MALDON and Tiptree failed to make up ground on their Pitching In Isthmian League division north play-off chasing rivals after losing 4-2 at Gorleston on the Norfolk coast, writes LEE WITNEY.

Jammers boss Liam Bailey opted to shuffle the pack from the side that secured an Essex County Cup semi-final berth in midweek and there was also a place on the bench for new signing Jeffrey Cobblah, who has arrived from Witham Town.

The first chance fell to George Smith who latched onto Alfie Mason's through ball and was through on goal but his effort was straight at goalkeeper Jake Jessup.

That was as good as things got for either side until Gorleston took a 26th-minute lead when Ismael Fatadjo poked the ball home after an almighty goalmouth scramble.

And Gorleston doubled their lead just three minutes later when a long ball forward found Jacek Zielonka whose netted, despite the best efforts of Luca Collins’ outstretched boot.

Maldon needed to get a foothold in the game and nearly got one ten minutes before the break as Smith was put through on goal but was denied by the assistant’s offside flag.

The second half began with the Jammers needing to turn the game around but those plans turned to dust as Gorleston added a third, ten minutes after the interval.

The referee waved play on despite what appeared to be multiple fouls on Harry Phillips as he had the ball and Ryan Curtis slammed home.

With 62 minutes gone, a goalscoring frenzy broke out, as Maldon made it 3-1 thanks to Jayden Randell’s powerful header home from a corner.

Two minutes later, Smith reduced the arrears to a single goal as Milton Oni’s header made its way through to him via Phillips, with Smith slamming home from close range.

Maldon had all the momentum and the most stunning of comebacks looked to be on.

But those hopes were dashed when Curtis intercepted Oni’s backpass to Collins to slot home, in the 69th minute.

The visitors looked to go again and just seconds after the restart, Smith headed an inviting cross from Matt Yates just over and the Jammers went forward looking to set up a grandstand finish.

Gorleston were reduced to ten men in the 84th minute as George Keys was given a straight red card.

An indirect free-kick for Maldon in the dying embers of the game was easily dealt with by the hosts, who saw the game out to claim victory.