Parker injury mars win for Woodbridge
SOCCER: Young striker Andy Coote raised his goal tally to 15 after he struck twice to earn Woodbridge Town all three points in this tragic Jewson League clash at Notcutt's Park.
By Elvin King
YOUNG striker Andy Coote raised his goal tally to 15 after he struck twice to earn Woodbridge Town all three points in this tragic Jewson League clash at Notcutt's Park.
The 20-year-old converted a 12th minute penalty and then struck the winner in the 49th minute after home keeper Dean Garnham had gifted Gorleston a 44th minute equaliser.
The visitors, managed by former Norwich City striker Robert Fleck, played the last 38 minutes with ten men after Darren Cockerill was sent off for a challenge that broke the leg of Robbie Parker.
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There is no doubt the tackle was high and late and a crack could be heard on all parts of the ground as Parker went down.
A free-for-all ensued with all the 21 remaining players involved – with one finding himself on the floor after what looked like a blow from an opponent.
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Cockerill had to go, followed by the unfortunate Parker on a stretcher with a double fracture of the lower leg.
While the paramedics were dealing with Parker in the medical room, there was a further call for their help when Gorleston winger Lee Snowling went down on all fours with what transpired to be an asthma attack.
There was another lengthy delay before Snowling was well enough to be escorted off the pitch and around 12 minutes of stoppage time was played.
It was somewhat nail-biting for the home side as despite their numerical advantage they had been unable to gain full control.
Woodbridge manager Dave Hubbick effectively had his illustrious playing career ended when he was the last Woodbridge player to suffer a broken leg in a first team game.
That was in October 1994. "Robbie received a similar tackle," said Hubbick. "It was late and caught him just below the knee.
"It is always a sickening sight, but at the end of the day these things happen in football. Robbie is a quality player and will be hard to replace.
"Although we had a spare man after that we were unable to use our advantage
effectively. Against ten men it is not always as easy as you would expect."
Woodbridge have been removed from five different cup competitions at the first time of asking this season, which leaves them with the league to concentrate on.
They are comfortably in the top half of the Premier Division table, 27 points behind leaders AFC Sudbury, who are odds-on favourites to take the title.
The rest of the clubs not involved in the relegation stakes are playing for pride, with Hubbick admitting: "AFC Sudbury are a better class than the rest of us."
Coote struck a confident penalty high into the net after Ian Brown had been brought down by Jon White from the number nine's astute through-ball. The move had begun with a telling interception by Jason Drew in his own penalty area.
Garnham failed to gather a run-of-the-mill right-wing cross just before the break, with Steve Bishop netting into the unguarded goal.
Brown, who was an enthusiastic partner to Coote up front, made a strong left wing run that led to Coote scoring the winner off the foot of the post and the legs of the keeper.
The versatile Mark Bailey had an outstanding match as Ian Williams' central defensive partner, with Hubbick saying: "Against a side that will probably finish in the top three or four we did quite well."
Woodbridge had four players booked and Gorleston two.
Woodbridge Town: Garnham, Drew (sub Evans 63 mins), Parker (Carr 58 mins), Williams, Bailey, Gray, Gilbert, Brown, Coote (Oldfield 85), Head, Scales. Sub not used: Thorpe. Starman: Bailey.
Gorleston: Cooper, Brown (Todd 74), M Ingram, Sinclair, White, Saunders, Snowling (Turner 79), Bishop, Wooldridge, Cockerill, Cubitt (Fruin 34).