They think its all over....
This was a disappointing performance from Gorleston to end the league season with, at a wet and windy Hadleigh.
The Greens made four changes. Thomas Daniels came in at right back with Jack Marsden moving to the left in place of Reece Hunn. Kyle Howell came in at centre back with Adam Thurtle dropping to the bench. Chris Sandford and Jack Garrod were also on the bench and replaced in the starting line up by Gary Williams and Christy Finch.
At the aptly named Millfield, Gorleston were on the attack straight from kick off and within twenty seconds Williams had sent Ally McKenna into the box. Just as he looked set to shoot he seemed to be pulled to the ground but the referee deemed otherwise and waved play on, thus avoiding a possible early red card.
Seconds later Kris Rose broke through for Hadleigh but Elliot Pride denied him.
Marsden denied Ben Deacon a chance in the twelfth minute and, three minutes later, Pride had to tip over a vicious swerving shot by Luke Ingram from 25 yards.
Pride also kept out another Rose shot after 19 minutes but, four minutes later, Hadleigh took the lead when a ball was played inside the full back to Chris McLaughlin who pulled it across the goal to where Deacon was waiting to turn it in.
After half an hour Deacon turned provider when his cross found Ollie Canfer who looped his header back over Pride to double their lead.
It could have been worse as Hadleigh had the ball in the net again three minutes later but offside was given.
With the wind at their backs Gorleston struggled to find their passes, tending to overhit the ball but they were almost thrown a lifeline after 37 minutes when Hadleigh keeper Dan Heath miss hit a clearance straight to Liam Harvey-Cooper however, the keeper atoned by saving Harvey-Cooper’s shot.
Gorleston made a double change at half time with Kyle Howell and Liam Harvey-Cooper being replaced by Chris Sandford and Jack Garrod. Surprisingly, Josh Armes remained in central midfield with Sandford going to right back rather than his usual position, Daniels switched to the left and Marsden moved to centre back.
Williams forced Heath to push away another shot eight minutes into the second half but three minutes later Hadleigh scored their third when a long ball sent Deacon through and he calmly lifted the ball over the advancing Pride into the goal.
Finch crossed from the left giving McKenna a chance close in that a defender snuffed out and then McKenna turned creator for Finch who couldn’t connect cleanly with the ball at the back post.
Andy Howell limped off after 66 minutes being replaced by Thurtle and meaning another reshuffle in defence, with Sandford moving into his more usual role.
Four minutes from time Heath fingertipped a low Daniels effort past the post and then Deacon missed a golden opportunity to complete his hat trick when he rounded Pride but put the ball wide of the empty net.
The game ended as it began with McKenna bursting into the box and going down on the edge of it. This time the referee awarded a free kick which Chris Sandford took, bending the ball around the wall where it beat the keeper, struck the inside of the left post, then the inside of the right post before going back to the keepers arms.
Gorleston now have two weeks to get all their injuries cleared up before the next game, the Norfolk Senior Cup final, where they will be hoping for a better performance if they are to beat Thetford.
Gorleston: Elliot Pride, Thomas Daniels, Jack Marsden, Andy Howell (Adam Thurtle 66), Kyle Howell (Chris Sandford 46), Eddie Thompson, Josh Armes, Gary Williams, Ally McKenna, Christy Finch, Liam Harvey-Cooper (Jack Garrod 46)
Bookings: A Howell 34, Daniels 53, Thompson 56
Hadleigh Utd: Dan Heath, Chris McLaughlin, Jon Ince, Liam Jennings (Mark Barwick 70), Mark Gaisford, Lewis Bailey, Luke Ingram, Ollie Canfer, Kris Rose (Sam Banya 64), Ben Deacon, Daniel Allen (Matthew Downing 66)
Booking: Jennings 64, Ingram 78
Goals: Deacon 23, Canfer 30, Deacon 56
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