Greens battle back to win Chell Trophy for Jimmy
Gorleston Reserves produced a fitting tribute to former club president Jimmy Jones by adding the coveted Chell Trophy to the Emerald Park silverware collection.
The Ridgeons Reserves League KO Cup was the prize for the battling Greens who sported black armbands and shirts emblazoned with RIP Jimmy Jones before kick-off. Despite being outplayed in the first half by Sudbury Reserves, the Greens bounced back to win 2-1, with former Gorleston chairman Kevin Antcliffe presenting the trophy to winning captain Elliott Hannant on behalf of the league on Tuesday at Diss.
Kevin Webb, who manages the team with Kevin Gook, said: 'It was an emotional night. It's the first trophy I have won as a manager and I am really chuffed. I am pleased we were able to do it for the club and for Jimmy. '
Webb is a Greens fan who was invited to serve on the committee by Mr Jones and has since stepped up to run the club's second string, who are top of the reserve section and hoping to clinch a poignant double. 'Jimmy got me involved in the club to be honest. Had things been different I am sure he would have been there to support us,' said Webb. After the cancelling of last weekend's games following Mr Jones' death, aged 73, the Greens return to action tomorrow with a trip to relegated Newmarket Town, who have lost their last 11 games and were beaten 3-1 by the Greens earlier this season, when Christy Finch hit a hat-trick. On Easter Monday Gorleston face relegated archrivals Great Yarmouth Town at Emerald Park (3). The sides drew 2-2 in the Boxing Day derby and met in the Norfolk Senior Cup with Gorleston winning 4-2 (aet).
Gorleston have expressed thanks for the messages of condolences for Jimmy Jones. 'It will be very comforting for his family to know how well thought of he was, not just by us but by so many others,' said a club statement. A board on the club forum has been opened for anybody who would still like to leave a message. www.gorlestonfc.proboards.com
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Gorleston Res host Woodbridge Res tomorrow needing a win to stay top after Leiston and Needham Market closed the gap. On Sunday the club's U16 side won their League Cup, to add to the U12 League Cup final victory.
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An emotional start to the Chell Trophy final saw the Gorleston players enter the pitch wearing green T-shirts which said RIP Jimmy Jones and black armbands with the President's initials on them. There was also a minute's silence before the kick-off.
In the persistent rain Gorleston struggled to get a foothold in a first half where the only wonder was how Sudbury were not in front, writes DAVID HARDY.
Featuring three first team regulars, Sudbury started with pace and put the Greens under pressure from the off.
Jack Whatmough had to tip a Ryan Kent shot round the post after 64 seconds and Whatmough again saved well to keep out Jacob Brown after six minutes.
Danny Emmanuel looked the danger man for Sudbury, and he caused problems every time he got on the ball, whilst Gorleston were not able to get on the ball at all and, when they did, sloppy passing gave it away.
Midway through the half a Sudbury header from a corner looked to have found the net but a defender managed to get back to head clear.
As the half ended Gorleston could only get better but you wondered if Sudbury had already peaked in the game.
However, two minutes into the second half Sudbury took the lead.
Harley Peek was left in a heap midway inside the Sudbury half after receiving an elbow in the throat. The game went on with a long ball deceiving Whatmough outside his box before defenders got themselves mixed up and allowed Emmanuel to poke the ball into the net.
The game was delayed for almost five minutes whilst Peek received treatment from Mick Wright but the injury eventually led to his substitution.
Strangely, the Sudbury goal seemed to settle Gorleston down as they then came into the game and began passing the ball well, with Jack Garrod becoming the danger on the left.
Peter Oldham forced Sudbury keeper Fred Howe into his first save of note after 70 minutes and four minutes later he saved again when Keegan Middleton raced on to a flick but shot too early.
An ambitious overhead kick by Kent threatened to extend Sudbury's lead but after 81 minutes the Greens were thrown a lifeline.
Garrod burst into the penalty area near the byline and was brought down, the referee seeming to take an age to make the decision.
Matty Anderson stepped up to comfortably convert the penalty to equalise.
Two minutes later a great turn by Middleton on the left edge of the box gave him the space to cross on to Anderson's head. His header beat the keeper, struck the post and rebounded back to the keeper who, in trying to punch it away only succeeded in diverting the ball into the net.
Anderson then picked up a foot injury and was little more than a passenger for the rest of the game as Sudbury pressed for an equaliser.
Steve Adams wasted a glorious chance two minutes into injury time, putting a free header wide of Whatmough's goal and then, at the other end, Garrod saw his shot strike the post, Oldham putting his follow up well wide of the gaping goal.
Quite where the ref found almost 14 minutes of injury time was a mystery but eventually he blew the final whistle to leave the Greens celebrating.
Gorleston: Jack Whatmough, Tom Daniels, Harley Peek (Nathan Welton 57), Kyle Howell, Elliott Hannant, Jack Hart (Dale Smith 75), Jack Garrod, Peter Oldham, Matty Anderson, Keegan Middleton, Dane Whitely (Damon Wise 82)