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Thetford edged out by Magpies in 10-goal thriller

PUBLISHED: 21:28 04 December 2017

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Thetford suffered their third consecutive defeat away to mid-table Harleston Magpies IV, going down 6-4 in an eventful game.

The visitors were missing some key players for the East League Men’s Division Four North-East fixture and went down early after a mistake which gifted possession to the home side’s attack. Shortly afterwards the home side went two up after a short corner was converted. Following this Thetford finally settled and launched some penetrating runs down the left, with Andrew Smith linking well with Reece Laffar and Josh Harpur.

This pressure was finally rewarded when a searching cross to Keith Squires was clattered against the post and jabbed in by Darren Matthews.

A further mistake allowed Harleston to make it 3-1 at half-time.

After the break Thetford attacked with much more confidence and moved some key players forward. The pressure built and the visitors’ efforts were twice rewarded, with a fine strike by Laffar from the top of the D and an expertly taken drag flick goal from a short corner by Squires.

Unfortunately, against the run of play, Harleston managed to counter-attack and score, putting the pressure back on Thetford who after getting it back to 4-4 still believed a victory was possible.

However with 10 minutes to go the Magpies launched an aerial into the D which the umpire allowed and their centre forward scored from an acute angle.

A deflated Thetford struggled to raise their spirits and the match result was assured when a Harleston short corner was converted in the last minute.

Now Thetford, who have won three and lost eight of their matches so far, need a victory at the weekend against fellow strugglers Pelicans III to move out of the relegation zone.

In Division Two of the Empresa Norfolk Women’s League the game between Broadland III and Thetford was conceded by Thetford who could not raise a side.

Rugby Union: Thetford and Swaffham both return to action on Saturday after having a weekend off.

It’s fifth versus second in London Three Eastern Counties as Thetford host high-flying Stowmarket while Swaffham visit fellow strugglers Beccles in Eastern Counties One North.

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