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Monday, July 13, 2009

Gorleston

11-07-2009 Gorleston 0 Ipswich Town Reserves 8 (Friendly)

Gorleston

A mile or so away from Great Yarmouth on the East Anglian coast, Gorleston-on-Sea is historically in the county of Suffolk, although for electoral and administrative convenience it became part of Norfolk in the late 19th century. In Edwardian times it was a major seaside resort, was at one time the centre of the herring fishing industry in the UK, and could boast three railway stations (although the last of these was closed in 1970), which is really quite some boast for a population of well under 6,000.

Gorleston

Hannah Spearritt of S Club 7 was born there, a fact I mention only because her uncle, Eddie Spearritt, played for Ipswich during the 1960’s, and the town’s beach is regularly awarded Blue Flag status for it’s a cleanliness. This I can certainly vouch for, arriving early and enjoying a walk along the beach before heading out to Emerald Park for the match.

Gorleston

Gorleston FC was founded in 1887 and were inaugural members of the Eastern Counties League (currently the Ridgeons League) in 1935. They have been champs on four occasions, most recently in the 1980-81 season, winners of the Norfolk Senior Cup fourteen times, and have reached the first round proper of the FA Cup twice. They were relegated from the Ridgeons Premier in 2005 and have remained in Division One since.

Gorleston

Emerald Park is a couple of miles to the south-west of the town centre and there is not a solitary road sign pointing you in it’s direction (follow signs for the crematorium if heading there youself). Nor is there anything at the entrance to the car park indicating the purpose of the bland looking metal clad structure that is actually the stand behind the eastern goal. Don’t be put off though. A friendly greeting awaits at the single turnstile in the back of this stand and a quite photogenic ground awaits once you’ve passed through it.

Gorleston

The ground has covered seating on three and a bit sides while the fourth side (on the southern touchline) contains a mixed bag of structures that are all very nicely maintain and painted in the clubs colours of green and white. These include the changing rooms, bar, tea bar, toilets and a handsome 10 seater stand with cushioned seating for, I guess, VIP’s and club officials. None of these facilities would have been stretched for today’s game which was attended by just 180 fan’s (including a smattering of Norwich City supporters who turned up, presumably, so that the Town supporters present could poke fun at them following their demotion to the nether regions of the Football League back in May) .

The game was, even more than expected, a hopelessly one sided affair with the visitors threatening to run up a cricket score in the first half hour. Six ahead at the break they could easily have hit double figures but for some wayward finishing in the closing stages of the second period. Not a classic match but as a day out a good one and a nice way to ease into the 2009-10 campaign.

The pictures continue here.

posted by chevblue at 12:45 pm






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