Gt Yarmouth Town FC 2002-2003
A Team Reports


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The A team is run by Kevin Cruickshank assisted by Brian Ecclestone

Players used this season: Paul Stebbings, Danny Rudrum, Danny Parker, Alan Crosswell, John Holliman, Gavin Lonergan, Matt Wells, Ricky Townsend, Jason Ware, Jason Howell, Lee Crosswell, M Vaudin, Thomas Rowley, Steve Wilson, Aaron Ruskin, Sam Bartram, David Bartram, A Yaxley, Kevin Thompson, Damien Foxhall, Danny Ecclestone, Kevin Cruickshank, Brian Ecclestone, Carl Ruskin, Mark Thompson, Rory Ashworth, Bradley Smith, J Ecclestone, Augustinho Lopez,Clayton Buckenham,  Alex Calver, Danny Goodrum, Steven Foulkes, Mark Sutton, Mark George, D Cook, T Shaw, J Ecclestone, L Grimble, J Amis, T Foreman.

GYDFL Div. 1, Sat. 5th April
The A team played their last game on Saturday against Gorleston A with relegation for either team hanging on the result. With just this game to complete and both teams on the same points, Gorleston were one place above Yarmouth who were second from bottom on goal difference.
Kevin reports it was a rip-roaring game. Yarmouth took an early 1-0 lead befoe Gorleston came back with two goals. Yarmouth equalised with ten minutes left and it seemed that Gorleston would then dig in for the point which was all they needed. Not so, they kept going forward and Yarmouth made them pay by exploiting the gaps, scoring twice in the final minutes to win 4-2!
Yarmouth scorers: Grimble, Cook, Wells, M Thompson.


GYDFL Div.1, Sat. 18th January

The A team are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel after this excellent performance against Sports United. Despite the scoreline, everyone showed the right commitment, and played good passing football throughout the game which, if Lady Luck had been on their side, they would have won.

Against the run of play, Sports took the lead after a defensive error but heads did not drop and the As soon found themselves 2-1 up with two goals from Jason Howell. They also struck the woodwork just before half time.

At the start of the second period, Sports made some substitutions and for twenty minutes were on top, going into a 4-2 lead. Jason Ware then struck the Sports bar with an excellent free kick before Mark Thompson reduced the deficit, but despite some gallant efforts to force the draw the As ran out of time.

GYDFL Div. 1, Sat. 14th Dec.
Manager Kevin Cruickshank again had diffisulty in raising the side he would have wished for, and the team line-up included two players who had not appeared since the start of the season plus the return to the club of Agustinho Lopez. "It was a close game," he said," and a fair result for us."
Mark Thompson continued his scoring form with a couple of goals to take his total to eight in seven games. His first was an equaliser in the first half with his second coming after the interval when the team was 1-3 down. A Danny Ecclestone goal then won the team its first point since October 19th.
Kevin was encouraged by some good football played by his side but was not too keen on the great knock he took to a leg which saw no action taken by the referee.

GYDFL Div. 1, Sat. 30th Nov.
Yarmouth started the match with only nine men, later made up to ten with a late arrival. Manager Kevin took the goalie's gloves and although he made some good saves, he said, the manpower shortage was always going to be against a side looking to end a dreadful run of defeats.
"The lads played with great heart and spirit and afterwards said it was a good game to play in," commented Kevin.
It was 2-0 at the interval, a header and a shot from the edge of the box beating Kevin though he got his fingertips to the shot. The second half was better and only a "joke" third goal late in the game extended the KW lead.
Club manager Paul Tong sympathised with the manager when he said: "It's very frustrating for Kevin when players fail to turn up, but it appears to be a sign of the times."

GYDFL Div. 1, Sat. 23rd Nov.
"Although it looks like a tonking, we didn't play that bad really - even the ref said so!" commented manager Kevin. "We had late call-offs, one who just didn't show, and one, James Platten, who had to retire from the match ill."
MK took an early 2-0 lead and never looked back. Kevin switched formation from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2 and Mark Thompson did pull a goal back. Unfortunately, John Holiman then played a man on and it was 3-1. By half time MK had increased the score to 4-1. It was then Platten had to go off with an asthma attack, assistant manager Brian Ecclestone coming on as replacement.
Early in the second half Yarmouth made the score 4-2 through Mark Thompson again and when Yarmouth were awarded a penalty Thompson, going for his hat-trick, saw his weak shot saved. The score was soon 5-2 and the team started drifting: "They stopped listening," said Kevin, and a couple of fluke goals plus a late effort saw the score mount up to its final tally of 8-2.

GYDFL, Div. 1, Sat. 16th Nov.
Some good passing football saw the A team take the lead through Lee Crosswell who then added a second before Arms pulled one back before half time. The team enjoyed the majority of possession before the break and were hardly troubled at the back.
After the interval, it was a completely different story as they played a long ball game, giving the ball away too much, and paying the ultimate price as Arms scored three times without reply.

GYDFL, Div. 1, Sat. 9th Nov.
Several late call-offs meant manager Kevin had to change things even before the start but even so Yarmouth took an early lead through Mark Thompson and for twenty minutes were the better side. But MK had a new manager, the returrning Lee Hodgson, and four new players, and took a 2-1 half time lead. After the break, Yarmouth gave the ball away and played as too many individuals rather than as a team. MK added a further three goals without reply.

Norfolk Junior Cup 1st Round replay, Sat. 2nd Nov.
Everyone displayed the right determination and will to win, but someone has to lose and this tie was settled on penalties after extra time.
During the normal 90 minutes, Yarmouth struggled to find their free-flowing form and at times struggled to pass and move, relying too much on the long ball game. Mark Thompson gave Yarmouth the lead with a stunning volley but soon after United equalised.
Lee Crosswell restored the lead only for United to again draw level. They then took the lead before David Bartram squared matters again, and the game moved into extra time.
With the game drawing to a close and penalties looming, United took the lead again then up popped Mark Thompson to stab home from close range. So, penalties it was. Yarmouth were first up and went on to score the first four of their penalties - Mark Thompson, David Bartram, Sam Bartram and Jamie Hurren all finding the net. United were equally successful, so it came down to the fifth penalty: Yarmouth's Damien Foxhall unfortunatelty failed to convert, United did and so progressed. A special mention for 'keeper Paul Stebbings who got a hand to two of the penalties but was unable to keep them out.

Norfolk Junior Cup 1st Round, Sat. 26th October
A terrific result against a Jewson Premier reserve side! The team travelled to Norwich with a weakened squad and with two players - Carl Ruskin and Mark Thompson - making their club debuts. Late arrivals meant Yarmouth started the match with less than the full complement of players but eventually this was corrected!
With a strong wind at their backs, Yarmouth took a first half lead through Lee Crosswell. The opposition goalkeeper then had to be at his best to palm over three good efforts from Yarmouth. Some very debateable refereeing decisions then cost the team two goals before half-time.
Yarmouth started the second half in determined fashion and despite now playing into the wind the Bloaters took the game to the hosts. A good deal of pressure paid off when Lee Crosswell netted his second for the equaliser. The game went to extra time but despite chances for both sides the game ended all square.

GYDFL Div. 1, Sat. 19th. Oct.
Playing some good passing football, Yarmouth created the better chances of an otherwise even first half. After the break, Yarmouth completely dominated the game but once again were unable to find the net. Lee Crosswell, back from suspension, hit a post and was denied a blatant penalty, and numerous corners were cleared or saved by the Hemsby 'keeper who Kevin declared the man-of-the-match!

H A Holmes League Cup 1st Round
With regular 'keeper Paul Stebbings calling off too late to find a replacement, Sam Bartram filled in between the sticks. John Holiman and Kevin Thompson performed superbly in front of Bartram and with the forwards missing chance after chance the scoreline was blank at half time.
Steve Wilson had to be substituted at the break and newly-signed James Hurren went on and scored to put the A's one up. Hurren then went down in the opposing penalty area but no penalty was awarded. A Yarmouth player was dismissed for a second yellow card offence and the team reorganised.
A vulnerability to crosses was exposed and Joe Malley scored twice for King William. Then in the last minute, Yarmouth won a corner which was cleared to the other end and as a King William player was about to shoot, the referee blew for time!
Manager Kevin Cruickshank said the team played well, especially in defence except for the two lapses at crosses, but they should have won considering the number of chances they created.

GYDFL, Division 1, Sat. 5th. Oct.
Gorleston could muster only nine men and for twenty minutes proved very stubborn to break down. But once the first goal went in it was just a question of how many? It was in fact 6-0 at the break, then Yarmouth became too elaborate with everyone trying to get in on the scoring act.
Only two more were in fact netted whilst Gorleston have to be given credit for not caving in completely; they caught Yarmouth out twice at the back while the defence was absent seeking goals, and they were also awarded a penalty.
Yarmouth scorers: Jason Howell 5, Jason Ware 2, Gavin Lonergan 1.

GYDFL, Div. 1, Sat. 21st Sept.
The A team scored twice but should have had many more as their failings in front of goal cost them a second defeat in two games, and their place at the top of Division One. Good approach work in the first half was totally wasted and thyey paid for it after the break.
The losses of Sam Bartram and Kevin Thompson through injury meant a reshuffle of the side at half-time but these misfortunes seemed not to have done them any harm as, although Mag. went ahead, Dave Bartram soon equalised and Alan Crosswell put Yarmouth ahead. However, straight from the kick-off after Dave's goal, Mag. scored their second with a good finish.
Finally, a corner to Mag. resulted in a scrambled goal and a quite undeserved winner. "We had all the play but just could not finish," said Kevin Cruickshank.

GYDFL, Div. 1, Sat. 14th Sept.
All the goals came in the second half of a match in which Yarmouth "had 24 chances and scored once, while Sports had six chances and scored twice," said Kevin Cruickshank.
Sports opened the scoring and A Yaxley equalised but Yarmouth conceded a winning goal just before the end.

GYDFL, Div. 1, sat. 7th Sept.
A Matthew Wells hat-trick led the way for Yarmouth as once again they thrashed one of the fancied teams for this season.
Danny Rudrum scored on his debut for the club and the other goals were scored by G Lonergan and Jason Howell.
The manager was forced to bring himself on at half time due to an injury and a shortage of players for this game.

GYDFL, Div. 1, Sat. 31st Aug.
Yarmouth won their opening game of the season against one of the stronger teams in the division who have been tipped to do well.
A number of players made debuts for the club, including Lee Crosswell who had an excellent game according to manager Kevin Cruickshank.
The goals were scored by Lee Crosswell (2), Jason Ware and Jason Howell.