Thurlow Nunn League: Great Yarmouth Town staying calm about promotion chances

Great Yarmouth Town joint manager Adam Mason. Picture: Nick Butcher

Great Yarmouth Town joint manager Adam Mason. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Five successive wins have fired hopes of Great Yarmouth Town making a return to the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division – but the Bloaters are trying not to get ahead of themselves.

Yarmouth sit second in the First Division table ahead of today's trip across Norfolk to struggling Downham Town, who have lost nine of their last 10 matches.

Joint managers Adam Mason and Martyn Sinclair have steadied the ship at The Wellesley, following a high turnover of players at the club after Ricci Butler's exit as manager to take over at Gorleston in the summer.

That followed narrowly missing out on promotion and losing in the First Division Knockout Cup final last season but Mason says plenty of rebuilding work was required.

'At the start it certainly wasn't a case of just inheriting the side that Ricci had left behind. We had to rebuild, not only at the start but throughout this season,' said the former midfielder, who played for the Bloaters between 1998 and 2003.

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'Connor Deeks, who could have been classed as our talisman, left a few weeks ago (rejoining Lowestoft) but we've won four in a row since then, so we've adapted well.'

Mason's and Sinclair's team are 13 points adrift of leaders Wivenhoe, with a game in hand, and appreciate they have plenty of hard work ahead of them to secure promotion and end a four-season stay outside the top flight.

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'We're on an excellent run since the Wivenhoe game, when we picked up a point and it was the first time they failed to score in a game this season,' continued Mason, who works as a business delivery manager at the Yarmouth branch of oilfield services firm Petrofac.

'We've had five wins since and the players are together and looking strong and we need to focus on every game. We're certainly not getting ahead of ourselves.'

The Bloaters will look to keep their promotion push on track today at Downham, who sit third from bottom, with Pawel Guziejko having returned as manager at the turn of the year.

'We played Downham in the cup (First Division KO Cup, winning 2-1) and then it went to extra-time and it was a very difficult game,' Mason added.

'They make it hard for you to play and I'm sure under Pav they will be well organised, so we will approach it as we did Ely (winning 1-0). We won't underestimate them.'

Yarmouth's only major concern ahead of the game is the unavailability of striker Lee Roots, who shared last month's player of the month award with midfielder Declan McAvoy.

In the Premier Divison, leaders Norwich United are not in action but there is a big game for lowly Fakenham, who host Ipswich Wanderers, the team currently in the final safety spot, as they look to close a six-point gap.

Thetford host eighth-placed Brantham as they also try to ease their relegation worries by bouncing back from a disappointing 5-2 loss at Walsham le Willows last weekend.

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