‘Nice to be back’ - Bloaters welcome crowd for new season’s first home game
PUBLISHED: 15:48 14 September 2020 | UPDATED: 15:48 14 September 2020
Steve Wood Photography
A socially-distanced crowd of 150 people watched as a historic seaside football club hosted its first home game of the season.
And local fans left the ground happy after Great Yarmouth Town FC beat their opponents, AFC Sudbury Reserves, by two goals to nil.
Jack Jay, the club’s chairman, said: “It’s just nice to be back, it’s been very uncertain about whether we would or wouldn’t be able to.”
He said the team was pleased with the crowd which turned out on Saturday (September 12) at the Wellesley Recreation Ground, which under current guidelines can operate at 15pc capacity, while the bar and clubhouse remain closed.
Mr Jay said: “It was nice to have a decent crowd there. I think it’s a great opportunity for people missing the chance to see Norwich City, or if they want to experience some football close up.”
The ground boasts what is thought to be the country’s earliest surviving football grandstand, which is still not open.
“We’re working hard to try get the Wellesey open soon,” Mr Jay said.
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Reports from the match on Saturday say the pitch was looking the best it has for years, providing a lush green surface to play football on, a far cry from the hard and uneven surface the home team had become used to.
The addition of the fine sunshine and a decent attendance only added to the spectacle.
Both of the Bloaters’ goals were scored in the first half by Jamie Smith, his first giving them an early lead in the eleventh minute and his second before half time when the big striker raced past his defender and struck with a good finish.
The win provided the Bloaters with their first points this season, where they play in the First Division North of the Eastern Counties League.
Manager Rob McCombe said: “There was a lot of positives today, with players returning and new lads bedding in well.
“We were not really out of second gear but looked comfortable, especially in the first half.
“We dropped off in the second half though and last season I think we draw that game, but the lads’ resilience, togetherness and belief is much stronger this year.”
The club’s next home game is this Saturday (September 19), with a 3pm kickoff, versus Needham Market Reserves.
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