Pedlars’ boss pleased with progress

Swaffham Town beat derby visitors Fakenham 4-1 on Saturday, with Pedlars’ manager Paul Hunt pleased with the way his team is making progress.

“When I came to the club there were only three first teamers left from the season before,” he said. “It has been a bit of a slog getting a squad together and get them working together each week.”

Goals from Dave Spalding, Craig Burton, Joe Jackson (penalty) and an own goal gave Saturday’s win in a bottom-six encounter.

“We have a great bunch here now, we work hard, and that is now coming into play,” said Hunt.

He was short of five regular players. “For me it was very pleasing seeing the lads coming in from the reserves, taking it on and getting straight into it.

“The reserves and A teams won and met back at the clubhouse where there was a tremendous atmosphere.

“There are a lot of young players coming through. We have an under-18 team which helps bridge the gap to senior football.

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“There are so many good people who are really club-orientated. We have a lot of people making sure behind the scenes that everything is going as it should be,” he stressed.

A 4-0 win for the reserves away at Anglian Windows and a 5-2 victory at Cranworth for the A team completed a very satisfactory weekend at the club.

Next Saturday the first team travel to Halstead Town (3pm kick-off) the reserves and A team are both at home to Martham and Gressenhall respectively, both kick-off at 2pm.

Swaffham Town 4, Fakenham Town 1

SWAFFHAM deservedly took all three points in this return derby. Early pressure in the opening minutes saw Craig Burton test the keeper and then provide a cross met by Richard Cornwall’s head but only into the keeper’s arms. A free kick in the 13th minute was defended by the Ghosts and cleared for a corner, taken by Jack Redhead and knocked into the net by a Fakenham defender. It was not all one way, good defending by captain David Spalding and Ben Durrant was required to keep the advantage, keeper Dean Mayes was also required to make his presence known, pushing a Fakenham shot wide in the 26th minute. Craig Burton and Joe Jackson combining a well timed tackle blocking Jackson’s attempt. Redhead’s precision free kick providing an opportunity for Spalding, but the attempt went straight into the keeper’s arms. The Pedlars’ second came in the 41st minute, a corner whipped across goal, headed back by Burton, Spalding to head home for his first of the season.

Fakenham got one back in the first minute of the second half, catching Swaffham napping but the gap was put back to two when Jackson converted a penalty, Matthew Parkinson brought down in the box following a superb solo effort forward. Further chances fell to Will O’Brien and Craig Burton, but shots were wide of the target, one past the post, the other over the bar. The final goal came in the 78th minute, great football between O’Brien, Jackson and Burton to see Burton released to score a well taken shot. Jackson was unlucky not to claim a second in the last minute, his shot clipping the post to go wide.

Thetford Town 2, Swaffham Town 1

An enjoyable first league derby this season encounter saw Thetford take the spoils last Tuesday night.

Swaffham without leading goal scorer Joe Jackson, Mehdi Mehrpour, Will O’Brien and Nathan Cross through injury and losing Daren Hockton in the pre-match warm-up, had all to play for, without even kicking a ball.

Thetford started strongly but the Pedlars settled and played the more attractive football in the first half. Neither keeper being particularly tested.

The game turned early in the second half, beating the offside trap, the effort hitting the post leaving a tap-in for the follow up.

Swaffham rallied and upped their game applying pressure to the Thetford defence.

The equaliser coming in the 68th minute, a great run by Jake Platten, laying off to Matthew Parkinson to provide service to Richard Cornwall, who vollied in.

Thetford responded, getting the winner in the 74th minute. The final quarter of an hour, the Pedlars threw all they had at Thetford’s keeper Dean Mayes making the journey to his opposing box for free kicks on two occasions but the deserved equaliser was not to be found.

Swaffham will look for revenge and balance the books on the last proposed day of the season when Thetford visit Shoemakers Lane, Easter Monday.