Gorleston denied victory by late goal

Gorleston came within moments of taking over the Premier Division top spot.

The Greens were leading at 10-man Hadleigh United with two minutes of time added on already played – and then conceded an equaliser which left them a point behind leaders Brightlingsea Regent, rather than a point in front.

The Greens were playing with a make-shift defence against a fourth-placed side who have only lost once this season, so it was never going to be an easy game.

After the hosts dominated the opening half an hour and took the lead, Gorleston would no doubt have been grateful of a point at that stage, but by the end, having played against 10 men for over half an hour, they would have been disappointed not to win.

Gorleston made two changes to the side that had beaten Norwich Utd in midweek, with centre-backs Andy Howell and Josh Armes unavailable. Striker Peter Lambert played as a stand-in centre half, with Zak Clarke dropping back alongside him. Keegan Middleton was also given a start.

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Hadleigh went ahead in the 28th minute – the Greens gave the ball away on the halfway line, then Clarke slipped as he went to clear giving Josh Mayhew a clear run through on Elliott Pride's goal, and Hadleigh's top scorer made no mistake.

Three minutes later it was almost two when a free header from Kris Rose only found the side netting.

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Gorleston levelled six minutes into the second half after Reece Hunn slid a pass through to the feet of Christy Finch who turned and hit a low shot into the bottom corner of the goal.

Six minutes later the tide seemed to turn further in the Greens favour when Dwayne Wright lunged in and fouled Chris Sandford, giving the referee no option but to show a second yellow card and send him off.

After 67 minutes Gorleston took the lead – Stone was fouled in the area by Mark Goldfinch and Finch buried his penalty into the bottom corner for his 11th goal in 10 appearances.

But two minutes into stoppage time Hadleigh got the goal their positivity perhaps deserved when a deep cross found James Blades all alone at the back post and, despite not making the best connection, he diverted the ball into the goal.

In the First Division, Downham Town were beaten 4-1 at Haverhill Borough, while Dereham Town Reserves were 2-1 home winners over Needham Market Reserves.

Dereham went in front after 11 minutes after keeper Jamie Bradbrook's poor punch from Stuart Garner's corner from the right fell to Connor Charlesworth who netted from 12 yards. It was all square 10 minutes later, before Ross Gilfedder sealed the win on the hour mark.

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