FRIDAY 9TH MAY
MILLENNIUM FINAL REACTION
Speaking after the game, manager Paul Tong said he was relieved to have won something at last: "It's been a long time coming," he said, "but we've got a great bunch of lads here and I wish some people would realise that. When you know how much some clubs are paying for players, we've done very well. I should think most Jewson clubs would willingly swap with us - how many get to one final let alone two, and we've finished in a very respectable 8th place on a lot less money than clubs well below us.
"They're an honest set of players and have a great sense of loyalty. I'm looking forward to working with them again next season. Now they've got a taste of it, I hope we can go on and win a bit more."
THURSDAY 10TH APRIL
Although neither Rob George nor Danny Self were mentioned in the website report of Cambridge United Reserves' match at Reading yesterday [and if you want to read it you will have to go through a whole rigmarole of registering], there were seven other triallists in the team. However, in a telephone call to his parents last night, Rob said he thought he had done well and was hopeful of another opportunity soon. Next week he is off to Southend for a trial with the Essex club.
Due to the lack of support received for the move last year, the club will not be running a coach to the Senior Cup final on April 22nd. Tickets for the game are £6 and can be purchased at the turnstiles.
The players have taken the day off work and will get together for 'team bonding' (i.e. 10-pin bowling!) during the afternoon .
Supporters can purchase scarves, flags etc from the Supporters Club chairmnan Colin Stanley.
CLUB PRESENTATION EVENING
The date is set for Saturday May 17th and the venue is, as last year, the Hazelhurst Hotel on Wellesley Road opposite the SW gate. Tickets are £15 per head and include an excellent hot and cold buffet followed by music & dancing. The various players presentations will be a central part of the evening's programme. All are welcome. Tickets from the club.
WEDNESDAY 26TH MARCH
CUP FINAL DATES
The dates for the Bloaters' three cup finals have finally been settled. While we were waiting for the Lowestoft derby on Tuesday to commence, the news came through that on Tuesday 22nd April Yarmouth go off to Carrow Road for their third successive Norfolk Senior Cup Final. There had been rumours that Norwich City were not going to allow it to go ahead at all on their pitch this season which would have immediately downgraded it in the eyes of many, and would certainly have made the final less of a spectacle and the competition less of an incentive.
This date is the day after Easter Monday meaning that for Yarmouth and Gorleston one tradition will have to go by the board this season, as the Bank Holiday is traditionally one of the two dates for their derby matches, the other being Boxing Day of course. But not only is it a loss of a tradition, Yarmouth will also forfeit what would have been their best gate of the season; any other date is likely to see a severely reduced attendance. Further, the secretary is struggling for any date on which to rearrange this game as all Tuesdays and Saturdays are now occupied! He also has to juggle in two more Youth games, Norwich United and Watton - the latter was called off at short notice on Wednesday as Watton rang through to say they were unable to raise a side.
On the subject of the youth, their Youth Cup final v Lowestoft will take place two days later than the Carrow Road date, viz. Thursday 24th April with Emerald Park the venue, a strange choice you may think as Gorleston are not members of the youth league, though geographically it makes sense.
The Millennium Trophy final has been fixed for Thursday 8th May at Woodbridge, same venue as last year, and not one of Yarmouth's happier hunting grounds.
THURSDAY 20TH MARCH
Paul Tong has signed keeper Robert Thornton as cover for Nick Banham who, after his heroics in the Millennium Trophy semi-final, suffered a slight back injury and will not be available for the return to Mildenhall this Saturday for the league fixture.
Belton-based Thornton was a Norwich City Academy player before he moved to Cambridge United as a youth trainee. The brother of Gorleston's Ian, Robert then joined the Greens after Cambridge released him just before Christmas. "I must thank Jimmy Jones and Alan Smith at Gorleston for helping us sign Robert," said Tong this week; "it is a tremendously sporting gesture."
It is likely that Banham will be fit enough for the Reserves encounter with Thorpe Village at the Wellesley (3).
THURSDAY 6TH MARCH
Paul Tong has secured the services of Danny Self, the Acle manager's son, thanks to the co-operation of Norwich City's Academy staff. The lad was, apparently, not quite what City were looking for and while he seeks and undergoes trials with other League clubs, he is happy to help out at Yarmouth when not otherwise engaged. Paul said Danny had an excellent debut at Ipswich Wanderers where he showed "calmness and ability throughout" and secured the informal Man of the Match award - this is a project that Michael Shade and Grant Pierpoint have devised themselves, the player with the most awards at the end of the season gets 'a little something.' They call it the RenaultMaster Man-of-the-Match Award on account of the vehicle they travel to matches in!
Most supporters will know the club collects and sells waste paper as a source of revenue - there is a shed near the main gate where it is stored. Please keep it coming - we have done very well out of it so far.
WEDNESDAY 26TH FEBRUARY
SENIOR CUP - THE MANAGER'S VIEWS
"We had a very poor first half and we had words at half time - I nearly threw the tea at them! Howes was in a different class in the second half, and proved a point to me - the only disappointing thing was that he refused to be interviewed by Nick Bowler! Nick at last saw us at our best, as we usually lose when he watches us.
"Credit to all the players - they answered some questions and rammed my criticisms down my own throat!. Browny and Granty were superb in midfield; it was a blow losing Vinny so early on, but Lee made the enforced change work in our favour. Vinny will miss two or three weeks now.
"Man of the match for me was Shady who never put a foot wrong and played because he wanted to, and had only just recovered from flu as well."
THURSDAY 6TH FEBRUARY
The club mustered a full squad at the Gorleston Crematorium today as 12 members and supporters joined the family to say a last goodbye to oldest supporter Sam Brewster.
A blank fortnight has hardly been the best prelude to Yarmouth's Senior Cup semi-final but most teams have suffered postponements through the weather this year so far so I suppose it's down to training and other forms of preparation. Paul Tong was hoping to get the players together for a time on Saturday or Sunday, perhaps at a training centre, but with Saturday having been a spare day anyway several of the lads had other prior commitments arranged; one or two work-related injuries may also cause a headache for the manager when it comes to selection of a squad for Tuesday's vital match at The Walks.
Secretary Brian Smith has been busy arranging some outstanding fixtures and there just remains the Diss home game to fix up. The fixture list for the rest of the season reads as follows: February 15th Harwich away, 18th Swaffham home (Millennium Trophy), 22nd Clacton home; March 1st Ipswich Wanderers away, 4th Maldon away, 8th Bury home, 11th Norwich Utd home, 15th Wisbech away, 22nd Mildenhall away, 25th Lowestoft away, 29th Stowmarket away; April 1st Bury away, 5th Maldon home, 8th Soham away, 12th Lowestoft home, 19th Newmarket home, 21st Gorleston home, 26th Histon Reserves home; May 3rd Ely away. In addition, March 18th is reserved for the Millennium Trophy semi-final should we be successful against Swaffham (which match will be postponed in favour of any replay that may be necessary against Lynn Reserves).
Leading first team stats for the season: three players have appeared in every game so far (of which there have been 35) - Nick Banham, Nathan Drake and Robert George while Neil Adcock, Neil Bilham and Mark Vincent have all missed just two games each. George is once again the leading scorer with 11 in all games, Adcock is three behind him (as is Nathan Thompson) and on seven goals is Kevin Howes. In terms of aggregate appearances, no one is ever going to catch up with Vincent are they? - 616 games! Banham is on 252, Lee Humphreys 157, George 145 and Lee Brown 128. Of the current players, Vinny leads the career goalscorers (not surprisingly) with 67, George has 37 and Humphreys 23.
THURSDAY 30TH JANUARY
The sad news was received yesterday that the club's oldest living supporter 92-year old Sam Brewster died on Tuesday. 'Old Sam' had been living in a nursing home in Bradwell and had been too unwell to attend any matches this season but he had been a lifelong supporter and will be remembered with great affection by all who met him. He had a wonderful sense of humour and two years ago had acquired a motorised conveyance which he delighted in using to get to matches before he moved to Bradwell. Several club members will have a tangible remembrance of Sam as he presented us with colourful oil paintings that he had executed!
TUESDAY 28TH JANUARY
The Jewson League were looking for the 1000th Premier Division goal of the season last Saturday: it was to be the first goal of the day. The Wellesley had a contender with Soham's 12th minute goal, but reports in the Green 'Un revealed that the honour went to Jamie Scales of Woodbridge Town who opened the scoring in the 9th minute of the game at Lowestoft.
The Eastern Evening News last week produced a spoof on the TV series "Footballers' Wives" and featured three wives from the Jewson League. The undoubted star was our own Julia Banham, but also featured were Sue Hartle, wife of former Yarmouth player Paul, and Tina Pauling, wife of Wroxham's Gavin.
In a three-page spread, the EEN first showed the ladies in their everyday wear alongside reports of their life as a footballer's wife, then we saw them all "glammed up" in posh frocks and in a "glam" setting. Julia was described as wearing "a Kaliko dress (£44.99), black Coast scarf (£38) and shoes by Jane Hilton (£69.99)". Unfortunately, she had to hand them back at the end of the shoot, the Yarmouth budget was unable to increase Nick's pay!
MONDAY 20TH JANUARY
A dozen or so souls gathered on the Wellesley pitch this morning to say farewell to one of Great Yarmouth FC's greatest heroes, former Player/Manager Jack Bradley who passed away earlier this month. It was the family's wishes that his ashes be scattered on the pitch where he finished his footballing career with such distinction. It was Jack, of course, that led the team on that historic day when the Bloaters defeated Division Three side Crystal Palace in the FA Cup 1st round 50 years ago this year.
The Rev. Arthur Bowles, himself a player with the club in the fifties and who knew Jack well, conducted the simple ceremony in conditions, he said, that Jack would have appreciated - wet and windy with a heavy pitch! After some words of appreciation, Jack's surviving relations spread his ashes around the centre circle. Club secretary Brian Smith quipped that if we won on Saturday we may have got a little help from upstairs!
SUNDAY 19TH JANUARY
SENIOR CUP COMMENT
Manager Paul Tong put the transformation from the previous week's performance down to a tactical change. "Quite simply, I dropped all three strikers!" he said. "Winkworth, Howes and Adcock all went on the bench. But they took it well and when they came on gave me 100%. Lee Brown returned to the defence, and I pushed Drake back into midfield where he is best. Young Tierney and Bilham returned to the front line.
"There was a much better attitude about us, more positive and committed and the whole team worked well. I thought Pierpoint had one of his best games for us and Tierney's movement was good. But the man who stood out most was Rob George - I wish I had eleven of him!
"There were three key points, I felt: the team's attitude; Nick Banham's save from the free kick that he tipped over; and Downs' sending off.
Looking ahead to the semi-final, Paul said: "It will be a tough game, even though they might be in the division below us. They have a good, young and well-organised side, but it's all on the day in cup football so we've got a chance!"
SUNDAY 12TH JANUARY
Recent signing Kristian Jones, who had put in some useful performances previously, arrived at the ground on Saturday only to be told his services were no longer required. It appears his demands for greater financial reward could not to be met by the club's budget restrictions. Although he himself did not score, in Jones' four games (two wins and two defeats) the team scored eleven goals in several of which he was directly involved.
SUNDAY 5TH JANUARY
NORFOLK SENIOR CUP
The semi-final draw which took place on Radio Norfolk yesterday resulted as follows:
Diss v Gorleston
Kings Lynn Reserves or Norwich Utd v Gt Yarmouth or Blofield
Matches to be played Saturday 1st February. Both outstanding quarter-final matches will take place this coming Saturday, 11th January.
"I'm not even going to think about it until after Saturday's game," said Paul Tong. "It would have been nice to get a home draw but the priority first is Blofield. That is what I and the players will have to concentrate on, though I suspect they will have their minds turning that way already. At the start of the season I certainly hoped we would go all the way this season, but I shall not start thinking about a possible final against Gorleston while we still have Blofield to play this week."
Should the Bloaters and Gorleston make the final it would be the second time in three years that the borough rivals have met in the County showpiece.
MONDAY 30TH DECEMBER
Prior to the Boxing Day match, chairman Arthur Fisk was challenged to don his now-famous Santa outfit for the Emerald Park fixture: in fact, he was bet a tenner he wouldn't do it. Never one to turn down money, Arthur took on the challenge and further bets, and when he led the teams out on Boxing Day the club benefitted to the tune of £130! Perhaps the Gorleston fans didn't realise who it was under the suit as he received a warm and friendly welcome from the usually hostile derby crowd!
HAPPY NEW YEAR?
All at the club will be wishing Derek Bevan and John Mann the best of luck as they seek to revive the ailing reserves season in the new year. They certainly saw a good finish to 2002 with a 2-1 win over promotion-chasing Hempnall, albeit with a number of first-teamers in the line-up. Some of the younger players at the club will continue to be introduced into the squad, with Mark George next in line following Will Lewis, Stephen Taylor and Ben Dixon.
TUESDAY 17TH DECEMBER
Manager Paul Tong announced tonight that the club would be advertising for help with the Reserve team. John Mann has taken on the burden alone since Barry Jermy left but has asked for help. Tong's assistant Derek Bevan has volunteered to work with John in the next few weeks until someone else can be found. On Saturday the Reserve XI went down to its ninth consecutive defeat, albeit narrowly and after taking a first half lead.
IN THE CLUBHOUSE
This Saturday after the Ely game, the Grand Christmas Raffle draw will take place, and on Sunday afternoon the club's annual Christmas Party for its helpers and pensioners will be held: no doubt, Santa "Arthur" will pay a visit!
THURSDAY 12TH DECEMBER
Nathan Thompson made a spectacular return to the club at Wroxham on Tuesday evening: one of his special free kicks and a solo effort after beating the offside trap wiped out two of Wroxham's first three goals. The return was a surpise after he had left the club to return to his local side Prince FC of the Gt Yarmouth & District League, but this site can claim some part in it.
Nathan e-mailed The Bloaters Online to wish the club success in the rest of the season. Some correspondence then took place which led manager Paul Tong to contact Nathan over the weekend with the results being on show on Tuesday. Let's hope he realises he made a mistake in leaving and now settles down to play Jewson Football: he certainly has the confidence to do well.
Another surprise on Tuesday was new signing Kevin Wirkworth. The 18-year old had a useful debut on the left side of midfield and produced some searching crosses. Andy George, father of Rob and Mark who already play for the club, has to be thanked for putting the club on to Kevin: Andy knew him as a boy in Norwich playing football with his own sons and followed his progress at Cambridge United who had been interested in Kevin from age 11, though they have now released him. Paul Tong would also like to thank the U's for helping speed the transfer.
All this activity meant no place at Wroxham for Danny Brown who thus missed his first game of the season, and didn't even make the subs bench.
MONDAY 9TH DECEMBER
ON THE FLOOR
Manager Paul Tong reckoned the team played some of its best football this season on Saturday. "Just the lack of goals let us down again! But we played it on the floor where its meant to be and created some great chances.
"It was good to have Grant Pierpoint back and he played well. Kevin Howes was nearly back to full fitness - Kate [Kevin's fiancee] will have to work on him!
"I thought Nathan Drake was my man of the match. He was at left back today, with Lee Brown unavailable; Drakey's my Mr Versatility!"
Physio Terry Reeves had a great story to tell in the bar after the game: last Christmas he warned his wife Lorraine he was getting her something with diamonds in it! A ring? she wondered. Or a bracelet perhaps? She was less than chuffed on Christmas morning to receive - a pack of playing cards!
WEDNESDAY 4TH DECEMBER
PLANTERS SOW SEEDS OF DOUBT
"Highly motivated," was manager Paul Tong's thoughts on the Norwich United team that inflicted last night's defeat. "Their ex-Bloaters wanted it more than our current ones," he went on; "it was typical that it should be Scott McIntosh who notches the winner. I suspect he may also have had something to do with the disappearnce of Vinny's teeth after the game!
"To be fair, overall they justly deserved the three points; although we equalised through Taffy just before half time, our display was rather inept. Unfortunately we had to do without Shade and Pierpoint [both injured], new man Kristian Jones [suspended], and Darby [college exams], so it was never going to be easy, but we never really hurt them."
Dean Parfitt also missed all but the first ten minutes of the game having been stretchered off with a broken nose, but appeared later in the bar seeming little the worse for it. Manager Tong thinks he could well be available for Saturday.
MONDAY 2ND DECEMBER
Manager Paul Tong sprung a surprise with his signing of striker Kristian Jones last week and put on record his thanks to Wroxham for speeding the transfer. The search for a reliable striker has of course been going on for weeks now and Jones' debut was a very promising one, being involved in all three goals and also creating numerous other chances. "I didn't have a bad game, did I," said the newcomer afterwards, "but I'm not too happy that we scored three times and still didn't win." Indeed, it was galling, considering how hard the team have found scoring goals this season that when they did get a few, the opposition matched them. "I thought I linked up well with Grant Pierpoint," Jones continued, "but unfortunately I now start a suspension for a fortnight but I will be available for selection for the Wisbech Millennium Trophy game."
Jones most recently played in Wroxham's reserve side but last year he was with Kings Lynn and before that with Hayes in the Nationwide Conference.
SUNDAY 24TH NOVEMBER
SENIOR CUP THOUGHTS
Reflecting on the match on Radio Norfolk, manager Paul Tong was obviously very pleased with the way the team set about their task, but was also grateful for a little help from elsewhere: "Lady Luck was on our side in the first half," he admitted. "Wroxham have some quality players and that's why they're top of the Jewson League. They express themselves, but today they had a little bit of an off day in front of goal. That said, we stuck to our game plan and were rewarded for honest endeavour. I told the lads before the game that it was the result that mattered and not how they played. Neil Bilham took his goal well to give us an interval lead and after the break Wroxham didn't have that many chances compared with the first half."
On the Wroxham website, manager Marty Hubble said: "The Radio Norfolk report had it spot on and we had enough chances to win four games. I am amazed then to hear some people say we were tactically outdone. We hit the post three times and had numerous chances and even Tongy said it could have been 5-1 at half-time. They defended tight in numbers which they have a right to do and their keeper had a good day. But we have to take it in context and I would be truly worried if we weren't making chances."
After the draw had been made, Tong said: "Many people will expect us to win easily, but you can't predict cup football like that. It will be Blofield's cup final and they'll work exceptionally hard. If our boys aren't on their mettle there could be an upset."
Quarter Final draw: Cromer v Gorleston, Fakenham v Dereham or Diss, Kings Lynn Res or Acle v Norwich Utd, GT YARMOUTH v Blofield.
FRIDAY 22ND NOVEMBER
The FIRST XI travel to Trafford Park to take on the might of WROXHAM in the 3rd Round of the Norfolk Senior Cup. "It's a tough one!" understated manager Paul Tong, "but with cup football you never know - it's all on the day."
Tong said he would be including Michael Tierney once again after his great display on Tuesday against Woodbridge. Kevin Howes came through twenty minutes without harm on Tuesday so looks all set to resume his season so rudely interrupted by his ankle injury.
The RESERVES face MATTISHALL at home and will be more than a little anxious to recover their early season form as they have now lost seven matches on the trot. John Mann remains ever cheerful but will have to manage without Tierney on first team duty as above. Adam Mason is staying with the club after recent upsets and rumours suggested he might be moving on; his return will be welcome news for John.
The A TEAM will also be looking to end a run of defeats as they take on MK UNITED in the Wiltshire Cup.
WEDNESDAY 20TH NOVEMBER
Terry Reeves has recently acquired an assistant for his physio duties. Elaine Juby will accompany Terry and the team as she learns 'on the job'; Elaine is currently studying physiotherapy at Lowestoft college; she has just moved to Norfolk from her home town of Luton - which just happens to be Terry's old stamping ground! Perhaps they'll have The Hatters as a common interest, or perhaps not if what she was telling me the other night is true! Tonight, Elaine looked after the Youth team on her own but was only called onto the pitch once under the fatherly eye of coach Trevor.
FRIDAY 15TH NOVEMBER
Manager Paul Tong hopes to have Neil Bilham fit again but the former Norwich City player is still recovering from flu and may not be fit enough. The Reserves have a blank Saturday so prolific striker Michael Tierney is included in the squad for the home game against Wisbech Town (3pm). Defender Alan Darby will not be available because of college commitments. The news on Kevin Howes is good - the powerful striker will take part in the warm-up for next Tuesday's quick Wellesley re-match with Woodbridge Town with the aim of being available for next Saturday's important Norfolk Senior Cup tie at Wroxham.
WEDNESDAY 13TH NOVEMBER
Last night's Reserves match and tonight's Youth game were both postponed because of the wet state of the Wellesley pitch after constant rain this week. The Youth game v Fakenham had been hastily arranged as the schdeuled match at Fakenham on Thursday of this week could not take place as the pitch was unavailable.
Get the Green 'Un this weekend - Neil Manning was at Woodbridge to interview our Vinny for an article regarding his 600 games.
|Mark and Bill Punton supported by players of both teams
SUNDAY 3RD NOVEMBER
600 UP FOR MARK VINCENT
Supporters, officials and players of both teams united in their welcome and applause for Yarmouth's longest-ever serving player when he stepped out of the dressing rooms on Saturday to mark another milestone. Former manager of two decades Bill Punton, who had originally signed Mark in 1985, returned to present him with a couple of bottles of champagne. "It's a tremendous record for a great character and loyal clubman who loves his football and has been one of Yarmouth's best players for many years now," said Punton: "He was the anchor man for me, Few people got past him, he won almost everything in the air and he stays very fit."
There was praise too from former Yarmouth Youth player Paul Warne, an FA Vase winner under Punton at Diss who later went on to play for Wroxham and is now with Rotherham after a spell at Wigan. "He's the best player I've seen in the air," the striker said: "Like basketballer Michael Jordan, he just seemed to float there."
Mark himself commented: "I'm still enjoying my football and have no plans to hang up my boots just yet.We've got a stronger squad this year, with a few older heads providing experience to help the young players but I'm still being selected for the first team and I want to keep playing for the first team."
FRIDAY 1ST NOVEMBER
No doubt about the highlight of this weekend. At five to three on Saturday, Mark Vincent (otherwise known as Vinny) will step out for his 600th senior appearance in Yarmouth's colours. Since signing for Bill Punton in 1985, Mark has been "Mr Dependable" and, for most of the time since, the first name on the team sheet, apart from the season when he played for Diss having followed Bill there in 1990. The word "retirement" though mooted some time ago(!) is still not in his vocabulary and at the age of 38 his presence in the defence is still a reassuring sight. Punton will be at the match against Ipswich Wanderers to perform a special presentation.
Chairman Arthur Fisk had this to say about the record-breaking Mark: "He is a totally honest and dedicated player as well as being a great diplomat for the borough. Mark has a lovely innocent sense of humour and has used this over the years along with his personality to stamp his own brand of fair play on the game. I would say that players in the game today would not go far wrong in trying to emulate this great character."
The Reserves travel to Pinebanks to take on Norwich Union for the first time this season. Union are third from bottom of the Division One table and last week gained their first win of the season, 3-0 at Brandon. The Reserves dropped to sixth from bottom after last week's home defeat to Wymondham, a team who also thus gained their first win of the season.
The A team take on Norwich United Reserves in their Junior Cup replay at Gorleston Rec. (1.45) and must be hopeful of victory if their full squad is available.
MONDAY 28TH OCTOBER
CHAIRMAN OPENS SHOP
The club was delighted to accept an invitation to open the new Holland & Barrett Health Food store in the Market Place today. Chairman Arthur Fisk, coach Derek Bevan and player Lee Brown were all available to make the 11am opening when a ribbon was cut. The Chairman is hopeful that some sponsorship may ensue!
FRIDAY 25TH OCTOBER
It seems that Kevin Howes' injury is more serious than first thought. After experiencing more pain, Kevin returned to hospital this week and a further examination revealed a fracture of his ankle which will now be encased in plaster for at least four weeks.
TUESDAY 22ND OCTOBER
Joint Reserve team manager Barry Jermy today resigned his position. This season was his second running the Reserves jointly with John Mann following success with the A team. It appears Barry wishes to rejoin his old club, Martham. John will continue for the time being with the assistance of the senior players of the squad.
SUNDAY 20TH OCTOBER
Manager Paul Tong feared today that striker-in-chief Kevin Howes would be out for several weeks recovering from the nasty injury he sustained on Saturday. Going up for a high ball, Howes fell awkwardly and twisted his ankle. Physio Terry Reeves treated Howes for several minutes by the side of the pitch before it was decided he should visit hospital for a precautionary examination: the ankle had swollen and was very painful. After some delay as he was helped away from pitchside, Howes' fiancee drove him to the James Paget Hospital.
Paul Tong reported today that nothing was broken, but there was a bad sprain which only time would heal; "Hey, it gives someone else a chance they might not have got," he said.
Chris Pert made his debut for the Bloaters against AFC Sudbury, having signed late in the week from Dereham Town, where he played in the Youth side last season. Grant Pierpoint made a return after suspension.
"I was not disappointed with the players performance," said Paul Tong. "We created some good chances, especially in the first half but Sudbury are obviously a quality side and they punish any mistakes you make. I think the lads can hold their heads up high. Losing Howes was of course a blow, but Lamb and Drake had excellent games for us.
"One plus from the game was that we at least managed to score against Sudbury, something very few teams have achieved - in fact, we have scored two of the four goals they have conceded in the league so far this season!"
FRIDAY 18TH OCTOBER
Manager Paul Tong should have a full squad to choose from for the first time for weeks for the return match with AFC Sudbury at the Wellesley tomorrow. Grant Pierpoint has at last finished the suspension carried over from last season when he was with Lowestoft Town and is fit and raring to go. It's been good to see him at matches even though he couldn't play. However, it seems likely he will start on the bench alongside veteran Mark Vincent who only made a late substitute appearance last Saturday. The whereabouts of the promising youngster Nathan Thompson have been a bit of a mystery recently, and rumour has it that he is returning to his old club, Prince FC, in the Gt Yarmouth & District league.
TUESDAY 15TH OCTOBER
Tonight's match at home to Diss Town was called off at 5pm after an inspection by the match referee. The overhead conditions, particularly the terrific lightning, made the decision an easy one in the end though the pitch at the time appeared perfectly playable. The postponement brings to a total of four the number of matches that secretary Brian Smith will have to rearrange, following earlier postponements of the Norwich United, Soham and Mewmarket games because of the club's involvement in national cup competitions.
Mark Vincent is nearing inexorably his 600th appearance which, barring any further postponements, will be the home fixture against Ipswich Wanderers on Sat. Nov. 2nd., always supposing of course that he plays in all of the next four games! Jodie Harrison reached his 50 first team appearances at Tiptree, while Alan Darby is currently on 46, though it may be some time before his 50th as he is away at college in Colchester.
NORFOLK SENIOR CUP DRAW
Wroxham away, then, and a chance to avenge last season's 1-2 Final defeat at Carrow Road. Yarmouth's first meetings with Wroxham occurred in the Senior Cup whilst the Yachtsmen were in the Anglian Combination: in 1979/80, it took three matches before Yarmouth won their semi-final tie, two 1-1 draws being followed up with a home 4-0 victory for the Bloaters who then went on to beat Gorleston 2-0 in the Final. 1985/86 (with Wroxham still in the Combination) saw a home 1-2 defeat for the Bloaters. Eleven years later, Wroxham - now in the Jewson League - won again, this time at Trafford Park, a single goal deciding the tie. In 2000/2001, Yarmouth gained only their second victory over Wroxham in Senior Cup competition, this time by 2-1 in the semi-final which again took them to a Final against Gorleston but this time to a heavy defeat.
WEDNESDAY 9TH. OCT.
GOOD LUCK TO TOM
Tom Johnson was absent for the first time for the home game against Wroxham as he has now started at college in Essex. So "Little" Tongy (manager Paul's son Craig) was on kit duty for the first time on his own. He has obviously been well-tutored by Tom who has done the job until now for the past two or three seasons - we hear there were no reports of missing kit! Tom hopes, like last Saturday at Tiptree, to be able to get to the games in the Essex area so we look forward to seeing you and hearing about those drunken student nights and card schools (should be just like the bus home from away matches!).
NICE ONE, JONATHAN!
One spectator at Tuesday's match should be well-pleased with himself. Yarmouth Mercury sports reporter Jonathan Redhead correctly forecast the score of the match - though he had not specified which team would win! Still, it's very good to see a Mercury reporter taking such a keen interest in the club's affairs. Keith Peel (Webmaster's old school pal and a former Pink'Un editor) and "Mardlin'" Keith Skipper are both former match reporters for the Mercury
so who knows where you may end up, Jonathan!
SATURDAY 5TH OCTOBER
Simon Jackson played his first game for the club at Tiptree and it was not one he will want to remember. Having been booked for a foul in the 32nd minute, "quite properly," he agreed, he then received a second yellow card for allegedly kicking the ball away after another foul. "I only rolled the ball under my foot; I wasn't really aware of it but the ref thought otherwise," said Simon.
Simon approached the club himself about getting a trial, having returned from university and having played for Diss previously. Paul Tong spoke to Robert Fleck [Diss Town manager] and the transfer was amicably arranged.
SHADE SUCCESSFUL RETURN
Micky "Can I have a lift" Shade made a great return after injury at Tiptree, being directly involved in the equalising goal. He also was involved in several other attacks as he showed all his old aggresiveness and commitment. "Class will always tell!" he quipped.
Darren Lamb made his first full appearance of the season and looked more than comfortable when going forward as he did in the second half. He was a striker when he was in the Youth side where he was top scorer last season.
Friday 4th October
Manager Paul Tong said he was hopeful that the injured Micky Shade would return to the squad for tomorrow's match at Tiptree United. Defender Shade and suspended midfielder Grant Pierpoint have been badly missed in the past two games when six goals have been conceded. Pierpoint will be back from suspension after the upcoming Wroxham game on October 8th.
NEW SIGNINGS IN THE OFFING
Tong hinted this week that he had a couple of new signings lined up to strengthen the first team squad. "We've got some tough games coming up," he said, "so we've got to come out of the clouds and get back down to earth," a reference to last weekend's FA Cup action.
FA CUP CASH
Despite losing the game at Crawley, the club will still be £8500 pounds better off thanks to this season's FA Cup campaign. The Preliminary round win over Holmer Green brought in £1000, and the 1st Qualifying round success over Leyton Pennant was worth another £7500. Winners of the Second qualifying round matches also won £7500 with increasing amounts being awarded to the later rounds.