Thetford Town 2 Brantham Athletic 4: Trophy wait goes on for Brecklanders
PUBLISHED: 19:02 07 May 2018 | UPDATED: 22:05 07 May 2018
Thetford Town’s bid to win their first trophy in 27 years ended in disappointment as Brantham Athletic ran out 4-2 winners in the Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup final.
A breathless first half saw Thetford concede early, take the lead, before two more Brantham goals sent Town into the interval behind.
It was the worst possible start for Town, falling a goal behind within the first two minutes. A corner delivered to the far post was headed back into the six yard box by Jack Sibbons leaving a simple finish for an unmarked Craig Hughes.
Thetford started to move the ball with purpose on a delightful surface at Diss Town’s Brewers Green Lane and drew level when Valter Rocha’s inch perfect cross picked out Elliot Smith to head past Callum Robinson from close range.
To the delight of a large fan following down the A1066, Max Melanson put Thetford in front as he produced an expert free kick from 25 yards out, curling over the wall into the corner of the net.
Brantham’s physical presence in attack was causing Thetford problems. Michael Brothers was proving a particular nuisance and his firmly struck 20 yard drive beat Will Viner in Thetford’s goal at his near post.
Just before the interval Brantham retook the lead, Bartlett, given too much time and space stroking the ball home from 10 yards out from Brothers’ pass.
The second half was energy sapping for the players as play moved from end to end in temperatures hitting 30 degrees celcius. In the 62nd minute, Brothers struck his second, another firmly struck shot from the edge of the area to give Brantham a two-goal cushion.
Soon after Thetford created the best chance they had to get back into the game as Andrew Wood failed to connect cleanly with a cross from Rocha and his close range header sailed wide.
From that point on, Thetford continued to press forward but were unable to find enough fluidity to their attacking play to carve out clear cut opportunities that would have given them hope of a comeback.
The wait for silverware to add to the Mundford Road trophy cabinet continues but a solid mid table finish and a cup final appearance will give the club plenty to be positive about going into the summer break.
Thetford: Viner, Bond, Sanders (Steed), Morton, Coomber-Willis, Bailey (Tavares), Smith, Castro (Sandell), Melanson, Rocha, Wood
Brantham Athletic: Robinson, De’ath (Cole), Nobbs, Hughes, Sibbons, Murray, B.Newson, S.Smith, Brothers, Barlett, S.Newson (Johnson)
Referee: Abi Marriott