Heads, Greens Win
Gorleston headed to victory over bottom side Clacton.
Manager Stewart Larter made three enforced changes to the side that had lost to Brantham.
Ally McKenna, Liam Harvey-Cooper and David Hinton were all unavailable so Bradley Hough, Keegan Middleton and Reece Hunn got to start. The late call offs meant there were only two subs, Lee Roots and Sam Gordon.
Gorleston began well. A Christy Finch through ball onto Hough after just three minutes saw Clacton keeper Keith Tucker race from his line to smother then, five minutes later, Finch took a Chris Sandford ball down and hit a quick shot which the keeper held.
The Greens took the lead after 10 minutes. Gary Williams ball down the right flank picked out Bradley Hough whose cross to the back post found Keegan Middleton. He stooped low to head in despite the keeper clawing the ball away. The linesman flagged to say the ball had crossed the line.
Gorleston were well on top and moving the ball nicely but they seemed to take their foot off the pedal and let the hosts back into the game.
Kevin Coyle had a shot deflected wide by Josh Armes before Armes lost possession gifting Jake Clowsley a chance, but he shot wide.
Five minutes before the break a through ball put Clowsley in again, but again his effort was wide. On the stroke of half time, overplaying by the Greens saw them lose the ball on the edge of their own box but Coyle at the back post was unable to deflect the ball into the net.
At half time Lee Roots came on to replace Gary Williams as a precaution due to a slight hamstring pull.
Clacton had had enough chances to be level at the break but it was Gorleston who increased their lead in the 49th minute.
Carl Poppy floated a free kick in from the right and Chris Sandford rose to glance a header into the net.
Six minutes later it was 3-0 and game over when Bradley Hough met a Keegan Middleton corner and headed into the net.
The Greens got lucky in the 58th minute when a Tom Austin twenty yard free kick hit the underside of the bar, bounced back and struck the retreating Andy Howell which sent the ball narrowly wide of the post.
Middleton was unlucky not to increase the scoring after 65 minutes after Finch and Sandford had created a chance. His curling effort was destined for the corner until the slightest deflection off Austin's shin sent it wide.
Finch had a shot plucked out of the air before, at the other end, Coyle should have done better with a free header.
With 75 minutes on the clock, Roots and Coyle both went for a bouncing ball. Coyle's foot was raised with studs showing and he caught Roots. The referee showed Coyle a red card.
It looked serious for Roots and after five minutes of treatment he was stretchered off. A visit to the JPH on the way home revealed it was just bad bruising on his ankle but he will now miss the remainder of the season.
Unfortunately for Gorleston they had no other outfield player on the bench so the game ended 10 a side and with no further scoring, although Elliot Pride had to be alert to palm over an Austin drive in the fifth minute of injury time.
Gorleston: Elliot Pride, Carl Poppy, Reece Hunn, Jack Marsden, Andy Howell, Josh Armes, Gary Williams (Lee Roots 46), Chris Sandford, Bradley Hough, Christy Finch, Keegan Middleton
Bookings: Poppy 21; Marsden 64
Goals: Middleton 10; Sandford 49; Hough 55
FC Clacton: Keith Tucker, Ally McInness (Tommy Moore 64), Billy Wales, Lee Peacock, Adam Daniels, Tom Austin, Kevin Coyle, Lee Clowsley (Aaron Keavey 72), Kyelan Markell, Jake Clowsley, Aaron Condon (Louie Newland 81)
Sent off: Coyle 75
|4/3/0||Other efforts on/off target/woodwork||5/8/1|
|13||Free kicks for||10|