Gorleston moved up to fourth place in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division courtesy of a hard-fought 3-1 win at Ely City.

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The Greens began by kicking into a strong wind and Elliott Pride, playing his 200th game for the club, was forced into a smart double save in the first minute.

Chris Sandford came close to scoring with an effort from range but the deadlock was broken in the 24th minute in fortuitous circumstances.

Quick feet by Christy Finch took him past a defender and he slid Sandford in on the left side of the penalty area. Sandford crossed towards Peter Lambert where a Robins defender tried to hook the ball clear but only succeeded in hitting it against his own player, Jamie Alsop, and the ball ricocheted into the goal.

Zak Clarke headed off his own line to prevent the hosts from equalising and four minutes before the break Gorleston doubled their lead.

A driving run by Lambert from halfway saw him set Finch into the box. Gorleston’s top scorer saw his low shot parried by keeper Lee Pacey but he only pushed the ball into the path of Lambert, who followed up for a simple tap-in.

On the stroke of half-time it was almost three. Some silky skills from Jack Garrod on the right allowed him to set Finch through, who lobbed the onrushing keeper but the ball bounced away off the top of the crossbar.

Ely responded well in the second half and only some stout defending preserved the Greens’ two-goal advantage. However, the home side did get back into the game in the 77th minute as Andrew Claydon finished smartly.

However within three minutes Gorleston restored their two-goal advantage. A long pass forward saw Finch beat the offside trap before getting to the byline and pulling the ball back to Lambert on the edge of the box and he guided the ball into the goal for his second of the match.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Diss Town were well beaten at Brantham as Sam Pledger’s late goal was all the Tangerines had to show for their efforts in a 4-1 defeat.

Norwich United had to settle for 1-1 despite Matt Blake opening the scoring at home to Wivenhoe.

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