Saturday 1st November 2008
BLOATERS 1, FC CLACTON 0
Bloaters – 1 Elliot Pride, 2 Adam Sewell, 3 Ollie Savage, 4 Gareth Palmer, 5
Adrian Ager, 6 Alan Darby, 7 Chris Squire, 8 Adam Sullivan
(c), 9 Stewart Roach, 10 Jake Reed, 11 Scott Woodcock. Subs: 12 Toby Gorbould, 14 Dominic Smith, 15 Liam Bartley, 16 Johnny
Watt, 17 Michael Hilton.
– Jamie Firth, 2 Gareth Gibson, 3 Andrew Taylor, 4 Chris Ribchester, 5 Greg Heighway (c), 6 Danny Smith, 7 Liam Springett,
8 Lee Barrett, 9 Steve Oldhamstead, 10 James Dunkley, 11 David Auger. Subs: 12 Mitchell Springett, 14 David Coyle, 15 John
Referee – Euan Goodman
off on a grey and gloomy afternoon with such a player shortage that they had 44-year old ex-Seasider Mitchell Springett, signed
ten minutes before the 11am deadline, on the bench. Yarmouth
were almost at full strength.
It was the Seasiders who had the first attempt on goal when a Liam Springett free-kick flashed
wide in the third minute. After this Yarmouth, backed by their
vociferous band of young supporters, came into the game and both sides battled hard, as much to cope with the lashing rain
and strong wind, as with each other. On eight minutes, a Sewell long throw into the box was flicked on by Roach but Firth
After eleven minutes, a good run by Reed set up Sullivan who turned on the edge of the area
but saw his shot blocked. A 14th minute clash of heads in the Yarmouth
goal area between Ager and Auger resulted in both trainers being required. Three minutes later, good work by Clacton
created a corner which caused problems before Pride caught it on the goal-line.
A quarter of the way through the game Yarmouth had their first serious attempt on goal
as a drag back and turn by Sullivan lead to a powerful shot which
caused the Clacton 'keeper to tip over the Yarmouth captain’s twenty yard shot.
On thirty minutes came the Bloaters' best chance of the half as Clacton
failed to clear a ball into the box and it fell to Scott Woodcock with a clear sight of goal. However the Bloaters’
winger was unable to find the target, firing just over from 15 yards.
The 39th minute brought the first substitution of the game: this resulted from
the clash of heads earlier and saw Yarmouth’s Ager replaced
by Smith. The fairly uneventful half ended with Roach turning neatly in the box but shooting over.
It was Clacton who started the faster in the second half
and in the 47th minute the visitors missed a glorious chance to take the lead. Some good interplay in the midfield,
allied to a deflection, led to Barrett charging into the Yarmouth
area with just the 'keeper to beat. Fortunately for the Bloaters, Barrett could not find the target, driving his left-footed
A period of nondescript play ensued when the only events of note were three substitutions.
Yarmouth replaced Watt for Sewell after 55 minutes, Clacton brought on Springett for Smith
after 60 minutes, and then Yarmouth made their final change
when Bartley appeared in place of Woodcock in the 62nd minute.
Play then livened up immediately following the substitutions, and a long throw by Roach
caused problems before Clacton skipper, Heighway headed out for a corner after some indecision by the Clacton
'keeper who atoned with a fine save from the resulting corner, which again led to a corner, this being cleared comfortably.
On 66 minutes, Pride was forced into a fine save, pushing over a strong free kick from 30
yards out to the left of his goal. From the resulting corner Clacton forced the ball over the line but three were offside,
due to Yarmouth moving out quickly. On
seventy minutes an ambitious, but dipping, 40-yard Liam Springett free kick was just touched over by Pride in the Yarmouth goal, and two minutes later a 20-yard effort produced
a similar save at the other end from Finch.
With the game entering the last quarter of an hour a James Dunkley free-kick appeared to
strike the bottom of the post with the follow up effort well smothered by Pride. Then Oldhamstead, who had toiled nobly as
a lone striker, had a sight of goal but could only skew his left-foot shot wide.
At this point Clacton’s efforts began to catch up with them as Yarmouth piled the pressure on in search of the winning goal. With five minutes to go it
looked as though they may have missed their best chance to find it as a long Roach free kick into the box travelled all the
way to the far post to an unmarked Reed who could only power his header wide.
However in the 88th
minute, just when it looked like the Seasiders would hang on for their first draw of the campaign, the Bloaters did achieve
their goal. Stand-in Clacton captain Heighway, who until that point had not put a foot wrong, failed to clear with a long
ball forward only managing to loop a header into the air. As it dropped again the Clacton
man could only glance the ball across his own area and into the path of young Jake Reed who gratefully prodded home his first
senior goal from five-yards to send the Bloaters fans into raptures.
Clacton attacked again but apart from one long throw, which caused a bit of panic before
Roach cleared, the Bloaters held on to preserve their 100% league home record and consign Clacton to a miserable journey back to Essex.
Attendance - 70
Joint manager Kevin Cruickshank said: “The
team battled for ninety minutes and Jake took his opportunity well, we are really pleased for him. If Scott had scored from
the one on one in the first half it would have changed the game, but he went for power instead of placing it.
“Most importantly the result gets us back
to winning ways and keeps us up there with the front runners (bit like the Grand National - keep with the lead horses, jump
the big fences and hit the front at the right time). The March result gave everyone a reality check and they all responded
to the task.”