowe, David Grimwood, Oliver Mann, Joshua Mayhew (Danny Sapral 83), Kieran Lawler
Booking: Sibbons 69
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