Gt Yarmouth Town FC 2003-2004


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Great Yarmouth Town Reserves play in the Lovewell-Blake Anglian Combination Division One

MANAGER: Russell Barnes


26 Aug

Stalham Tn


D 2-2

Winkworth, Tierney

30 Aug

Brandon Tn


L 2-4

Tierney, Lewis

06 Sep



L 1-4


13 Sep

Dereham Tn Res


W 4-0

D Smith. M George, Southern, Anderson

17 Sep


Chell Try

W 2-0

Winkworth, Tierney

20 Sep



D 2-2

D Smith, Tierney

27 Sep



L 0-5


04 Oct



W 2-0

Jackson, Injaio

11 Oct

Wymondham Tn


L 0-1


14 Oct

Norwich Utd Res

Chell Try

L 0-1


18 Oct



L 0-5


25 Oct



W 1-0


01 Nov

Anglian Windows


W 3-2

Palmer, Mason. Winkworth

08 Nov



L 0-3


15 Nov

Loddon U


L 0-6


22 Nov



L 1-3

Mason (p.)

29 Nov

Sprowston W


L 1-4


06 Dec



L 0-2


10 Jan



L 0-3


17 Jan

Horsford U


L 1-3


24 Jan



W 3-1

M George 3

07 Feb



L 2-3

M George, Adcock

10 Feb



D 1-1


14 Feb

Fakenham Res


W 2-0

Gowing, M George

21 Feb



L 1-2


06 Mar



L 1-3


13 Mar

Wymondham T


D 1-1


20 Mar



L 1-3

Davids (p.)

27 Mar



D 0-0


03 Apr



L 0-1


10 Apr



L 1-2


17 Apr

Watton U


W 3-1

Burtenshaw, Lewis, Winkworth

21 Apr

Holt U




League, Sat. 17th April

Top v bottom looked a certain home banker - but how wrong can anyone be!

Top-of-the-table Watton also obviously thought the match was a foregone conclusion but were hit by a determined Yarmouth team that at last found the goals and defensive steel to gain a deserved result.

Lee Burtenshaw opened the scoring in only the 11th minute with a 25 yard blockbuster.

On 40 minutes, Will Lewis came up from defence to chest down a free kick and blast an unstoppable shot past the home keeper.

Then three minutes into the second half, Yarmouth scored an unbelievable third goal when Kevin Winkworth headed home from close range after the shell-shocked home keeper could only parry Mario David's initial shot.

Watton pulled one back in the 76th minute when Michael Larking dropped the ball and it was scrambled in.

"Everything went right for us at last," declared assistant manager John Mann. "We had to do without John Hardcastle and Lee Childs but Lee Burtenshaw returned and gave us a bit more balance. Everyone was tremendous; the spirit was first class and everyone played for each other!"

Team - Larkin, Palmer, J Harrison, Lewis, Shanks, Burtenshaw, Mason, McKay, Gowing, Davids, Winkworth. Sub: Rayner.


League, Sat. 10th April

Great Yarmouth Town Reserves now find themselves needing a near miracle as they fight to save their Senior status. After this narrow defeat they are now three points adrift of safety with only two matches remaining, and these against promotion contenders Watton United and Holt United.

In this vital game at Hindringham the Bloaters looked the better outfit for long periods, but they wasted several good goalscoring opportunities, and also hit the home team's woodwork on three occasions. Yarmouth dominated the first half as they found themselves encamped in the Hindringham half, but several chances were squandered, with Adam Mason's corner that was turned onto the crossbar on the stroke of half time being the closest they came to scoring.

At the start of the second half the hosts started well and after wasting a good scoring opportunity they broke the deadlock in the 51st minute when the ball was turned in at close range from a deep cross. Yarmouth came close to equalising when Kevin Winkworths fine overhead kick beat the keeper but rebounded off the underside of the crossbar.

Visiting goalkeeper, Mike Larkin, denied the home side with a couple of one-handed saves but Hindringham increased their advantage with 17 minutes remaining when a long range free kick somehow found its way into the back of the Yarmouth net. Scott Woodcock saw his corner hit the post before the ball was scrambled clear, but with five minutes remaining Yarmouth were given a lifeline when Adam Mason's long range volley took a deflection past Osler to reduce the deficit. In the final minutes Yarmouth pushed everyone forward, but the home side well lead by former Yarmouth favourite Marcus Oliver held out to gain a valuable victory. [JM]

Team: M. Larkin, O. Harrison, J. Harrison, W. Lewis, D. Shanks, A. Mason, N. McKay, L. Childs, J. Hardcastle, S. Woodcock, K. Winkworth, Subs: K. Gowing (Used), D. Rayner (Used), G. Palmer (Unused)


League, Sat. 3rd April

Great Yarmouth Town Reserves dropped into the bottom two after suffering a narrow defeat at Hempnall last Saturday. Once again the match was spoilt by a very strong wind as both sets of players found it difficult to play attractive football on a surface that was also very uneven. Throughout the match the possession was fairly even, while goalscoring opportunities were at a premium, therefore both goalkeepers had a quite afternoon as the defences gave little away.

The only goal of the game was scored by the home side on the stroke of half time after they capitalised on a rare defensive lapse by the Yarmouth team. Slack marking on the left gave Hempnall a scoring opportunity, but although the initial shot was blocked by Yarmouth keeper Michael Larkin the ball fell kindly to Paul Franklin who made no mistake from 15 yards. For this match Yarmouth were without the services of captain Adam Mason, Lee Childs, and Lee Burtenshaw, but experienced old campaigner John Hardcastle made a welcome return to action after being out of action since the 10th February through injury. Yarmouth now find themselves with only three matches remaining and if relegation is to be avoided they must send out full strength line-ups in all three games. [JM]

Team: M. Larkin, O. Harrison, J. Harrison, W. Lewis, D. Shanks, K. Gowing, J. Hardcastle, D. Rayner, D. Cooke, K. Winkworth, J. Dawes. Subs: N. McKay, G. Palmer


League, Sat. 27th March

The Reserves produced a good display to gain a point when they entertained Mulbarton in their final home match of the season. The visitors are certainly the in-form team in the division having put a fine run of results together since the appointment of new manager Alan Arber, therefore the Bloaters knew they had a difficult encounter in a bid to gain valuable points to ease their relegation worries.

The visitors started strongly and found themselves on top but Yarmouth gradually got their game together and matched their opponents for the remainder of the first half. In the second half the play was very even, but Yarmouth looked the more dangerous side when they went forward. Visiting goalkeeper Shawn Bunn denied the Bloaters with a couple of excellent stops to keep the scores level, while at the other end Michael Larkin had to be alert to tip a snap shot over the woodwork.

Despite pushing more players forward as the game progressed Yarmouth were unable to break the deadlock , and had to settle for a point from another encouraging performance. Defender Ollie Harrison produced a fine performance on his return to the club: Harrison had previously played for the Bloaters three years ago before going to local rivals Acle United. [JM]

Team: M. Larkin, O. Harrison, W. Lewis, J. Harrison, D. Shanks, L. Burtenshaw, A. Mason, N. McKay, K. Gowing, K. Winkworth, L. Childs, Subs: J. Dawes (used), D. Cooke (unused), D. Rayner (used)


League, Sat. 20th March

The Reserves suffered another defeat in their bid to avoid relegation when they lost 1-3 at Mattishall in farcical conditions. On a bog like pitch and with a hurricane force wind blowing, the match turned out to be a lottery, with the ball spending more time off the pitch than it did on it.

The home side adapted better to the conditions in the early stages and took the lead from a corner in only the fourth minute. Three minutes later the Bloaters should have been on level terms, but Mario Davids somehow fired wide from only five yards out when he found himself with an open goal. The dangerous Bob Sapey increased the home team's lead when he capitalised on a defensive mistake by Will Lewis; then in the 24th minute Mattishall went 3-0 up when the ball was fired home from the edge of the area despite frantic appeals for offside by the Yarmouth players.

Mario Davids made amends for his earlier miss when he was fouled just as he was about to score. From the resulting penalty kick Davids gave the home goalkeeper no chance, but the Mattishall defender who was penalised was surprisingly not shown the red card. In the 38th minute Davids was crudely brought down in the penalty area by a mis-timed challenge, but the referee amazed both teams by not awarding a penalty despite being in a good position.

The second half continued to be much like the first as both teams found it difficult to keep control of the ball. Although Yarmouth played much better by adopting a shorter passing game they rarely troubled Steve Goulding in the Mattishall goal. In the end Mattishall held out to complete a league double over the Bloaters, but the real winner was the strong wind. Both teams deserve credit for the excellent sporting manner in which the game took place, but with numerous other matches being either cancelled or abandoned because of the conditions, it must be asked why did this match took place in such atrocious conditions. [JM]

Team: M. Larkin, D. Shanks, J. Harrison, W. Lewis, N. McKay, A. Mason, L. Burtonshaw, K. Winkworth, L. Childs, K. Gowing, M. Davids. Subs: J. Mann (unused), D. Rayner (used), D. Cooke (used)


League, Sat. 13th March

Yarmouth Reserves gained a hard earned point from this match. In a fairly evenly contested encounter both of the goals came in the opening ten minutes as the match started off at a cracking pace. It was the visitors who took the lead with only 5 minutes gone on the clock when the ball was bundled home from close range after the Yarmouth defence had failed to clear a corner kick.

The Bloaters came back strongly and soon equalised thanks to a Kevin Winkworth goal. When Adam Mason set Dale Rayner free with an excellent pass he found himself with only the visiting goalkeeper to beat, but although he was denied by a fine block the ball fell kindly for Winkworth who rolled the ball into an unguarded net to level the scores.

For the remainder of the half the visitors just shaded the possession, but the Yarmouth defence well lead by Jodie Harrison gave little away.

In the second half Yarmouth were by far the better team but they found the Wymondham goalkeeper in inspired form as he pulled off a string of fine saves to keep the scores all square. In the end both teams had to settle for a point apiece, but it was the home team who where the most disappointed as they felt it was two points dropped rather than one gained after creating the majority of the goalscoring opportunities.

Despite picking up a valuable point the Bloaters dropped into the bottom two at the foot of the table, but if the same commitment and attitude can be shown in their remaining fixtures they will stand a good chance of avoiding relegation. [JM]

Team - Larkin, Palmer, Shanks, Harrison, Lewis, Childs, Dale Rayner, Gowing, Winkworth, George, Mason. Subs: Cole, Dawes, York n/u.


League, Sat. 6th March

The Reserves hopes of avoiding relegation suffered a major setback last Saturday when they lost 1-3 at home to Stalham Town. After an evenly contested opening period Yarmouth took the lead in the 18th minute when Daniel Cooke scored with a close range header after Adam Mason's expertly taken free kick had been touched on by Gareth Palmer. Despite going behind Stalham fought back strongly, and two goals in a ten-minute spell saw them come in at the interval with a 1-2 advantage. The second half continued very much like the first with the play very even with few chances being created at either end. Midway through the second half the visitors secured their victory with their third and final goal, when the ball was headed home from close range after the Bloaters defence had failed to clear a corner kick.

Once again the Bloaters downfall was their inability to defend set pieces as the visitors scored from both a corner and a free kick. Throughout the season the young Yarmouth team have conceded numerous goals from dead ball situations when they find themselves up against much taller and stronger opponents. The only bonus to come from a disappointing performance was that Michael Larkin returned in goal after his recent return to the club following his transfer from Dereham Town, while Kevin Winkworth had a good game in his first outing since 4th November. In the first half Winkworth caused the Stalham defence several problems with his probing runs and dangerous crosses down the left side, although in the second half he faded, but this was only expected after being out of action for such a long period. [JM]

Team: M. Larkin, D. Shanks, W. Lewis, G. Palmer, J. Dawes, A. Mason, D. Cooke, K. Winkworth, N. McKay, K. Gowing, S. Woodcock, Subs: L. Yorke (used), D. Rayner (used), J. Mann


League, Sat. 21st Feb.

Not for the first time this season Yarmouth Reserves suffered a narrow defeat after missing several second half goal scoring opportunities. In a match that was spoilt by an end to end gale force wind, both teams found it difficult to play neat football, therefore they had to revert to the long ball tactic.

In the first half Windows had the wind advantage and they nearly scored an early goal when a firm header from Bush was pushed onto the woodwork by Yarmouth goalkeeper John Mann before being cleared. After wasting a couple of goal scoring chances the visitors eventually took the lead in the 27th minute with a powerful freekick, and then increased their advantage ten minutes later with a well worked goal that saw the ball fired home from close range at the far post.

In the second half the Bloaters got on top as the gale force wind continued to dominate the proceedings. Paul Thompson came close to pulling a goal back for Yarmouth, but his header was acrobatically turned onto the woodwork by the fingertips of Ian Walker. The Reserves finally scored in the 63rd minute when a poor clearance from Walker fell at the feet of Nathan McKay who fired the ball straight back over the goalkeeper's head and into an unguarded net from fully 40 yards out.

The Bloaters continued to push players forward in a bid to get a deserved equaliser, but numerous goalscoring chances went begging. When they did breakthrough the Anglian Windows defence, they were foiled by the visiting linesman's flag to the frustration of both the home players and their supporters. In the end the visitors held out to gain a narrow victory which keeps things tight at the bottom of the table. [JM]

Team: J. Mann, D. Shanks, W. Lewis, G. Palmer, J. Dawes, J. Harrison, A. Mason (Captain), N. McKay, P. Thompson, D. Rayner, K. Gowing. Subs: (both used) L. York, I. Anjos


League, Sat. 14th Feb.

Yarmouth Reserves did their hopes of avoiding relegation a power of good when they gained an important victory at Fakenham. The Bloaters fielded a much changed line-up from their previous match, and with regular goalkeeper Elliott Pride once again called up for First Team duty they found themselves without a regular goalkeeper, therefore veteran John Mann was forced to play his first match at Senior level for nearly ten seasons. On a heavy Clipbush Park pitch the visitors started well, but it was Fakenham who came closest to opening the scoring, when a shot from the edge of the box was well saved by Yarmouth keeper Mann. For Yarmouth, Kristian Gowing missed a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock, but his 25th minute header went over the bar with only the 'keeper to beat. Despite his disappointment Gowing soon made amends when five minutes later he scored his first Yarmouth goal with a looping header after the home custodian had punched the ball straight onto his head.

Fakenham came more into the game in the second half and came close to equalising with a powerful header that rebounded off the woodwork before being scrambled clear. Despite being under pressure the Bloaters always looked dangerous on the breakaway and inform striker Mark George increased their advantage when he rammed the ball from close range in the 63rd minute. Although being two goals down the Ghosts threw everything at Yarmouth in the final 25 minutes, but they found the visiting defence giving little away. When they did breakthrough they found Yarmouth keeper John Mann in excellent form as he denied them with a string of fine saves. In the end Yarmouth held out to keep a rare clean sheet and gain a valuable three points.

After the match Russell Barnes praised all of his players for producing a hard-working and committed performance, but he had a special mention for John Mann who rolled back the years to produce an excellent display in the Yarmouth goal.

After some excellent performances during the past couple of months young centre half William Lewis has been awarded the 'Yarmouth Steel' Player of the Month award for January. After an indifferent start to the season, Lewis is now producing the form that saw him make his First Team debut last season. [JM]

Team: J. Mann, D. Shanks, W. Lewis, G. Palmer, J. Dawes, A. Mason, K. Gowing, D. Cooke, D. Rayner, N. Adcock, M. Geroge, Subs: (all used) L. Yorke, M. Marshall.


League, Tues. 10th Feb.

The Reserves earned a point with a last-gasp equaliser after Hempnall had looked to have secured all three points.

Youth 'keeper Elliott Pride was back between the Wellesley posts after his first team debut on Saturday and he produced a smart save on 28 minutes from an accurate free kick. Will Lewis, up for a corner, then missed Yarmouth's best chance of the half when he completely miscued his attempt. The physical visitors went ahead in the 36th minute when a right-wing cross was headed in by the diving Mills.

Hempnall continued to have the better of the play well into the second half but towards the end, Yarmouth seemed to get a second wind and continually threatened the Hempnall goal. Lee Humphreys, having a rare Reserves outing, saw a great dipping shot go narrowly wide in the 61st minute. But with the referee looking at his watch, which showed four minutes of added time, there was still time for one last free kick: this one was taken by Humphreys and it proved a great pass to Kevin Howes who expertly headed the ball home for a dramatic late equaliser.

Team - Pride, Shanks, Lewis, Hardcastle, Humphreys, Hunt, Davids, Adcock, Howes, Burtenshaw, Pert. Subs: Mason, McKay, M George (all used)


League, Sat. 7th Feb.

In an exiting match at Mulberry Park, the Reserves suffered a narrow defeat in a 5-goal thriller. On a sticky pitch, the hosts kicked off with a gale force wind at their backs and they certainly took full advantage of the conditions to take a two-goal lead in the first 5 minutes. On both occasions the Yarmouth defence was caught square by balls over the top of the back four which left keeper Steven Mann totally exposed. In the opening 25 minutes Mulbarton found themselves encamped in the Yarmouth half, but they failed to increase their lead after being denied by some last-ditch defending and some wayward shooting. As the half progressed the very young Reserves team gradually got used to the conditions as they found themselves having more of the ball.

At half time with the score at 2-0 to the home side, both teams knew the next goal was going to be vital, but unfortunately for Yarmouth this was scored by the home side. A fine attacking move found a Mulbarton player with time and space just inside the penalty area, and he made no mistake with a well struck effort into the bottom corner of the net. In the 60th minute Mark George gave the Bloaters a lifeline when he scored with a delicate lob over the head of Sean Bunn. After 70 minutes Neil Adcock, who was making a welcome return to action after being missing for a couple of months scored Yarmouth's second goal of the game with a firm header from Adam Masons corner kick.

Yarmouth now found themselves well on top and came close to equalising when Mason's deep cross came back off the woodwork before being scrambled clear, while at the other end Yarmouth keeper Mann had to be alert to turn a shot over the top. Yarmouth continued to push players forward in a bid to equalise and Bunn had to be at his best to deny Adcock when he blocked a shot with his legs. With time running out Mason saw his low cross elude everyone, while with virtually the last kick of the game the Yarmouth captain again went close, but his 25 yard effort went inches wide with the Mulbarton 'keeper beaten. In the end the home team held out to gain an important victory which moves them above the Bloaters near the bottom of the league. [JM]

Team: S. Mann, D. Shanks, G. Palmer, W. Lewis, J. Cole, A. Mason, J. Hardcastle, N. McKay, D. Cooke, N. Adcock, M. George, Subs: K. Gowing (used), J. Attoe (unused)


League, Sat. 24th Jan.

The Reserves sequence of poor results came to an end last Saturday, when they gained an excellent 3-1 victory over fellow strugglers Hindringham. Despite the first team being without a fixture, Russell Barnes and John Mann declined the opportunity to strengthen their side and kept faith with the majority of the players who had played well at Horsford the previous week.

After an evenly contested opening period, Yarmouth Youth striker Mark George found himself with the best chance of the game at the time, but dragged his shot wide when he found himself with only the goalkeeper to beat. The visitors took the lead after 31 minutes when the ball was volleyed home from close range after the Yarmouth defence had been caught flat-footed. Despite going a goal behind Yarmouth fought back strongly with Nathan McKay and Mark George both going close to equalising, before on the stroke of half time George made amends for his early misses by scoring with a 12 yard strike past Ostler the Hindringham goalkeeper.

In the second period Yarmouth looked by far the better side and they deservedly took the lead midway through the half when George scored both his and Yarmouth's second goal after being excellently set up by Mario Davids. Ten minutes before the final whistle George completed his hatrick when he was in the right place to fire the ball home from close range to deservedly give the hard working young Bloaters a fine victory.

All of the Yarmouth players deserve praise for producing a good all round display. Despite scoring a hatrick George was pipped for the man of the match honours by centre half Will Lewis who produced his best performance for some time in the heart of the Yarmouth back four. [JM]                                                                 

Team: E. Pride, D. Shanks, W. Lewis, G. Palmer, J. Dawes, D. Cooke, A. Mason (Captain), N. McKay, S. Woodcock, M. Davids, M. George, Subs (both used): W. Nicholls, D. Raynor


League, Sat. 17th Jan.

The Reserves travelled to Horsford with a depleted line-up that included only 11 fit players, but produced an excellent hard working display before suffering a narrow defeat. On a heavy pitch, both teams deserve credit for producing an exciting match that saw the home team come out ontop thanks to three second half goals.

In the first half both defences gave little away, therefore goalscoring opportunities were very few and far between. Early in the second half the Bloaters stunned the home team by taking the lead, with a superb strike from Captain Adam Mason who was making a welcome return to the side after a lengthy suspension. After a mazy run from Mark George a free kick was awarded on the edge of the penalty area, and from the resulting kick Mason curled the ball in to the bottom corner of the net.

After going a goal down Horsford appeared to step up a gear and equalised 10 minutes later with a header following a fine flowing move. The home side were now looking the better side but were denied from taking the lead by a couple of fine saves from Yarmouth keeper Elliott Pride. Horsford eventually went infront midway through the second half when the ball was scrambled home from close range after the Yarmouth defence had failed to clear.

Yarmouth pushed players forward in a bid to equalise, and looked dangerous on the break. George had the ball in the net but was denied by an offside flag, while Jimmy Dawes shot straight at the keeper when the ball fell kindly for him just inside the area. In the final minutes Horsford secured their victory with their third goal, when a wind assisted cross looped over Pride and into the top corner of the net.

Despite losing, all of the eleven Yarmouth players deserve credit for producing a hard working disciplined performance, but they certainly missed not having any substitutes especially in the final 30 minutes of the match when they needed some fresh legs on a surface made difficult by heavy rain. The ironic thing is the First XI fixture, at home against Wisbeach, was cancelled by the Referee just prior to kick off because of a waterlogged surface, therefore some of the players who stepped up into the First team squad found themselves without a match. [JM]

Team: E. Pride, G. Palmer, W. Lewis, J. Hardcastle, D. Cooke, A. Mason (Captain), N. McKay, D. Shanks, M. George, J. Dawes, D. Raynor


League, Sat. 10th Jan.

The Reserves dreadful run of results continued when they suffered their 6th consecutive league defeat when they entertained Dereham Reserves at the Wellesley last Saturday. In their first match since the 6th December the Bloaters started well and looked the better side in the opening 45 minutes, but despite having the majority of possession goalscoring opportunities were limited and visiting goalkeeper Tom Harvey was rarely troubled.

The second half started very much like the first, but in the 59th minute the deadlock was broken when Dereham took the lead through Troy Bond who was about to be substituted. When a long ball out of defence found Bond 30 yards from goal there appeared to be no danger, but in one movement the player turned and hit a volley past stranded Yarmouth goalkeeper Elliot Pride who was well off his line.

After taking the lead the visitors looked the better side and soon increased their advantage when slack marking at a free kick allowed a Dereham player to bundle the ball home at the far post. With time running out Dereham's victory was secured when young defender Gareth Palmer fired the ball into his own net when trying to clear a corner kick.

After starting well this turned out to be a disappointing performance from a young Bloaters Reserves side against a team they had comfortably beaten earlier in the season. Once again the management duo of John Mann and Russell Barnes were missing several experienced players, but this can not be used as an excuse for producing a lacklustre performance in the second half. [JM]

Team: E. Pride, J. Hardcastle, W. Lewis, G. Palmer, M. Davids, M. George, N. McKay (Captain), J. Cruz, D. Cook, D. Smith, L. York, Subs: M. Marshall, A. Injaio, D. Mann


League, Sat. 6th Dec.

In an evenly contested encounter the Bloaters suffered another league defeat after conceding two goals in the second half. Both teams appeared to cancel each other out, but the deadlock was finally broken in the 67th minutes when a speculative long-range effort deceived home keeper Sean Cooper and ended up in the back of the net. Yarmouth pushed players forward in a bid to equalise, but were denied with a couple of excellent stops from visiting keeper Jonathan Scott. Jodie Harrison saw his shot superbly turned over the bar from a corner kick, while young defender Mark George's well struck freekick from the edge of the box was well saved, as the ball looked destined for the corner of the net. Horsford secured all three points twelve minutes from the full time whistle after the home defence got caught napping and the ball was fired home at the near post of Coopers goal. [JM]

Team: S. Cooper, J. Harrison, M. George, J. Hardcastle, W. Lewis, S. Hunt, D. Shanks, N. Mckay, D. Cook, G. Palmer, A. Mason (Captain), Subs: J. Dawes, D. Mann, A. Injiao.


League, Sat. Nov. 29th

Gt Yarmouth Reserves nose dive down the table continued on Saturday when they suffered a 1-4 defeat at Sprowston Wanderers. The Bloaters kicked off in driving rain and with a strong wind advantage, but for the first 20 minutes they struggled to find their rhythm as the ball seemed to spend more time out of play than it did in. Scott Woodcock went close for the Reserves with a well stuck effort from 20 yards, but although the rising shot beat the keeper, it unfortunately hit the woodwork.

In the 26th minute Yarmouth took the lead, when John Hardcastle scored with a fine shot that comfortably beat Iain Burrell in the Sprowston goal. Woodcock, Hardcastle, and Jimmy Dawes all went close to increasing Yarmouth's lead, but on the stroke of half time the home team levelled the scores with a breakaway goal. At the interval Yarmouth suffered a major blow when John Hardcastle had to be substituted due to a persistent hamstring problem and the Bloaters certainly missed the experienced midfield maestro in the second half.

The hosts took the lead with a comical goal after 57 minutes when Jodie Harrison's attempted clearance hit his own defender, Mark George, before lopping into the net past a stranded Elliot Pride. Once the home team took the lead the heads of some of the Yarmouth players appeared to drop and with the wind at their backs the home team took full advantage to score two more goals, to give themselves a comfortable victory.

[John Mann]

Team: E. Pride, D. Shanks, M. George, J. Harrison, W. Lewis, M. McKay (Captain), J. Dawes, J. Hardcastle, S. Woodcock, G. Palmer, M. Marshall. Subs (all used): D. Cooke, E. Kenny, T. Kauapirura


League, Sat. 22nd Nov.

In atrocious conditions at the Wellesley Yarmouth Reserves produced a much improved performance than of late, but they still suffered their fourth consecutive league defeat. The visitors scored three goals in the first half to give themselves a comfortable half time lead, but the young Bloaters produced an excellent second half performance.

In the 58th minute Adam Mason pulled a goal back for the hosts from the penalty spot, after Gareth Palmer was pushed in the back by a Holt defender. Twelve minutes later Yarmouth were awarded their second penalty of the match when Amercio Injaio was hauled down by the visiting keeper. To the amazement of both teams the keeper was controversially only shown the yellow card and then saved Mason's spot kick with an excellent stop.

Yarmouth continued to find themselves encamped in the visitors half, but some last ditch defending kept Holt's lead intact. In the dying minutes the home side pushed everyone forward, but the visitors held out to gain a flattering result.

All of the Yarmouth players deserve praise for producing a fine performance despite losing, but a special mention must be given to goalkeeper Steven Mann, who played at short notice and produced a competent performance between the sticks and defender Will Lewis, who produced probably his best display of the season. [JM]

Team: S. Mann, D. Shanks, J. Cruz, J. Hardcastle, W. Lewis, A. Mason (Captain), S. Hunt, N. McKay, M. Marshall, G. Palmer, A. Injaio, Subs: (All used) J. Dawes, D. Smith, D. Cooke.


League, Sat. 15th Nov.

The Reserves suffered their heaviest defeat of the season when they crashed 0-6 at top of the table Loddon United. With several experienced players unavailable, the Bloaters fielded a very young line-up which included seven players of the current youth squad. The home side who are riding on a crest of a wave after an impressive run of results ran out comfortable victors as they capitalised on some poor defending.

Yarmouth found themselves trailing 0-2 at the interval, but some clinical finishing by the hosts in the second half saw them score another four goals. Loddon must have thought Christmas had come early as they created numerous goal scoring opportunities especially in the last 20 minutes of the match with the visiting defence all at sea. On this form Loddon will surely be pushing for a promotion place at the end of the season, while the young Bloaters will certainly have a hard winter in front of them if they continue to produce performances as they did last Saturday.

Reserves Player of the Month for October, sponsored by Yarmouth Steel, has been awarded to utility player Gareth Palmer who has produced some encouraging performances and established himself in the starting line-up. Unfortunately, Palmer was taken ill at half time on Saturday and took no part in the second half, while recently signed Richard Smith, who was having a fine game, pulled a hamstring early in the second period and looks if he could be out of action for a few weeks. [JM]Team: P. Finch, R. Smith, W. Lewis, J. Dawes, J. Cole, L. York, N. McKay (Captain), J. Cruz, G. Palmer, S. Woodcock, A. Injaio. Subs: (All used) A. Jarrett, D. Smith, D. Cooke


League, Sat. 8th Nov.

The Reserves' inconsistent season continued as they suffered a heavy home defeat when they entertained an impressive Watton United. It might have been a different story if the Bloaters had taken their early chances, as they found themselves dominating the opening period.

Twice in the first ten minutes Portuguese striker Amercio Injaio should have scored, but on both occasions he wasted his chances. First he shot wide from close range after finding himself with only visiting keeper John Fox to beat, then he somehow failed to connect with the ball from only five yards out to the disbelief of the home supporters.

Midway through the first half the visitors had a golden opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty kick after Chris Parker was adjudged to have fouled a Watton player in the penalty area, this controversial decision being one of many throughout the 90 minutes. From the penalty spot the ball was blasted against the woodwork and cleared to safety by the Yarmouth defence. Watton took the lead in the 36th minute when the ball was fired into the bottom corner of Nick Banham's net, after the home defence had failed to clear a harmless looking freekick that had been knocked into the penalty area.

In the second half Watton were by far the better team and deservedly increased their lead when the ball was headed home at the far post, giving Banham no chance. Watton keeper Fox denied debutant Mark Marshall with a point blank save before Watton scored their third and final goal in the 75th minute. A quickly taken freekick caught the home defence napping and the ball was cleverly lobbed over a stranded Banham and into an unguarded net.

In the final minute a crude challenge on Lawrence York resulted in a visiting player only being shown a yellow card, then the referee amazingly sent off Yarmouth captain Adam Mason after York had received his lengthy treatment when the Watton linesman claimed the Yarmouth player had made remarks to him. The referee was only standing two yards from Mason at the time and failed to hear any comments and it is disappointing that club officials can get opposition players sent off in this manner. From the resulting freekick Injaio was brought down by the last defender and a penalty kick was awarded, but somehow the defender was not given his marching orders. Unfortunately for the Bloaters Mark Marshall's poorly struck kick was comfortably saved by Fox to deny Yarmouth a consolation goal. [JM]

Team: N. Banham, C. Parker, G. Plamer, R. Smith, W. Lewis, A. Mason, L. York, J. Hardcastle, D. Smith, A. Injaio, M. Marshall. Subs: (Both used) A. Jarrett, S. Mann

League, Sat. 1st Nov.

The Reserves produced a lethargic performance at Anglian Windows last week, but still managed to come away with all three points. In the opening stages the Bloaters looked the better outfit and took the lead with only nine minutes on the clock thanks to an excellent goal from captain Adam Mason. After catching the ball from a corner kick, home goalkeeper Ian Walker mis-kicked his clearance straight to Mason who was standing 40 yards from goal: the midfield player took one touch before superbly chipping the ball over the head of the stranded keeper and into the unguarded net. The remainder of the first half was fairly even as both teams found it difficult on the poor playing surface.

Yarmouth increased their advantage after 55 minutes when youngster Gareth Palmer scored with a powerful header after out-jumping the home defence at a corner kick. At this stage the Bloaters looked comfortable with their two goal advantage, but midway through the half Anglian Windows pulled a goal back, when the ball was fired home at the near post past a static Yarmouth defence. For the first time in the match Yarmouth found themselves under pressure as the home side pushed players forward for an equaliser.

Despite finding themselves under pressure the Reserves always looked dangerous on the break and in the 81st minute they made it 3-1 when Kevin Winkworth bundled the ball home from close range after excellent work from John Hardcastle. In the dying minutes Windows made things interesting when they scored their second goal when Paul Finch was adjudged to have fouled a home forward. From the resulting spot kick Stuart Howard sent Finch the wrong way to set up a tense finish, but the visitors managed to hold out to gain a deserved victory. [JM]

Team: P. Finch, R. Smith, M. George, W. Lewis, C. Parker, A. Mason (Captain), J. Hardcastle, G. Palmer, I. Jarrett, K Winkworth, N McKay. Subs: D Shanks, D Smith (both used)


League, Sat. 25th Oct.

Yarmouth Reserves returned to winning ways on Saturday when they beat fellow Ridgeons league reserve outfit Fakenham at the Wellesley. The Bloaters dominated the match for long periods, but wasted several goal scoring opportunities. The home side should have taken the lead after only 90 seconds but Portuguese striker Americo Injiao somehow shot wide from close range after being set up by Simon Jackson. Midway through the first half the visiting keeper pulled off an excellent save to deny Gareth Palmer his first senior goal after his fine header from an Adam Mason freekick looked destined for the top corner. Yarmouth eventually took the lead in controversial circumstances when an excellent ball from veteran John Hardcastle set up Injiao who toe-poked the ball passed the Fakenham keeper from 12 yards. The goal came in the seventh minute of time added on by the match official at the end of the first half. In the second period the Bloaters continued to dominate proceedings, but continued to frustrate their supporters by failing to increase their advantage by converting the chances they created. Chris Parker, Adam Mason and Injiao all went close to scoring, but in the end the home team had to settle for a narrow victory. [JM]

Team: P Finch, C Parker, J Dawes, W Lewis, M George, J Hardcastle, A Cook, A Mason, G Palmer, S Jackson, A Injiao. Sub (Unused): W Nicholls


League, Sat. 18th Oct.

The Reserves crashed to a heavy home defeat when they entertained the current league leaders Brandon Town. The Bloaters had to field a depleted looking line-up due to several key players being unavailable, but this could not be used an excuse as the home side produced a woeful display. Yarmouth included Portuguese defender Jose Cruz in their starting line-up, but minutes before kick-off he declared himself feeling unwell and could not start the game; therefore the home side had to make a substitution before the game could start. Brandon, who are currently riding on a crest of a wave after beating Ridgeons League outfit Ipswich Wanderers the previous week in the Suffolk Senior Cup, dominated the opening stages and after only 14 minutes found themselves with a three goal lead. The scoreline could have been even worse but for some fine saves from Yarmouth keeper Paul Finch who pulled off some excellent early stops, as Brandon looked set to run riot. Despite going 0-3 down Yarmouth continued to try and play some neat football and for the remainder of the half they matched their opponents.

In the second half the visitors came out with the wind at their backs and found themselves having a lot of possession but the home side kept the scoreline down. Yarmouth defender Simon Jackson was given his marching orders for the second time in three matches after committing a second bookable offence due to an untimely challenge. With the Bloaters down to 10 men Brandon took full advantage to score two more goals and run out comfortable victors, to maintain their 100% record.

Team: P. Finch, J. Cruz, W. Lewis, C. Parker, S. Jackson, J. Dawes, A. Mason (Captain), L. York, A. Injiao, A. Jarrett, K. Winkworth, Subs: (All used) W. Nicholls, G. Palmer, T. Vidigal


Chell Trophy, Tues. 14th Oct.

The Planters goal bore a charmed life as Yarmouth failed to get the ball where it matters - under the bar and between the posts. It was not for want of trying, but a combination of that woodwork and home keeper Stuart Palmer denied Yarmouth victory. Plus, of course, United's goal, scored in the 77th minute by Farin Deebe after a mistake by Bloaters keeper Paul Finch who failed to claim a through ball then watched transfixed as the ball was hit over his head and into the net.

Yarmouth's hardluck story began as early as the 4th minute when United captain Martin Owen cleared Robert George's attempt of his line. However, Yarmouth had a couple of let-offs of their own when a shot from the left touchline came back off Finch's bar, then Neil Crocker hit a shot over that same bar from two yards after Finch had partially saved the first shot. Finch then bravely came to the edge of his area and tackled the ball off a United forward. As the half wore on, Yarmouth indulged in some suicidal defending, heading and passing the ball across their own area but somehow they survived. Then with seconds to half time, Neil Adcock looked to have the goal at his mercy but delayed pulling the trigger and the ball ran harmlessly out of play.

The misses, from both sides, continued after the interval. Jordan Blyth tried a snapshot that was only just over, then Palmer saved at the foot of a post after a Yarmouth corner. Finch then produced a point-blank save and this was followed by several United corners and near-misses. In the 75th minute came perhaps the most amazing incident of the night when an Adcock cross-shot bounced on the goal line, hit the underside of the bar and was finally cleared by a couple of defenders who had almost collided in their own goal as they had raced back.

This was quickly followed by the goal, then another Yarmouth shot that hit a post, and Yarmouth were out of the competition for another year.

Team - Finch, M George, Parker, Lewis, Mason (capt.), Injaio, R George, Jackson, Adcock, Winkworth. Subs: Silva, Dawes, D Smith n/u, York n/u.


League, Sat. 11th Oct.

The Reserves dropped all three points when they suffered a narrow 0-1 defeat at Wymondham. In a frustrating 90 minutes, the young Bloaters created numerous goalscoring opportunities, but poor finishing let them down.

Yarmouth started brightly and looked the better team, but it was the home side who took the lead when in the 9th minute the ball was scrambled over the goalline despite frantic appeals from the Yarmouth players for a foul on goalkeeper Paul Finch. Five minutes later excellent work from Kevin Winkworth set-up Darren Smith, but the young striker disappointingly headed the ball wide from only a yard out. Home goalkeeper Lee Brown denied Amercio Injaio and Smith within quick succession as Yarmouth pushed for an equaliser. On the stroke of half time Jimmy Dawes saw his firm header from Adam Mason's corner scrambled off the line to deny Yarmouth a deserved equaliser.

In the second half Wymondham's John Parry caused the Yarmouth defence several problems with his intelligent running, but at the other end the visitors always looked dangerous on the break. In the closing minutes, as Yarmouth pressed for an equaliser Nathan McKay saw his well struck 25 yard effort go the wrong side of the woodwork with the home goalkeeper well beaten, while Injaio and Will Lewis both went close with headers.

In the end the home side held out to gain a victory to leave the Yarmouth contingent disappointed as they failed to get something out of the game. With several players missing from the Yarmouth line-up due to injuries and first team call-ups, it was good to see Chris Parker make a welcome return to the club for the first time in over a year. Despite not being match fit, the youngster proved what a fine player he is by producing a competent performance in heart of the defence. [JM]

Team: P. Finch, D. Shanks, W. Lewis, J. Dawes, C. Parker, A. Gomes Injaio, A. Mason (Captain), N. McKay, K. Winkworth, S. Jackson, D. Smith, Subs: L. York (Used), D. Barnes (Used), G. Palmer (Unused)


League, Sat. 4th Oct.

The Reserves returned to winning ways last Saturday when they gained a comfortable victory over Sprowston Wanderers. The Bloaters dominated the game for long periods and a goal scored in each half gave them three deserved points.

Yarmouth took the lead midway through the first half when John Hardcastle's superb pass found Simon Jackson in space 25 yards from goal; without a defender in sight Jackson took the ball in his stride before unleashing a shot into the top corner of the net through the hands of the visiting goalkeeper. The Bloaters had chances to increase their lead in the latter stages of the first half, but some wayward shooting and fine goalkeeping denied them on several occasions.

In the second half Sprowston came out fighting and put the Bloaters under some early pressure, but the defence, well marshalled by Jody Harrison, gave little away, and home goalkeeper Paul Finch had an unusually quiet afternoon. Jackson, Hardcastle and youngster Darren Smith all had chances to increase the home side's advantage, but all of the opportunities went begging. In the 71st minute the debut-making Portuguese-born player Americo Gomes Injaio secured victory for Yarmouth when he reacted quickly to fire the ball into the net after the Wanderers' defence had failed to clear an inswinging corner kick from Adam Mason.

This performance by the young Yarmouth side was a much-improved display, with the only disappointment being the needless sending off of Simon Jackson in the second half. [JM]

Team: P Finch, A. Gomes Injaio, W. Lewis, J. Harrison, M. George, J. Hardcastle, M. McKay, S. Hunt, A. Mason (Captain), D. Smith, S. Jackson, Subs (all used): J. Dawes, A. Jarrett, G. Palmer.


League, Sat. 27th Sept.

The Reserves were completely outclassed by Mattishall who were second in the table with an unblemished record.

The Reserves were, however, hampered from as early as the fifth minute when Matt Thurlow went down with a recurrence of a knee injury and had to be stretchered off. Simon Jackson took his place in defence with Gareth Palmer coming on as substitute.

Immediately the game resumed, Mattishall went into the lead through Cole, who made it 2-0 just three minutes later. Yarmouth attempted to reply but shots by McKay and Winkworth did not trouble West in the visitor's goal.

Jackson was cautioned after 33 minutes as Mattishall exerted consistent pressure and a third goal arrived after 38 minutes when Mandell had the easiest of chances for a tap-in.

Adam Mason returned from injury for this match and resumed his captain's role from Michael Tierney who, in any case, has left the Wellesley to join Acle United. Mason tried to prompt his teammates and Palmer did well to earn a corner but the visitors went further ahead after 58 minutes when Sapey found himself in front of goal with only Finch to beat which he did with ease.

Yarmouth were unable to make any impression on a solid defence and Sapey made it a nap hand for Mattishall with a headed goal a few minutes from the end.

Yarmouth - P Finch, Hills, George, Thurlow, Lewis, McKay, Winkworth, Hunt, D Smith, Jackson, Mason. Subs: Dawes, Palmer, S Finch.

League, Sat. 20th Sept.

The Reserves gained a hard-earned point last Saturday when they entertained draw specialists Loddon at the Wellesley. In recent seasons, matches between these two sides have always been close-fought encounters, and last week's match was no exception. The home team took an early lead when Darren Smith fired home from close range after being set up by fellow youth team player Mark George. Although going a goal behind the visitors came back strongly and scored 2 goals in an eight minute spell midway through the half. In the second period of the match both teams found it difficult to create chances with the defences on top. In the dying minutes the Bloaters pushed everyone forward in a bid to gain a deserved equaliser, and in time added on by the match referee, Michael Tierney out jumped the Loddon rearguard to head home an inswinging corner from Jimmy Dawes to the joy of the Yarmouth players and their supporters. [JM]

Team: P. Finch, A. Darby, S. Jackson, M. Thurlow, M. George, K. Winkworth, D. Shanks, S. Hunt, N. McKay, M. Tierney (Captain), D. Smith. Subs (all used): J. Dawes, G. Palmer, W. Lewis

Chell Trophy, Weds. 17th Sept.

The Bloaters progressed into the next round of the Chell Trophy after they produced a competent performance against Kirkley Reserves, who play three divisions lower than Yarmouth in the Anglian Combination. In an evenly contested encounter both teams appeared to cancel each other out for the first 70 minutes of the match. Yarmouth's superior fitness gave them an advantage and they took the lead when Michael Tierney stabbed the ball home from close range, after the visiting defence had failed to clear a freekick. Visiting goalkeeper Garry Houston pulled off a couple of fine saves to deny both Tierney and Mario Davids to keep the visitors in the game. With 12 minutes remaining Kevin Winkworth secured a well-earned victory for Yarmouth when he rolled the ball into an unguarded net after his initial shot had only been blocked by Houston. The only disappointment from an otherwise good night's work by the Bloaters was the serious injury that young winger Robert Southern sustained in second half. After only being on the pitch for 7 minutes Southern suffered a bad injury, when he broke a bone in both his leg and wrist after a mis-timed challenge by a visiting player. [JM]

Team:P. Finch, D. Shanks, S. Jackson, M. Thurlow, M. George, M. Davids, J. Hardcastle, N. McKay, K. Winkworth, M. Tierney (Captain), D. Smith, Subs, G. Palmer (used), L. York (unused), R. Southern (used), B. Crane (used)

League, Sat. 13th Sept.

The Reserves gained their first league victory of the new season with a comfortable 4 - 0 win at Ridgeons League rivals Dereham last Saturday. After last week's defeat against Premier Division side Sprowston Athletic the Bloaters had a much-changed line up this week. The experienced trio of John Hardcastle, Simon Jackson and Danny Shanks all returned after injury while Darren Smith, Robert Southern and Mark George all made their first starts of the season. In goal Paul Finch made his debut replacing an out of form Mike Larkin.

Yarmouth gained the perfect start on a rock hard playing surface when they went two goals up in the first 13 minutes thanks to goals from youngsters George and Smith. The home side gradually began to get their game together and goalkeeper Finch had to be at his best to deny the hosts on a couple of occasions. In the second half Yarmouth increased their advantage when home keeper, Tom Harvey, failed to gather a long range effort from Nathan McKay, and Robert Southern reacted first to stab the ball home from close range. Yarmouth's fourth and final goal came 15 minutes before the final whistle when substitute Gareth Palmer scored his first senior goal capitalising on good work from Michael Tierney and Mario Davids. This performance was by far Yarmouth's best display of the season and former first team favourite Davids had a fine game on the left hand side, but man of the match for the Bloaters was Simon Jackson who had an excellent game in an unaccustomed position in the heart of the defence. [JM]


Anglian Combination Senior Knock Out Cup, Sat. 6th Sept.

A young Bloaters team crashed out of the Senior Knock Out Cup despite matching Sprowston Athletic for long periods of the game. Unfortunately for Yarmouth, goalkeeper Mike Larkin had a disappointing match as the Premier Division outfit capitalised on some bad errors to score 4 goals despite the game being an evenly contested encounter.

Sprowston took the lead after 17 minutes when the ball was headed home from close range with Larkin caught in no mans land. Good work from Stuart Hunt and Barry Crane soon set up Michael Tierney who equalised with a crisp shot into the bottom corner of the net. Soon after equalising midfielder Hunt, who was playing his first match for 18 months, should have given Yarmouth the lead but he shot straight at the Sprowston keeper when well placed.

Two quick goals from the visitors just before the interval restored Athletic's lead, then early in the second half a deep cross eluded Larkin and the ball ended up in the back of the net to give the visitors a comfortable 4-1 advantage. Yarmouth continued to play some good football and created chances with Tierney, Winkworth and Davids all going close but in the end the visitors held out to gain entry into the next round of the competition. For Yarmouth Mario Davids and Stuart Hunt made welcome returns to the Club while youngsters, Bobby Hills and Daniel Barnes, produced competent performances on their debuts. [JM]

Team: M Larkin, B Hills, J Dawes, N Mckay, W Lewis, S Hunt, M Davids. L York, B Crane, M Tierney (Capt), K Winkworth. Subs (all used) M Thurlow, D Barnes, W Nicholls


League, Sat. 30th Aug.

After gaining a hard earned point at Stalham in their opening league match of the new season the young Bloaters suffered a heavy defeat when they made the long journey to Brandon last Saturday.

Michael Tierney gave Yarmouth the lead in the fifth minute when he fired the ball into the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area and Yarmouth had several opportunities to increase their advantage as they found themselves on top in the early stages of the match, but they squandered the chances they created. Midway through the first half the Reserves lost the services of their hard-working forward Barry Crane through injury. The long ball tactics of the home side caused problems for the Yarmouth defence and after a misunderstanding between Will Lewis and goalkeeper Mike Larkin the hosts levelled the scores. Two goals in a three-minute spell just before half time gave Brandon a comfortable 1 - 3 lead at the interval.

Yarmouth came out in the second half minus Johnny Hardcastle due to injury and their new look line up found themselves with their backs to the wall as the home side looked to increase their advantage. In the 72nd minute Brandon scored their 4th goal after the Yarmouth defence had failed to clear.

In the dying minutes Yarmouth lost the impressive Kevin Winkworth with an injury but Will Lewis managed to score a consolation goal when he fired the ball home from close range after the home keeper had dropped a long throw from Michael Tierney. [JM]

Team: Larkin, Shanks, Lewis, Hardcastle, Dawes, Jackson, Yorke, Mason (capt.), Winkworth, Tierney, Crane. Subs: Turrell, Nicholls, Palmer


League, Tues. 26th Aug.

In a competitive local derby at Rivers Park the Bloaters gained a hard earned point after coming back from 2 goals down. The home team took an early 12th minute lead when Danny Shanks was adjudged to have committed a foul in the penalty area and from the resulting spot kick Chris Roll made no mistake. 6 minutes later the home team increased their advantage when Jimmy Dawes sliced the ball past his own keeper. Midway through the first half Yarmouth pulled a goal back when Michael Tierney fired the ball home after Thomas Nicholas had failed to gather the ball from a challenge from Will Lewis. In the second half Yarmouth looked the better side and it came as no surprise when they equalised after Kevin Winkworth found the net with a superb left foot volley from the edge of the penalty area. The Bloaters continued to push forward and Nichols had to be at his best to deny Dawes and then Tierney. In the end both teams had to settle for a point from a match that was a credit to local football. [JM]

Team: Larkin, Shanks, Hardcastle, Lewis, Dawes, Jackson, Mason (capt.), McKay, Winkworth, Crane, Tierney. Subs: Smith D, George M, Yorke