Bugg Pest for Greens
By David Hardy
Gorleston suffered their first league defeat of the season with a disappointing performance at Emerald Park.
There were five changes to the side that had been unfortunate to go out of the FA Cup last week.
Jack Tipple was suspended following his sending off in the Cup game. George Yusuff has gone back to America until Christmas and Joel Watts and Jordan Cantwell were absent for personal reasons. They were replaced by David Shade, Jackson Ramm, Ryan Fuller and 16 year old Travis Stanley made his first start.
Goalkeeper George Parkin could consider himself unfortunate to miss out after acquitting himself well so far this season. He was replaced between the sticks by Tom Coombe, making his debut against the side he was playing for last season.
The thinness of the Greens squad was shown by a three-man bench of teenagers that only had five appearances between them, with two of the youngsters yet to make their debuts.
The visitors had the upper hand from the off, pushing forward so much so they were caught offside three times in the opening eight minutes.
A poor Gorleston free kick after 15 minutes led to the opening shot of the game when Walsham broke from it, Coombe equal to George Bugg's drive.
Four minutes later a miscued Gorleston clearance spun perfectly back to Ryan Clark but he could only find the side-net of Coombe's goal.
Gorleston had their first shot after 29 minutes. Ramm picked out Ross Gilfedder but the ball took a wicked bobble just as he shot and the shot was screwed horribly wide, which just about summed up how the day would go for the Greens.
A minute later a strong challenge on Fuller gave the Greens a free kick and left the striker in agony. Jack Brame protested his innocence but was shown the yellow card, as was Craig Nurse for arguing too much.
The challenge ended Fuller's involvement in the match and with him went one of the Greens biggest attacking threats and also an amount of defensive cover.
Whether that had any bearing on the opening goal we will never know. After Coombe had made a low save the resultant Willows corner was played deep into the box, headed back across goal and there was Bugg, unmarked, to turn the ball in.
The Greens had a chance to get back into it two minutes later. The referee ignored a foul on Dino Tabakovic then gave one a second later after Gilfedder lost his footing, again much to the visitors irritation.
The official made amends though by only pushing the wall back eight yards and, needless to say, Gilfedder's shot deflected away off it.
Gorleston began the second half better but lacked quality in the final third. Their best chance came after 57 minutes when Gilfedder burst through but was denied by Steve Fenner in the visitors goal who also got the better of Ramm's follow up.
The visitors soon regained the upper hand. Lee Hammond should have made it two when he missed an open goal from about a yard out then Clark saw his drive turned over by Coombe.
Walsham were slicing through the Green's defences at will and extended their lead in the 68th minute. Clark broke forward and outpaced the defenders before squaring to Bugg for a tap in.
Stewart Larter tried a change, bringing on Brady Philpott for his debut and switching to a back three. Gilfedder immediately had a shot saved but, with Gorleston pushing on, defeat was made certain within five minutes.
Once more Walsham cut through the Greens and an overload at the back post saw Clark all alone to turn the ball into the net.
Match sponsor Kevin Antcliffe awarded the Batemans man of the match to Jordan Stanton.
Gorleston: Tom Coombe, Travis Stanley (Brady Philpott 73), Luke Goreham, Elliott Hannant, David Shade (Joe Norton 82), Aarron Taylor (c), Nelson Carinhas, Jackson Ramm, Ross Gilfedder, Ryan Fuller (Dino Tabakovic 34), Jordan Stanton
Bookings: Carinhas 34, Taylor 58
Walsham le Willows: Steve Fenenr, Lee Sim (Kehan Whitby 80), Sam Peters, Jack Brame, Andrew Cusack, Craig Nurse (c)(Joe Boulter 76), Lee Hammond, Matt Collins, George Bugg, Niall McPhillips (Lee Warren 80), Ryan Clark
Bookings: Brame 30, Nurse 31
Goals: Bugg 37,68; 78
Referee: Mark Armes