Big date resumes as Great Yarmouth face local rivals Gorleston
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Great Yarmouth Town are well on their way to achieving their points target for the season – and will be hoping for a contribution from their great rivals Gorleston on Boxing Day.
The long-awaited return of the east coast derby comes thanks to Yarmouth's return to the Thurlow Nunn top flight at the end of last season. Hostilities resume at 11am at the Wellesley – a fitting, traditional location for one of East Anglian non-league football's top dates.
Recent history means there is a tasty edge to the game, but a home win would certainly rubber-stamp the work being done by Yarmouth joint managers Adam Mason and Martyn Sinclair, particularly as their opponents have yet to taste defeat in the league this season.
'We had a points target and that was 46 points,' said Mason.
'We are currently on 36 points and that is halfway through the season. We only need 10 more points to get to the target and we would like to think we will make the 46 points. That was based on just going through fixtures and putting points against what we thought we would get at each ground.
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'We picked up points at Newmarket where there was a big zero against that game – that was one of the best wins of the season for us because they were third and could have gone second that day, but, we were fantastic.'
The Bloaters may need a repeat against Ricci Butler's Gorleston – the Greens are fourth, unbeaten in 16 league outings.
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'I think we would be lying if we said we didn't look out for this game,' Mason said. 'As soon as we got promoted the lads were singing about it in the clubhouse that we'd be playing Gorleston next season.
'There are so many of the lads who were former Gorleston players and vice versa. Me and Sinny (Sinclair) have been managers at Gorleston and Ricci was obviously the last manager at Yarmouth before us. There are lots and lots of connections.
'I think there is a bit of needle to the game. I didn't realise until I came to Yarmouth how intense the rivalry was. I think it has been a little bit increased in the last couple of seasons with the personnel who are running both sides and the fact Ricci left Yarmouth and obviously took a few Yarmouth players with him – that didn't go down well. It was hard to swallow, especially for people who were at the club before we arrived,
'As far as me and Sinny are concerned, we run this team with our heads. Although we both played with Yarmouth we haven't got Yarmouth Town in our blood, we are not bang the badge-type people.
'I you let the emotions get passed on to your players we would be doing them a disservice, so we have to set them up as we would any other game.
'We look at our season so far and we haven't taken anyone lightly. We have had an excellent season considering we just got promoted.
'A few home supporters have been getting on our backs a little bit and I would just like some of them to look back 18 months. Yarmouth had just lost the manager to Gorleston, a lot of players left we had a rebuild to do – and in that season we got promoted and we are now sitting in sixth position.'
Elsewhere today, Swaffham Town travel to Walsham le Willows, also 11am kick-off.