Ridgeons League Division One: Whitton United 3 Thetford Town 0
Thetford Town manager Mark Scott has blasted his team for complacency and lack of character after a second successive Ridgeons League defeat sent them sliding to fourth in the Division One table.
He warned that the team which won their opening 11 games of the season now face a tough challenge to reach their promotion goal – and will need to improve if they are not to become victims of a giant-killing in the Norfolk Senior Cup semi-finals.
Town’s third league defeat of the season came seven days after they lost at home to Godmanchester, who took over from March at the top of the table after a 7-1 thrashing of Swaffham on Saturday.
Whitton are second after avenging last month’s 2-0 defeat to Thetford at Mundford Road.
“It was a tough game made tougher by our own inadequacies,” said Scott. “There was no tempo, no desire and we were lacking in all areas.
“Dare I say it, but I believe it was partly complacency. We’d already beaten them at home, they had a weaker side out than when they came to us while our starting XI was stronger than before and I think we just thought it was a given. And we paid the price, because we simply weren’t at the races. We needed a positive reaction to the defeat against Godmanchester and we didn’t get it.”
He added: “We’ve now got to have a reality check. We’ve had two defeats on the bounce and the three teams above us in the table have all beaten us, which doesn’t bode well.
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“There’s still a long way to go and if you’d told me at the start of the season that we’d reach this stage having lost only three games I would have been more than happy.
“Gorleston had five or six defeats last season and still won the league, so it’s not impossible for us. But we’ve now got to go and win at Godmanchester and beat March here to make it happen.”
Victories over leading Premier League sides Dereham and Wroxham in the FA Vase and Norfolk Senior respectively had helped make Thetford one of the success stories of the season so far.
But Scott, referring to next month’s Norfolk Senior Cup semi-final, insisted: “If we keep playing as we have in the last couple of weeks then Norwich St Johns will provide the next big upset.”
New signing from Diss, Steve Harley, made his debut up front but was unable to make an impact.
On Saturday Thetford are away to lowly Team Bury and Scott says: “I’m sure everyone will be saying that on paper it should be a certain three points. But we’re going to have to be a whole lot better than we were on Saturday.”