Promotion boost for Earsham as they get the better of league leaders

Earsham first team captain Tom Ramsay receives the Macron Sporting award for January 2017, presented

Earsham first team captain Tom Ramsay receives the Macron Sporting award for January 2017, presented by Anglian Combination fixture secretary Chris McCullough before Saturday'’s victory Gorleston Reserves. Picture by Peter Goodfellow. - Credit: Archant

Earsham gave their promotion hopes a huge boost with an excellent 3-2 home win over table-topping Gorleston Reserves at the weekend.

The game started with Gorleston dominating possession and moving the ball around quickly with Earsham having to be at their best to remain organised in defence and break on the counter when possible.

It was Earsham who took the lead after 30 minutes when a through ball was chased down by Smith. He got there just before the goalkeeper and after knocking the ball past him, was alert enough to pass for Flint to nod into the empty net from close range.

Gorleston pulled themselves level just before half-time when their winger found space down the left. He pulled the ball back and although Honeywood made a great save on the line, the ball fell to the feet of the striker who couldn’t miss from three yards.

Earsham took the lead for the second time 10 minutes into the second half when Girling’s cross was expertly controlled by Smith. His first touch took the ball away from the defender and he kept his composure expertly to finish into the far corner to score for the fifth consecutive Earsham game.

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Earsham were unlucky not to score again soon after when Flint’s header was met by Ramsay at the back post, but he somehow hit the crossbar from close range.

With 30 minutes remaining, Gorleston’s task was made harder when they were reduced to 10 men. After committing a foul in midfield, their winger was shown a straight red card for showing dissent.

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After that, the game became stretched as Gorleston went in search of an equaliser.

Earsham added to their lead, when, with 20 minutes remaining, Seamon’s flick on put Smith through. He outpaced the defender and finished well from a tight angle for his 38th goal of the season. Gorleston scored in the final minute to make it 3-2.

It was an excellent victory against a Gorleston side not beaten in a league game since their return to the league last season.

The win now leaves Earsham only three points behind them at the top of the table.

This weekend, Earsham travel to play Stalham Reserves in Anglian Combination Division Four, with a 2.30pm kick-off.

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