Great Yarmouth Town 1 Gorleston 3: Greens claim bragging rights in front of huge crowd
- Credit: Nick Butcher
One of Norfolk's biggest footballing rivalries attracted a stunning Boxing Day crowd of 807 – the biggest at The Wellesley for more than 25 years – but the only figure that mattered to Gorleston boss Ricci Butler was the number of points his team took away.
The former Bloaters boss enjoyed a profitable return to the club he left 18 months ago as the Greens came from a goal down after a poor first-half performance. It means Gorleston will end the year unbeaten in the 2016-17 season and still able to target top spot – although Butler won't countenance conversation about winning titles.
'I have not heard any of my players talk about the title,' he said. 'Not one of them has said, 'you know what, we can win this'. And I won't be talking about it either.
'It really is always about the next game. We didn't talk about this game at Yarmouth until we had finished the previous game. And the talk after winning was all about the game against Felixstowe next week. That is how it has to be. This is what we have done every week so far this season so why would we change it?'
Gorleston moved up to third, with 13 wins and four draws from their 17 games, although Butler was exasperated at half-time yesterday.
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Having seen a goal disallowed, the Greens went behind in the 28th minute when Ady Ager headed home Payton Swatman's free-kick.
It was all square four minutes later when Joel Watts netted from close range – but Butler had 'words' with his players at half-time.
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'First half you would have wanted your money back,' he said. 'Our work rate was abysmal – they were first to the ball, and second and third, they were the better side.
'They wanted it more than us, but second half we were good for the win. We had a chat – it was just another league game and there was nothing more on the game but three points.'
Gorleston went ahead on 73 minutes through Mitch Mackay before having Damon Wise sent off. Yarmouth's Robin Andersen then followed him to the dressing room after conceding a penalty, from which leading scorer Connor Ingram sealed the win.
Yarmouth, promoted at the end of last season, are sixth in the table and while defeat will hurt, the Bloaters should be happy with their current position under joint managers Adam Mason and Martyn Sinclair.
Sinclair said: 'It was a poor game from a spectator point of view but we are delighted with the gate of over 800 and would like to thank everyone that attended. We are disappointed as we got our noses in front and we thought we shaded the first half. Unfortunately, the timing of the first goal did not help us as we felt we could contain them. They have some quality in forward positions and sometimes our decision making was poor. On a big derby we feel we haven't performed at our best even though the conditions were difficult, we feel we could have done better.'
Swaffham went down 2-0 at Walsham-le-Willows, and will go bottom tonight if FC Clacton get anything from the trip to Wivenhoe.