Derby delight could be turning point in Town’s relegation fight

SWAPPING SIDES: Sam Bryant, then of Diss, is pursued by Thetford's Ben Wake, left, last season ' they will both play again tomorrow, but for the opposition (eaps.org.uk)
SWAPPING SIDES: Sam Bryant, then of Diss, is pursued by Thetford's Ben Wake, left, last season ' they will both play again tomorrow, but for the opposition (eaps.org.uk)

ManagerMark Scott has 
targeted tomorrow’s Norfolk derby against bitter rivals Diss Town as the turning point in Thetford Town’s season.

Several players have switched between the two clubs in recent years, causing the matches to be hard fought and, at times, ill-tempered.

With Thetford entrenched in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division relegation zone, Scott is hoping three points will not only get his side moving upwards again, but will drag the likes of Diss back into danger.

“We’ve targeted this as a game to turn our season around,” said Scott, whose third-bottom side are 10 points adrift of Diss with a game in hand ahead of tomorrow’s encounter at Brewers Green Lane (3pm).

“We know what the games are like against Diss and they will be really keen to win this one as well.

“Every game is a big game when we’re in the position we’re in, but a number of players have gone backwards and forwards between the two clubs, so it’s always a bit spicy.”

The links between the two football clubs are much closer than the 15 miles of the A1066 that separate the towns.

Matt Dixon, Bruno Tavares and Sam Bryant are all back at Mundford Road having initially swapped Thetford for Diss in recent seasons — just three of many players who will take on their former club tomorrow.

And Craig Skipp — who scored Thetford’s winner against the Tangerines in the FA Cup in August — is now player-coach at Diss, although suspended for tomorrow’s match.

Scott hopes to welcome back winger Bryant and defender Luke Bailey from injury, but will be without suspended trio Sam Bond, Steve Harley and Luke Catchpole — the latter two missing the chance to feature against their former club.

Tavares, who is being eased back into action after months of injury problems, looks set to start.

Although they have just 10 points to their name and are without a league win since beating Walsham-le-Willows on September 11, battling displays in defeat against the top two sides in the league have given cause for optimism ahead of this weekend’s proverbial six-pointer.

Scott believes his side were unfortunate to lose 1-0 to second-placed Godmanchester Rovers on Saturday after hitting the post twice in the second half and forcing the home goalkeeper into several saves.

Bond and a Godmanchester player were sent off in the final minute.

“We’ve turned a corner in regards to commitment, performances and having that self belief back, but we are just looking for a win — whether that be one from a really good performance or a lucky one,” added former Needham Market Reserves boss Scott.

n Keep up to date with tomorrow’s match online at www.buryfreepress.co.uk/sport/live-sport or by following @BishDerek on Twitter.

n Video reaction will be online on Monday.