Town beat the freeze

Thetford Town 1, Hempnall 0

Thetford Town were one of the few clubs to beat the freeze, reaching the quarter-finals of the Norfolk Senior Cup with a 1-0 home win over Hempnall.

Most of the area’s teams were left wondering if the weather would relent for action to resume, long-term forecasts suggesting that conditons could persist for up to two more weeks, stoking early concerns about fixture backlogs.

But Ridgeons First Division Thetford’s manager Mark Scott was this week feeling the warmth of victory over gallant cup opponents from the Anglian Combination’s Premier Division.

The varied weather pattern left Thetford’s ground with a light covering of snow, said Scott.

“Early in the morning the goalmouths were a little solid, but you could get a key into the ground quite easily.

“The only worry was where the stand sheltered the pitch, but by the time it came to kick-off it was good.

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“There were patches, but nothing anyone would describe as dangerous.”

He described the cup tie as very tight.

“Full credit to Hempnall, they came with a game plan. They were a very direct side, which is what we expected. It was a game of patience.”

Scott said he was confident Thetford’s quality would eventually tell.

The only goal of the tie came when Ryan Haynes cut in from the left and delivered a superb cross with his right foot to the far post where Bruno Tavares converted a downward header just inside an upright.

Thetford created more chances, but helped by fine performances from central defenders Dave Richards and Ashley Thompson, they made sure of going into the next round.

This Saturday, weather permitting Thetford are set to resume their Division One league campaign when they entertain lowly Team Bury – but there will no doubt be strong interest in the outcome of the Norfolk Senior Cup ties between Norwich St Johns and Diss Town, Gorleston v Dereham, and North Walsham v Norwich Utd.