Gorleston 0 Crane 3
Division 4NE Gorleston 0 Crane 3Crane consolidated their position at the top of the division with a convincing victory over second placed side Gorleston.
Gorleston 0 Crane 3
Crane consolidated their position at the top of the division with a convincing victory over second placed side Gorleston.
This was a true six pointer and it was Gorleston who had the better of the opening stages, attacking with real determination, while in contrast Crane were slow to get going and wasteful in possession.
Despite this pressure, Crane held firm and it was this period of defensive solidarity that ultimately provided the platform for the win. One of Cranes major strengths this season is the ability to pick at the oppositions loose threads until they unravel and Crane began to exert relentless pressure down the left wing through Ali Black and Andy Bristow to take a foothold in the game.
The breakthrough came shortly afterwards as Aiden Bloomfield, responding to his captains pre match request to be more clinical in front of goal, struck a shot that took enough of a deflection to cause the keeper to let in a soft goal.
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Gorleston continued to attack but now Crane were countering and driving at the Gorleston defence at pace who, unable to cope with the speed, started conceding free hits in dangerous positions. There was nothing fortunate about the second goal, a tried and tested set piece - Mark Campbell striking a free hit from the left to Bristow who evaded his marker and deflected the ball between the keeper and the post to make it 2-0 just before half time. Gorleston were visibly deflated.
Gorleston threw everything at Crane to try and get back in the game, but again the Crane defence was excellent, Revan Jones, Andy Hicks and Andy Elden proving tough to breakdown and keeper Dan Murray was in no mood to concede.
Despite the pressure, Gorleston only really looked dangerous at penalty corners, however, the determined running of Andy McManus meant their was no joy for them there either. Crane had answered every question asked of them and Gorleston were running out of ideas, while at the other end, Crane continued to counter attack effectively, Craig Bloomfield going very close before Bristow and Black passed their way through the defence and keeper to give Bristow the simplest of tap-ins and kill off the game.
It was a professional, unspectacular and effective performance from Crane who didn't really get into top gear throughout the match, but it was enough to finish the first half of the season comfortably top of the league.