Thetford Town 3 Norwich Utd 1: Impressive Town make it four wins on the trot
PUBLISHED: 19:50 03 February 2019
What a difference a month makes. In early January Thetford Town sat worryingly close to the relegation zone after six successive defeats.
On Saturday they beat Norwich United to record their fourth successive win as confidence and smiles return to Mundford Road.
Having fallen behind to a Luke Middleton effort Town fought back with a goal from Elliot Gibson and a double from the in-form Robbie Priddle.
The first half served up entertaining fare, with the action swinging from end to end. The visitors came close when Craig Bussens broke in from the right flank unchallenged and shot just wide of the post and Liam Jackson struck the crossbar from eight yards out.
Thetford had their chances as well. Gibson twisted and turned on the edge of the area to create space but his effort sailed just over the left hand post and Priddle had a poked effort from 12 yards out well saved by Luke Pearson.
It was the visitors who broke the deadlock in the 37th minute with a well worked goal. Haydn Davis’ through ball sliced open the Town defence, setting Middleton clear who picked his spot in the bottom left hand corner.
Town’s reply was almost instant. Gibson, a threat for the visitors all afternoon, broke from midfield before laying a pass into the path of Priddle who coolly finished from 12 yards out.
Town were denied the perfect start to the second period as Valter Rocha was twice denied by excellent saves from Pearson.
Norwich continued to pose a threat but Thetford’s defence remained resolute, with centre back Matt Morton the lynchpin.
In the 63rd minute Town went in front. Recent signing Gibson broke from midfield and his left foot effort was well saved, but it fell to Rocha who saw his follow-up strike the post, with Gibson on hand to bundle the ball home. The visitors felt the whole ball hadn’t crossed the line but referee Andrew Hitchcock awarded the goal on his assistant’s advice.
Priddle secured the win in the 77th minute with a powerful back post header, having been picked out by Valter Rocha direct from a corner.
Town’s current good run will be put to the test on Friday evening when travel to leaders Godmanchester Rovers (7.45pm).
Team: Viner, S Bond, Morton, Clarke, L Bailey, Smith, Steed (C Rocha), Sandell (Hutt), Gibson (Coomber-Willis), V Rocha, Priddle.
Town have been paired with Mattishall from the Premier Division of the Anglian Combination in the semi-finals of the Norfolk Senior Cup. The match will take place at the FDC in Bowthoroe on the evening of Tuesday. March 5.
The other semi-final sees Swaffham Town take on cup favourites Dereham Town, also at the FDC, on Wednesday February 27.