Smith gives Thetford valuable home win
- Credit: Archant
Thetford Town 1 Gorleston 0
An Elliot Smith goal and an inspired goalkeeping performance from Jamie Humphrey, brought to an end a run of five successive home league defeats for Thetford as they moved above opponents Gorleston, at the foot of the Thurlow Nunn Premier League table.
In a season of few positives so far for Thetford, the emergence of teenager Humphrey, a product of the Town's junior teams, to claim the goalkeeping jersey has been a real tonic.
Eight minutes in, he produced a save of the highest order. The ball dropped to Cantwell on the edge of the penalty area - his cleanly-struck half volley looked goal-bound until Humphrey leaped high to his left to turn the effort around the post.
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From then on Thetford had the better of the half, but lacked a cutting edge in the final third. Andrew Cusack was marauding forward from left back with regularity. He fired wide having been released by a perfect Luke Bailey pass which sliced open the visitors' defence, before blazing over from close range on his weaker right foot.
In symmetry with the first half, Humphrey made a top class save soon after the restart. Ingram looked destined to score, unmarked 10 yards out, but the 'keeper reacted sharply to block the effort low to his left.
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Both sides traded chances, with Thetford substitute Tanner Call firing too close to visiting 'keeper Milligan after a neat link-up between Ross Bailey and Michael Campbell, before Town went in front in the 74th minute.
Johnny Conroy had been on the pitch for only a few minutes when he turned inside his marker on the right hand side of the penalty area. His low pass picked out Smith 12 yards out, who having mishit his first attempt, rifled his second into the bottom left-hand corner.
There were nervy moments for Town, as the game approached its conclusion. Hedge's effort was deflected just over the bar and a rare error from Humphrey, a poor clearance, gave Gorleston a golden opportunity to equalise. Two quick passes presented Short with a clear shot at goal 10 yards out but Sam Bond made a vital interception, as Town held on for a precious three points.
Thetford: Humphrey, Bond, Morton, L.Bailey, Cusack, Smith (C), R.Bailey (Clarke), Melanson, Sandell (Conroy), Campbell, Priddle (Call)