Gorleston need to arrest slump in form as they target a top-three finish

Joel Watts opened the scoring at Walmer Road last night. Picture: David Hardy

Joel Watts opened the scoring at Walmer Road last night. Picture: David Hardy - Credit: Archant

Gorleston's hopes of a top-three Premier League finish could be over today if they fail to arrest an alarming slump in form.

The Greens' brave chase for the title proved to be a bridge too far, but they are now on a four-match losing run – and if that becomes five then hopes of nicking that third place are virtually nil.

They are six points behind Newmarket with four games remaining – if Newmarket beat Ipswich Wanderers and the Greens lose at Hadleigh United, it's down to goal difference, and as it stands this morning, the Jockeys have a clear 21-goal advantage.

Whilst a good season is in danger of petering out, manager Ricci Butler has worked wonders at Emerald Park during a campaign which has seen a remarkable revival for his former club and the Greens' neighbours, Great Yarmouth Town.

Yarmouth are in their own battle for fifth place, currently occupied by Thetford Town.


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Joint managers Martyn Sinclair and Adam Mason have worked a minor miracle in their first season back in the top flight: they work on a tight budget, but their philosophy of fielding young local talent appears to be working and the future at The Wellesley looks brighter than it has for some time.

Yarmouth entertain Stanway Rovers today – but will be desperate to extend Gorleston's agony when the rivals meet on Monday at Emerald Park.

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Thetford are five points ahead, albeit from two games more, and are another team who have exceeded expectations this season. Manager Danny White has transformed them from relegation candidates to surprise packages – they are at Brantham Athletic.

Kirkley & Pakefield will be relieved to be back on home turf: their away form is dreadful – they have lost eight on the bounce – but today entertain Saffron Walden Town. Fakenham can be forgiven for having one eye on the Norfolk Senior Cup final, but manager Wayne Anderson will be calling for a big effort at home to Long Melford.

Mildenhall can take a major step towards the four points they need to guarantee the title when they entertain second-from-bottom FC Clacton.

In the First Division, Diss Town are at Holland FC looking for a good finish to the season and a possible fourth place.

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