Blake sets sail to hit Thetford hopes

ON THE MOVE: Matt Blake, who has left Thetford Town to join Norfolk rivals Wroxham
ON THE MOVE: Matt Blake, who has left Thetford Town to join Norfolk rivals Wroxham
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THETFORD Town will have to overcome the loss of star striker Matt Blake to keep their promotion bid on track.

Ridgeons League Premier Division leaders Wroxham swooped to snap up Blake, who had formed the most feared strike partnership in the First Division with Thetford top scorer Matt Dixon.

The Brecklanders — whose matches with March Town United and Cambridge Univeristy Press (CUP) were postponed this week — will now be relying heavily on Dixon, new signing Steve Harley and talisman Bruno Tavares, who is still getting back up to speed after a spell out with a torn hamstring.

Speaking about Blake’s move to Trafford Park, Thetford manager Mark Scott said: “He’s not been happy for a while. Things haven’t been going his way and it’s been affecting his performances.

“He’s a great player and I would have liked to have kept him, but if somebody is not happy then it’s time to move on.

“He’s probably got a bit stale and needed a new challenge. This is a huge one for him and it’s up to him to go and prove he can do it.”

Although the enforced break due to the cold snap and snow denied Thetford the chance to get back on track following a run of three matches without victory, it has given Matt Howard, Luke Bailey and Tavares an extra week off as they recover from injury.

However, Dave Richards would now miss the Brecklanders’ Norfolk Senior Cup semi-final with Norwich St Johns on February 18.

Thetford’s cancelled clash with March Town United was one of three First Division Knockout Cup clashes that failed to beat the weather — the others being Team Bury versus CUP and Stowmarket Town against Whitton United.

The matches involving Thetford and Stowmarket are now scheduled for Tuesday (7.45pm), while Team Bury’s fixture is set to take place on Wednesday (7.45pm).

Should games go ahead on Saturday (3pm), Walsham-le-Willows are set to host basement side Great Yarmouth Town in the Ridgeons Premier, while Mildenhall Town welcome Felixstowe and Walton United to Recreation Way.

In the First Division, Thetford go to Brightlingsea Regent, Stowmarket Town visit Long Melford and Team Bury are at March Town United.

Speaking of his side’s postponement, Mildenhall boss Christian Appleford said: “We wanted to carry on our run.

“Sometimes breaks can work for you in getting people back from injury, but we have still got Michael Harvey suspended and Steve Holder now on holiday.

“However, it is no more than a pain to us really.”

n Stow have signed ex-Debenham and Coplestonians player Jamie Curran.