The Reserve XI is managed by John Mann and Derek Bevan
Players used so far this season: Simon Francis, Danny Shanks, Ian Whittaker, Rob Dale, Jodie Harrison, Stephen Taylor, Rob Southern, Matt Lines, Michael Tierney, Kai Lake, Adam Mason, James Hurren, Rob Lake, Brad Smith, Ross Ratcliffe, Stephen Reid, Martin Adams, Chris Hawkins, Nathan Fakes, Neil Adcock, Lee Carter, Chris Jermy, Thomas Rowley, Wayne Hunter, Paul Dyer, Paul Stebbings, Nathan McKay, Marc Childs, Ben Dixon, Will Lewis, Luke Goreham, Jamie Spurling, Shaun Roberts, Dean Parfitt, Kevin Howes, Elliott Pride, Simon Jackson, Lee Brown, Alan Darby, Mark George, Mori Etchells, Jamie Henderson, Robert George, John Hardcastle, Nathan Drake, Grant Pierpoint, Lee Humphreys, James Hurren, Warren Nicholls.
HINDRINGHAM 4-1 RESERVES
Anglian Combination Division One
completed their season when they made the long journey to north Norfolk to play promotion contenders Hindringham. On a rock hard playing surface, which was badly in need of rain, the Bloaters started brightly and looked the better outfit in the opening stages. Neither goalkeeper had a save to make until the 25th minute when home custodian Richard Osler denied Mori Etchells with a fine block. Five minutes later the Bloaters took the lead when Adam Mason found the net from a well-struck free kick on edge of the penalty area. Unfortunately for the visitors they were unable to hold on to the advantage, as Hindringham scored two goals in a five minute spell, to give themselves a 2-1 lead at the interval.
In the second half the home side, with a strong wind at their backs found themselves on top, but they wasted a couple of good goalscoring opportunities. At the other end Yarmouth had strong appeals for a penalty turned down, when Nathan McKay appeared to be brought down from behind, then the same player squandered a glorious goal scoring opportunity when he headed over the crossbar from a free header. In the 69th minute Hindringham increased their advantage, when they capitalised on a rare defensive error by the impressive Jamie Spurling. The home team now found themselves well in control of the match and it came as no surprise when they scored their fourth and final goal, after the ball was stabbed home from close range. In the later stages Mori Etchells should have scored a consolation goal for the Bloaters, but after rounding the keeper he failed to hit the target.
Overall the impressive Hindringham side certainly deserved all three points, but the scoreline did not do the young Yarmouth team justice, as once again, defensive lapses and wasted goalscoring opportunities cost them dear.
RESERVES 1-2 DEREHAM TOWN RESERVES
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Tuesday 1st April
The Bloaters suffered their second home defeat in four days when they went down to a narrow defeat against an impressive Dereham side. In an evenly contested opening period both defences were on top and neither goalkeeper had a save to make. Dereham eventually broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute when the ball was headed home from close range, after the Yarmouth defence had failed to clear. Six minutes later the visitors increased their advantage when the ball was prodded home from close range after Yarmouth keeper Shaun Roberts had failed to gather a free kick.
In the second half, Yarmouth started on top and eventually pulled a goal back in the 56th minute, when Mori Etchells chipped the ball over the head of visiting keeper Brown after he had made a hash of a clearance. The Bloaters continued to push forward and Adam Mason came close to equalising, but his superb effort from 30 yards narrowly went the wrong side of the woodwork, to the relief of the Dereham side. At the other end Simon Jackson managed to block a goal bound effort, when he deflected the ball onto the post.
With time running out Mori Etchells had a glorious opportunity to level the scores but he shot wide when well placed. After Saturdays disappointing performance, this was a much-improved display from Yarmouth and their overall performance deserved at least a point. For Yarmouth Jamie Spurling had an excellent game in the heart of the Bloaters defence, while Danny Shanks and Marc Childs, who both returned to the team, had good games.
RESERVES 2-5 FAKENHAM RESERVES
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div.1, Sat. 29th March
lost their penultimate home game of the season when they entertained fellow Jewson League Reserves outfit Fakenham. In a dreadful opening quarter of an hour, Yarmouth conceded three goals, when the visitors capitalised on some dreadful defensive errors. The young Yarmouth side did their best to try and drag themselves back into the game, but the Ghosts defended well. When they did break through a well organised Fakenham defence, they found the visiting goalkeeper in excellent form as Steve Taylor was foiled on two occasions by fine saves.
At half time manager John Mann changed Yarmouth's system of play and the home side certainly looked more positive. Unfortunately defensive errors once again cost the Bloaters dearly as the visitors increased their advantage. Simon Jackson pulled a goal back for Yarmouth in the 68th minute with a superb strike from the edge of the penalty area, then Luke Goreham scored a consolation goal five minutes from full time after a fine following move gave him an easy scoring opportunity.
Yarmouth's man of the match was young Nathan McKay who despite conceding a first half penalty after a rash challenge, produced an excellent committed performance.
RESERVES 4 THORPE VILLAGE 1
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Sat. 22nd March
The Reserves completed their first league double of the season when they easily beat bottom of the table Thorpe Village 4-1. Before the start of the match the Bloaters received a massive boost when the experienced duo of Nick Banham and Mark Vincent both passed late fitness tests, while leading goalscorer Michael Tierney returned to lead the attack after being in the first team squad last week. Although Yarmouth where without the services of Robert Southern, who was injured, captain Adam Mason and young Mori Etchells who both travelled with the first team, the home side still looked strong on paper.
Against the run of play Thorpe Village took a shock lead in only the 7th minute when a mishit cross from near the halfway line sailed over the head of keeper Banham and into the top corner of the net. After a couple of near misses the young Bloaters gained a deserved equaliser in the 16th minute when Tierney headed home from close range, then 10 minutes later the same player gave the Reserves the lead with a powerful shot into the bottom corner. Five minutes before the halftime interval Robert George increased the home advantage with one of his trade mark goals, when he picked the ball up 40 yards from goal and ran at the home defence before unleashing a thunderous drive that gave the visiting keeper no chance.
In the second half Yarmouth continued to dominate the proceedings, but they wasted several scoring opportunities. Eventually Yarmouth found the net again in the 68th minute when captain for the day Marc Childs scored with a powerful near post header from an inswinging corner.
The only disappointment from this valuable victory was the number of goal scoring opportunities that were wasted. It was very pleasing to see experienced defender Mark Vincent come through 90 minutes action after his recent injury, while substitute Jamie Spurling came on for the last 20 minutes after missing the last month through work commitments.
RESERVES 1-1 BRANDON TOWN
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Sat. 15th March
The Reserves produced a much improved performance when they entertained Brandon, but a late goal from the visitors denied the Bloaters a vital three points. Yarmouth played some attractive football in the first half, but they were unable to turn their pressure into goals as they wasted several scoring opportunities. On the stroke of half time they did have the ball in the net, but not for the first time in a frustrating afternoon they were denied by the offside flag.
Yarmouth continued to dominate the proceedings in the second half, and eventually broke the deadlock in the 61st minute when Luke Goreham's cross-cum shot deceived the visiting keeper and ended up in the back of the net. Excellent play on two occasions set up Morri Etchells with one-on-ones with the keeper, but both times play was stopped due to marginal offside decisions that angered the home supporters.
Seven minutes from full time Brandon scored their equalising goal after the Yarmouth defence failed to close down a visiting striker whose shot from the edge of the box crept into the corner of the net.
After the match the management duo of John Mann and Derek Bevan were disappointed that their side had not gained a vital victory, but if the young Yarmouth side can maintain this standard in their remaining fixtures they will avoid the drop back into Junior football. After missing the previous week's game at Wymondham the midfield duo of Marc Childs and Adam Mason both made a welcome return to action and produced excellent performances which controlled the midfield areas.
WYMONDHAM 4-3 RESERVES
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Sat. 8th March
The Reserves produced by far their worst performance of the season last Saturday when they went down 3-4 at bottom of the table Wymondham. For this vital relegation encounter Yarmouth travelled with only a bare eleven players after late call offs and the non-arrival of Ian Whittaker.
In heavy rain the Bloaters went behind midway through the first half but soon equalised when Michael Tierney slipped the ball in to the back of the net after a poor goal kick from the home goalkeeper. Mori Etchells should have given Yarmouth the lead on the stroke of half time when he found himself with only the keeper to beat, but his weak effort was scrambled clear by a home defender.
Early in the second half Yarmouth took the lead when Mark George scored his first senior goal when he prodded the ball home from a corner. At this stage Yarmouth looked by far the better team and Luke Goreham should have increased their lead but he shot wide when well placed.
Two awful pieces of defending gifted the home team two goals in ten minutes, but Michael Tierney levelled the scores with his second goal of the game. With 15 minutes remaining Wymondham scored their fourth and winning goal with a stunning overhead kick form the edge of the penalty area.
RESERVES 0-2 NORWICH UNION
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Tuesday 4th March
On Tuesday evening the Bloaters played Norwich Union for the second time in only 10 days, but unfortunately for Yarmouth the result turned out to be the same as their previous encounter they went down 0-2 against a much bigger and physically stronger Union side. Not for the first team this season the home team had to field a much-changed line-up with several players unavailable, while influential midfield player Marc Childs failed a late fitness test prior to kick-off.
The visitors took an early lead when in the 7th minute the ball was bundled home from close range after the Yarmouth defence had failed to clear a corner. At times it was men against boys, but the young Yarmouth team stuck at their task and made life difficult for the visitors.
Union scored their second goal which gave them a deserved victory midway through the second half, when a shot unfortunately rebounded off Danny Shanks and went in the corner of the net to leave keeper Elliott Pride stranded. For the midweek encounter Ian Whittaker made a welcome return to the team after being missing for the last two months due to injuries and personal commitments, while it was also good to see goalkeeper Shaun Roberts at the game after his recent operation.
RESERVES 3 SPROWSTON WANDERERS 1
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Sat. 1st March
Great Yarmouth Town Reserves gave their hopes of avoiding relegation a major boost when they gained a convincing victory over Sprowston Wanderers at the Wellesley.
The Bloaters gained the perfect start thanks to an early goal from Luke Goreham in only the 5th minute. Yarmouth found themselves well on top in the first half and hit the woodwork on two occasions from efforts by Captain Adam Mason and Marc Childs, while Robert Southern squandered a glorious opportunity when he shot wide with only the keeper to beat. On the stroke of half time Yarmouth increased their lead when a long kick from Elliott Pride deceived the visiting defence and Mori Etchells nipped between two defenders and looped the ball over a stranded Ian Burrell in the visitors goal.
After the break Sprowston looked a much better outfit and they pulled a goal back in the 60th minute with a powerful close range header. The Bloaters then suffered a setback when Simon Jackson, who was having en excellent game in an unaccustomed left back position, had to leave the field due to injury. However, the young Yarmouth side secured all three points when Luke Goreham scored his second goal of the game with 15 minutes remaining: after the ball fell kindly to the youngster on the edge of the penalty area Goreham blasted the ball into the top corner of the net, to give the visiting keeper no chance.
For Yarmouth experienced player John Hardcastle had a fine game in the heart of the defence, while it was pleasing to see both Luke Goreham and the hard working Mori Etchells on the score sheet.
NORWICH UNION 2-0 RESERVES
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Sat. 22nd Feb.
Yarmouth Reserves welcomed back John Hardcastle and Simon Jackson when they made the journey to Pinebanks. Unfortunately they found themselves without the services of Robert Southern who was called into the first team squad, Jamie Spurling (work commitments) and Mark George (injured).
On an excellent playing surface Yarmouth found themselves under heavy pressure from the start of the match, but they defended well and made life difficult for the home side. Young goalkeeper Elliott Pride denied Union with a couple of smart saves and when he was beaten midfield player Marc Childs managed to produced two excellent goal line clearances to keep the scores level. On the strike of half time the home team broke the deadlock with a well-worked goal when the ball was fired home from close range after a flowing move on the right.
In the second half with the wind at their backs Yarmouth found themselves having more of the ball, but they were unable to break through a well organised and experienced Norwich Union rearguard, that was well marshalled by Tom Casey and Paul Bradshaw. In the 70th minute Union looked set to increase their lead but once again they were denied by another goal line clearance by Marc Childs. At the other end home keeper Keith Denton was having a quiet afternoon, but on a couple of occasions he had to be quick off his line to deny the Bloaters an equaliser.
In the 91st minute Union secured their victory when they where awarded a penalty kick after defender Will Lewis was adjudged to have pushed a home player in the penalty area. From the resulting kick the ball was fired past Pride to maintain Unions push for promotion.
RESERVES 0-4 STALHAM
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Sat, 15th Feb.
Stalham completed the league double over a youthful looking Bloaters side when they gained a comfortable 0-4 victory at the Wellesley.
In an evenly contested first half Stalham took the lead in the 28th minute when Steve Underwood headed the ball home from a cross by John Bell.
In the second half the visitors increased their lead in the 60th minute when Chris Roll scored with a superb chip over a stranded Elliott Pride in the Yarmouth goal. Once Stalham scored their second goal the Yarmouth heads seemed to drop and it came as no surprise when Underwood scored two goals in a ten-minute spell to give Stalham a well-earned victory.
THORPE VILLAGE 3 - 4 RESERVES
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Sat. 11th Feb.
Gt Yarmouth Town Reserves came out on top in a 7-goal thriller when they travelled to Thorpe Village last Saturday. In a match that found both teams defending poorly it was a surprise that more goals were not scored. The Bloaters found themselves trailing on 2 occasions but fought back strongly to secure all three points thanks to a brace of goals apiece from Robert George and Lee Humphries who was returning to action after serving a suspension.
For Yarmouth, goalkeeper Shaun Roberts pulled off a couple of vital saves in the dying minutes as well as producing an excellent block from a first half penalty kick. It was also pleasing to see another youngster, Mark George, have a solid game at left back. After a disappointing 45 minutes in his last match at Watton the youth team player produced a very competent performance.
Although Yarmouth are still third from bottom they are now eight points clear from relegation danger with ten games remaining. It is hoped that in these remaining fixtures the management duo of John Mann and Derek Bevan will be able to field a much more settled line-up as now an incredible 46 players have so far been used in competitive fixtures this season.
WATTON 1-0 RESERVES
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Sat. 25th Jan.
Great Yarmouth Town Reserves once again suffered a narrow defeat when they went down by the only goal of the game at Watton last Saturday. On a heavy pitch the Bloaters started brightly and looked the better side in the opening minutes, but went a goal behind in only 9 minutes when the ball was headed home from 6 yards out. After taking the lead Watton had two excellent chances to increase their advantage but both opportunities were wasted. At the other end Luke Goreham should have equalised when he found himself with only the keeper to beat, but he put the ball the wrong side of the woodwork to the relief of the home team.
After a disappointing opening 45 minutes James Hurren replaced the ineffective Mark George at the interval and this made an immediate effect as Hurren started to cause problems for the home defence. First he appeared to be pulled back after a mazy run, and then he was crudely fouled on the edge of the penalty area. From the resulting free kick the ball beat the keeper but went narrowly wide. Yarmouth found themselves looking the better footballing team in the second half, but Watton always looked dangerous on the break and Shaun Roberts in the Yarmouth goal had to be at his best when he denied the home side with a fine block after a defensive error. Although Yarmouth continued to push players forward they appeared to lack that killer instinct infront of goal and rarely troubled home keeper Simon Mower. Despite Yarmouth having the greater share of the possession in the second half the Watton defence stood firm and defended well to guide their side to all 3 points.
DEREHAM 2-0 RESERVES
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Sat. 18th Jan.
The Reserves bid to avoid relegation suffered a setback at Aldiss Park when they went down 0-2 against a good Dereham side. In the first half the home side had the greater share of possession but the youthful looking Bloaters defended well to restrict Dereham. The hosts took the lead on the stroke of half time when the Yarmouth defence failed to clear a deep cross and the ball was headed home from close range past a static Shaun Roberts in the Yarmouth goal.
The second half proved to be a very even contest, although Roberts had to be at his best to deny Dereham on two occasions. At the other end home keeper John West denied Adam Mason with a low save after the Yarmouth player appeared to scuff his shot. With time running out Yarmouth pushed players forward in a bid to gain an equaliser. John Hardcastle appeared to be hauled down on the edge of the Dereham penalty box but the referee waved play on despite frantic appeals from the visiting players. In stoppage time Dereham secured all three points when the ball was fired past Roberts after a home player appeared to control the ball with his arm.
Once again Yarmouth fielded a much changed line-up with youth team players Mark George, Mori Etchells and Jamie Henderson all making their Reserve team debuts, while experienced midfield player John Hardcastle made a welcome return to the side for his first appearance of the season.
RESERVES 2 HEMPNALL 1
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1., Sat. 28th Dec.
The Reserves ended their dismal run of results last Saturday when they gained an excellent hard-earned victory over promotion hopefuls Hempnall in front of a large crowd at the Wellesley. Despite going a goal behind early on, they fought back strongly and equalised in the 36th minute, when Lee Brown headed home from close range, after a long throw from Michael Tierney had caused havoc in the visitors defence.
The young Bloaters found themselves dominating the game for long periods, but failed to capitalise on the chances created, and had to wait until midway through the second half before taking a deserved lead. An excellent move set-up Kevin Howes whose mis-hit shot eluded the Hempnall keeper and ended up in the back of the net.
They continued to create goalscoring opportunities, but were denied increasing the lead by a mixture of poor finishing and fine goalkeeping. Overall, though, this was a fine performance by all of the players, with the man of the match honours going to Marc Childs who had a superb game in midfield.
STALHAM 5-1 RESERVES
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1., Sat. 21st Dec.
Great Yarmouth Reserves fielded probably their strongest looking line-up of the season when they made the journey to Rivers Park last Saturday. Unfortunately to the disappointment of everyone concerned they also produced by far their worst display of the season, as they crashed to a humiliating defeat in a performance that appeared to lack commitment. The home side scored two goals in the opening ten minutes, but then had to wait until the second half until they increased their lead, before Dean Parfitt scored a late consolation for the Bloaters. The only highlight from a disappointing afternoons football was the performance of Marc Childs who made a welcome return to the team after missing the last month through injury.
RESERVES 1, LODDON 2
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Sat. 14th Dec.
For the second Saturday running the Reserves suffered a narrow defeat after conceding two poor second half goals. Just like last week's performance at Halvergate, the Bloaters took a first half lead and looked to be heading for a deserved victory but the visitors stole the points after capitalising on some shocking defending in the second half.
Adam Mason made a surprise return to action after missing the last two months due to injury and he gave Yarmouth the lead with a stunning volley after only nine minutes. The Bloaters had a lot of possession for the remainder of the first half, but they failed to create another scoring opportunity as time and time again their final pass or cross went astray.
In the second half Loddon came more into the game and equalised when Stone scored after Yarmouth had given the ball away from a freekick. In the 74th minute Stone scored his second of the game when he closed down debutant keeper Elliot Pride, who kicked the ball straight at the Loddon striker and the ball diverted directly into an unguarded net off the player's backside. Yarmouth came close to equalising when Robert Southern's near post effort was superbly saved by visiting keeper Robbie Collins.
Man of the match for Yarmouth was young goalkeeper Pride who produced some excellent second half saves, despite being at fault with the visitors winning goal.
HALVERGATE UNITED 2 RESERVES 1
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Sat. 7th Dec.
Yarmouth Reserves suffered a narrow defeat when they made the short journey up the A47 to play local rivals Halvergate United. On a good pitch that had stood up well to the heavy rain, both teams tried to play neat attacking football throughout this close fought encounter. The home team slightly edged the possession stakes, but the Bloaters, with James Hurren back in their starting line-up for the first time in several months, always looked dangerous on the break.
Goalkeeper Paul Stebbings denied the Hares with a couple of fine saves before Yarmouth took the lead in the 29th minute. A fine flowing move gave Luke Goreham an opportunity to open the scoring but his well struck effort was blocked by the home keeper. Fortunately the ball rebounded kindly to Robert Southern who made no mistake from close range. Halvergate came back strongly into the game and Ian Whittaker had to be alert to clear the ball of the goal line after a goal mouth scramble. On the stroke of half time Yarmouth suffered a major setback when impressive full back Jamie Spurling had to substituted after picking up an injury earlier in the game.
In the second half with the wind at their backs Halvergate came more into the game and deservedly equalised early on with a well struck effort that went in off the woodwork. James Hurren and Wayne Hunter continued to cause the home defence problems and the latter was denied a goal scoring opportunity with 20 minutes remaining when he was crudely brought down from behind by former Yarmouth player Darren Cresswell when he had only the keeper to beat. To the amazement of both sides the referee controversially awarded Yarmouth a freekick outside the area and failed to take any action against the Halvergate player despite him being the last defender.
Twelve minutes from full time the home side took the lead when the ball was headed home passed a static Paul Stebbings from close range. Yarmouth immediately pushed Ian Whittaker up front in a bid to gain a deserved equaliser, but the home side managed to hold out to gain all 3 points.
FAKENHAM TOWN RESERVES 4-1 BLOATERS RESERVES
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Fri. 29th Nov.
Great Yarmouth Reserves suffered a heavy defeat against an impressive Fakenham at Clipbush Park. With the match bought forward to Friday evening the Bloaters were without Marc Childs, Wayne Hunter, Paul Dyer, Robbie Lake, Steve Taylor and Robert Southern, while prior to the start of the match manager John Mann suffered another set back when young defender Will Lewis felt unwell and was unable to start.
The home team took an early lead when the ball was bundled home from close range after Ian Whittaker had failed to clear. In the 17th minute the referee controversially awarded Fakenham a penalty after a home player appeared to slip on the wet surface. The home player made no mistake from the resulting spot kick giving goalkeeper Shaun Roberts no chance. Howes missed a glorious chance to reduce the deficit in the 37th minute but somehow the striker, who was returning to action after a long-term injury, headed the ball wide from only a yard out. Fakenham found themselves well on top and it came as no surprise when they increased their advantage just before the half time whistle.
In the second half the Bloaters played much better against a team who will certainly be promotion contenders at the end of the season. Howes went close for Yarmouth after his shot was blocked after his mazy run that took him past three defenders, before Steve Reed pulled a goal back for Yarmouth in the 78th minute when he headed home from close range. In the dying minutes the Ghosts secured their victory with their fourth goal of the game. Yarmouth keeper Shaun Roberts, although beaten four times had another excellent match.
RESERVES 0, MATTISHALL 2
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Division One, Sat. 23rd Nov.
Great Yarmouth Town Reserves fielded a much-changed line-up when they entertained Mattishall last Saturday, but they were still unable to stop their poor run of results. Robert Southern, Marc Childs, and Ian Whittaker all made a welcome return to the team, along with four new faces. Shaun Roberts made his debut in goal in place of Simon Francis who is serving a lengthy suspension andyouth team players Will Lewis and Luke Goreham also made their debuts, as did new signing Jamie Spurling.
In the first half the Bloaters found themselves facing a strong wind but their new look side played well against a hard working Mattishall team. Wayne Hunter and Steve Reed both tested the visiting keeper, but it was Mattishall who opened the scoring with a fluke goal in the 31st minute. The referee adjudged Will Lewis had committed a foul 25 yards from goal, and from the resulting free kick the ball took a wicked deflection off the shoulder of Marc Childs and found its way into the opposite corner of the net past a stranded Roberts. Mattishall had a couple of chances to increase their lead, but it was Yarmouth who came closest to scoring when on the stroke of half time Wayne Hunter had the ball in the net but was denied the equaliser by an offside decision.
With the wind at their backs in the second half Yarmouth failed to capitalise on the chances they created with Reed, Dyer and Hunter all going close. Against the run of play Mattishall scored their second goal in the 78th minute, when a misunderstanding between Robert Dale and Roberts resulted in a visiting forward nipping in between both players to divert Dale's backward header into the net. Good work once again from Robert Southern on the right set up Reed in the dying minutes, but his near post header went the wrong side of the post.
Overall the young Yarmouth team deserved at least a share of the points against a well organised Mattishall outfit and it surely won't be long before they gain that elusive victory that will once again kick start their season. All four of the new players settled in very well, especially Jamie Spurling, who gave a fine display after his recent signing from Caister United.
RESERVES 0, WATTON 3
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Division One, Saturday 9th November
Great Yarmouth Town Reserves dreadful run of results continued when Watton United were the visitors to the Wellesley. Unfortunately for the Bloaters they had to field a depleted line-up with regulars Michael Tierney, Ian Whittaker, Marc Childs, and Robert Southern all unavailable, while Wayne Hunter was taken ill just before the start and despite being included in the starting line-up had to leave the field early on.
The high-flying visitors gained the perfect start when they took the lead after capitalising on slack defending in the home defence. Midway through the first half Watton increased their advantage when the Yarmouth rearguard was caught square and a visiting striker rounded keeper Simon Francis before slotting the ball into the net from an acute angle. Just before the half time whistle Yarmouth looked as if they had reduced the deficit when Steve Taylor fired home from 18 yards, but the goal was disallowed after the visiting linesman had spotted an infringement.
Yarmouth started the second half well but they went further behind in the 52nd minute when Martin Adams' poor back pass was intercepted by a Watton player, who made no mistake with only Francis to beat. The Bloaters looked the better outfit in the 2nd half but despite some good approach play they found it difficult to break through a well organised Watton defence, while at the other end Simon Francis produced a couple of excellent saves to deny the impressive Watton team.
Although Yarmouth are currently having their worst run of results for many seasons, the players' morale is still very high. This match saw youth team centre half Ben Dixon given his debut and after a indifferent start he grew in confidence as the game progressed. Man of the match for Yarmouth was goalkeeper Simon Francis who has been having a difficult time of late when he has made some errors that have proved costly, while in the previous match he found himself sent off in the first half. This week he produced his best performance of the season with a string of first class saves while his handling was superb on the wet surface.
ANGLIAN WINDOWS 4, RESERVES 2
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Sat. 2nd November
The Reserves nose dive down the table continued at a wet and windswept Horsford Manor. Yarmouth made an excellent start to the game and took the lead through Michael Tierney, when he was first to react after striking partner Wayne Hunter's fine effort had rebounded off the woodwork. Anglian Windows equalised in the 17th minute when the referee controversially awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal and a home striker drove the ball into the net past Simon Francis, who was left rooted to the spot. Midway through the half the home team took the lead after keeper Francis had been blatantly fouled in the air when coming to catch a cross. To everyone's amazement the referee awarded a goal as the ball was bundled home from close range with the Yarmouth keeper left lying helpless on the ground. After frantic appeals and questions from the visitors the referee dismissed Francis to leave the Bloaters with only 10 men and without anyone in the side who had ever played in goal. After a brief discussion with manager John Mann, Captain Ian Whittaker took responsibility and went between the sticks and credit must be given to him for his brave display in very difficult circumstances. Just before the interval Wayne Hunter made it 2-2 when he coolly beat the keeper after a fine Yarmouth move.
At the interval Yarmouth suffered another blow when the impressive Michael Tierney was forced to leave the field with concussion after an accidental blow on the head. Anglian Windows took the lead early in the 2nd period when the ball was touched in from close range after a fine flowing move, but the young Yarmouth side showed a lot of character and came back strongly and created several scoring opportunities, which unfortunately were all wasted. Steve Taylor headed wide when well placed, but the main culprit was in-form striker Wayne Hunter who wasted three goal scoring opportunities with only the keeper to beat. In the dying minutes Windows secured their victory when they capitalised on an error by substitute Martin Adams who misjudged the ball on the slippery surface.
After the game manager Mann refused to comment on the referee's handling of the match but did admit he was pleased by the effort and commitment shown by the Yarmouth side. Defender Robert Dale probably had his best game of the season and in recent matches has started to show the form he produced last season when he earned a call up into the first team squad. Recent signing Marc Childs produced a tireless display in midfield, while versatile Danny Shanks made a welcome return to action after missing the last two matches through injury.
RESERVES 2, WYMONDHAM TOWN 3
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Sat. 26th. Oct.
Not for the first time this season the Bloaters suffered a narrow defeat after being let down by a mixture of poor finishing and dreadful defending. Wymondham came to the Wellesley looking for their first victory of the season and they surprised everyone by taking an early lead after the home defence failed to clear from a corner kick. Yarmouth missed numerous first half chances to level the scores as the visitors managed to hold onto their lead.
In the second half Yarmouth again found themselves well on top and it came as no surprise when in the 56th minute Michael Tierney equalised after being set-up by striking partner Wayne Hunter. It seemed only a matter of time before the hosts would take the lead, but the bottom of the table outfit amazed the home crowd by scoring two goals in a three minute spell. Yarmouth manager John Mann immediately changed tactics in a bid to reduce the deficit and this had an immediate effect when Paul Dyer scored his first goal for the club with an excellent strike from 25 yards. In the final 20 minutes Yarmouth camped in the visitors half, but once again goal scoring opportunities were wasted as the Wymondham goal lead a charmed life. In the end the visitors somehow managed to hold out to gain their first league victory of the season.
Apart from the result another disappointment was that captain Adam Mason was carried off towards the end of the match with a knee injury that will certainly keep him out of action for several weeks.
The only bright spot from an otherwise disappointing match was the performance of second half substitute Marc Childs. The strong midfield player who last season played for Stalham Town, and has previous experience with local rivals Gorleston, will certainly be an asset to the team.
MATTISHALL 2, RESERVES 1
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div 1, Sat. 19th. Oct.
Great Yarmouth Reserves travelled to Mattishall with a depleted looking line-up and their confidence at a low after a run of dismal results. Although they produced their best performance since the opening weeks of the season, they still lost by the odd goal at Mattishall.
The Bloaters made an excellent start when they took the lead in the 9th minute after in-form striker Wayne Hunter headed them in front when he out jumped the home defence from a long throw from Michael Tierney. Yarmouth managed to keeper their lead until the 56th minute when the home side equalised after a goal mouth scramble.
In the 69th minute the home team took the lead from a breakaway goal. Yarmouth pushed players forward in a bid to level the scores, but Wayne Hunter and Ian Whittaker both headed wide when well placed, as the home team managed to hold out to gain all three points.
After last weeks dismal display at Sprowston, this was a much improved and committed performance by the young Yarmouth team who certainly did not deserve to lose against a good Mattishall outfit who are always difficult to beat at home. For Yarmouth it was good to see striker Wayne Hunter continue to find the net although he will be disappointed with his second half miss when he headed wide with only the keeper to beat, while Paul Dyer deserves a special mention for his hard working display in midfield.
In recent seasons Yarmouth have played on some dreadful pitches when they have made the journey to Mattishall, but on this occasion the playing surface was in excellent condition and credit must be given to the home team for all their hard work to improve their pitch this season.
SPROWSTON WANDERERS 4, RESERVES 1
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Sat. 12th. Oct.
Great Yarmouth Reserves suffered their heaviest defeat for some time last Saturday when they lost 1-4 at Sprowston Wanderers after producing a dreadful second half showing. In heavy rain the home side soon took the lead when in the 4th minute an excellent effort from Nick Spillings comfortably beat Bloater's keeper Simon Francis. The game produced some good end to end football as Yarmouth pushed for an equaliser. Sprowston goalkeeper Ian Burrell twice denied Michael Tierney with point blank saves, before Wayne Hunter levelled the scores with a powerful header from an Adam Mason corner midway through the first half. On the stroke of half time Sprowston came close to taking the lead when Gavin Powley's long-range effort clipped the top of the Yarmouth crossbar.
At the start of the second half Yarmouth suffered a blow when the hard working Danny Shanks had to leave the field due to an ankle injury. The reshuffled Yarmouth team then went behind when an inswinging corner deceived goalkeeper Francis ended up in the Bloaters' net. Yarmouths play became very disjointed and Sprowston went further ahead after 68 minutes when another defensive lapse allowed Powley to score his second goal of the game. Substitute Steve Read should have pulled a goal back for Yarmouth but he somehow headed wide with the goal at his mercy. In the dying minutes Sprowston scored their 4th and final goal with a superb strike from Andrew Warner.
Joint manager John Mann commented: "Although nothing can be taken away from a hard working Sprowston, as they fully deserved their three points, it must be said that the second half showing from the Bloaters can only be described as pathetic. Once they went behind heads seemed to drop as several players lacked the effort and commitment expected from players at Senior level. After an excellent start to the season Yarmouth are currently going through a poor spell with several players currently appearing to lack confidence in their own performance, and if results are to improve these players must show more commitment and effort especially when things are not going right."
Another disappointment from last week was the fact that no referee turned up. Despite frantic efforts from the home team they were unable to find a replacement referee at short notice. Both teams agreed that Yarmouth linesman Peter Harrison should take the whistle and thanks must be given to him for agreeing to referee in very difficult circumstances.
RESERVES 2 HINDRINGHAM 2 Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Division One, Sat. 5th. Oct.
The Reserves gained a well-earned point last Saturday after producing an excellent second half performance after trailing 0-2 at the interval. The newly promoted visitors have a good mixture of youth and experience in their line-up and they themselves dominated the first half.
The opening goal came after only 15 minutes when Yarmouth keeper Simon Francis dropped the ball into his net direct from a corner kick. Another defensive lapse by the home side after 25 minutes saw Hindringham increase their advantage. The visitors continued to press forward, but somehow they failed to increase their lead as they were denied by a mixture of poor finishing and desperate defending.
After the break the Bloaters looked a different outfit and found themselves on top and they managed to pull a goal back in the 54th minute when the impressive Wayne Hunter headed home. Hindringham goalkeeper Richard Osler denied Yarmouth with a couple of fine saves, but in the 68th minute he was given no chance when Steve Taylor equalised with a low drive into the bottom corner after excellent work by Michael Tierney.
Robert Southern should have given the Bloaters the lead when he found himself with only Osler to beat but he was denied by the keeper who managed to block his weak effort. In the dying minutes both teams had chances to secure a victory, Hindringham were denied by the woodwork and then by Francis who produced an excellent save from Paul Belton, while at the other end Tierney should have scored when he found himself with an open goal, but with the keeper out of position the Yarmouth striker wanted too much time and the ball was scrambled clear.
In the end both teams had to settle for a point from a match that could have easily ended up being a high scoring encounter. After a dreadful opening 45 minutes the Yarmouth players deserve credit for their excellent performance in the second half especially striker Wayne Hunter who was a constant threat to the Hindringham rearguard all afternoon.
RESERVES 0, HALVERGATE 2
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Tues. 22nd. Sept.
After winning their opening three league games in fine style the Bloaters suffered their second consecutive league defeat when they lost 0-2 at home against local rivals Halvergate. The visitors included several ex-Yarmouth players in their line-up, therefore this was always going to be an intriguing encounter.
After a goalless first half that was evenly contested the visitors soon broke the deadlock when the home defence failed to clear a corner, and the ball was bundled into the net from close range by Chris Fielding. Fourteen minutes from full time Halvergate secured all three points when Fielding scored his second goal of the game.
This performance was Yarmouths poorest of the current league campaign although once again several key players were unavailable for selection. The only bright spot from an otherwise disappointing evening was the second half performances of new signings Paul Dyer and former youth team player Wayne Hunter who both came on to make their debuts.
HEMPNALL 1, RESERVES 0
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Sat. 21st. Sept.
In recent seasons, matches between these two sides have always been evenly contested encounters, and last weeks top of the table clash followed this trend with the only goal of the game being scored by the home team after 15 minutes.
Before the match Yarmouth management duo of John Mann and Barry Jermy found themselves down to the bare bones with 8 players unavailable. Adams, Tierney, Ratcliffe, Whittaker, Lake, and Hurren were all missing for various reasons while Harrison and Southern were called into the First Team squad. Despite starting with a bare eleven that even included assistant physio Chris Jermy, the Bloaters matched their opponents from the off, but with both defences on top goalscoring opportunities were limited. Hempnall took the lead with a well-worked break away goal after 15 minutes, then 5 minutes later they should have increased their advantage when Bradley Smiths poor backpass was intercepted by Matthew Metcalf, but the experienced striker blasted the ball over the crossbar.
In the second half neither keeper was troubled until late in the game when home stopper Craig Brown produced a fine save from youngster Stephen Taylor who found himself with only the keeper to beat after an excellent flowing move. In the end the home side held out and gained valuable 3 points to move themselves level on points with the Bloaters. Although disappointed in defeat the young Yarmouth team deserve credit for their attitude and commitment against a good Hempnall team who will once again be looking for a promotion spot that has just eluded them in the past two seasons.
DEREHAM RES 4, RESERVES 3 aet
Chell Trophy, Wed. 18th. Sept.
Yarmouth went out of this competition for Jewson reserve sides at the first attempt despite holding a 3-1 lead with only 15 minutes of normal time remaining.
Adcock gave Yarmouth the lead on twelve minutes only for Dereham to equalise in the 29th minute.
'Keeper Francis saved a Dereham penalty just before half time and it looked as if the Bloaters would take full advantage with goals in the 62 nd minute, an o.g., and the 68th minute by Tierney. However, this only inspired Dereham and they made it 3-2 on 76 minutes and with Yarmouth tiring equalised in injury time.
Extra time brought just the one goal - a winner for Dereham midway through the second period.
RESERVES 4, ANGLIAN WINDOWS 1
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Sat. 14th. Sept.
The Reserves maintained their 100% league record when they gained a comfortable home victory over Anglian Windows. They started the match at a cracking pace and took a 2 goal lead in the first 15 minutes thanks to goals from Michael Tierney and Robert Southern, but they were unable to increase their advantage during the remainder of the first half.
With the wind at their back in the second half the visitors looked a better outfit and Adam Mason had to be alert when he cleared a goal bound effort off the goalline. In the 59th minute leading goalscorer Michael Tierney increased the Bloaters' advantage with a well-taken effort after finding himself with only the visiting keeper to beat.
The Bloaters went close to increasing their lead on several occasions but it was the visitors who scored next when they capitalised on a rare goal keeping error by Simon Francis, who was hesitant in coming off his line. Five minutes from full time substitute Stephen Reid completed the scoring when he rounded the keeper before placing the ball into an unguarded net for his first competitive goal in a Yarmouth shirt.
"Despite gaining a comfortable victory against a hard working Anglian Windows team we will have to improve our overall performance if we want to maintain our unbeaten league record," said John Mann
ATTLEBOROUGH 3, RESERVES 0
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Senior Knock-Out Cup, Sat. 7th Sept.
Town crashed out of the Cup at the first hurdle with a weakened line-up: Danny Shanks, Rob Southern, Michael Tierney and Robbie Lake were all unavailable, and with 'keeper Simon Francis calling off on Saturday morning young outfield player Ross Ratcliffe had to go in goal. Yarmouth held out for the first 25 minutes before Davis gave Attleborough the lead when he scored from close range at the far post.
Luckhurst increased Boro's advantage ten minutes later when he capitalised on a goalkeeping error. On the stroke of half-time Boro' scored their third when Nichols fired home.
The young Yarmouth side came out fighting in the second half and looked the better team, but they were unable to break down the well-organised home defence. The Bloaters came nearest to scoring in a goalless second half with the last kick of the game when Chris Hawkins shot the wrong side of the post with only the 'keeper to beat.
All of the Bloaters' players deserve credit for the way they played but it was just a shame they were unable to field a full-strength side that possibly could have given Boro' a run for their money.
BRANDON 1, RESERVES 4
Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Div. 1, Sat. 31st Sept.
The Reserves maintained their impressive start to the season when they gained a comfortable victory at Brandon.
Yarmouth dominated the first half and at half time led by 3-0 thanks to a well-taken hat-trick by Mike Tierney.
In the second half, captain Adam Mason increased the lead, before missing a penalty kick for the second consecutive game.
Late in the match, Brandon pulled one back, but Yarmouth fully deserved all three points to move to the top of the table with a 100% record.