Five-star finale will hand Brecklanders coveted title

GOAL POACHER: Matt Dixon's 29th league goal of the season ensured Thetford Town remained top of the Ridgeons League First Division
GOAL POACHER: Matt Dixon's 29th league goal of the season ensured Thetford Town remained top of the Ridgeons League First Division
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RIDGEONS LEAGUE

FIRST DIVISION

Thetford Town 1

Swaffham Town 0

THETFORD Town manager Mark Scott has targeted five wins from their remaining five games to clinch the Ridgeons League First Dvision title.

Saturday’s 1-0 win over Swaffham Town, courtesy of Matt Dixon’s 29th league goal of the campaign, kept the Brecklanders top of the league on goal difference over Godmanchester Rovers.

Promotion could be sealed over the Easter weekend when they travel to Brightlingsea Regent tomorrow (3pm) and host Team Bury on Monday (3pm), with just six points required from the season’s final five fixtures.

Thetford face Godmanchester away in the penultimate game of the season on April 18 (7.45pm), which could potentially decide the fate of the league championship.

Manager Scott said: “If we want to be champions, we neeed to win every game. Win every game and it doesn’t matter what anybody else does.

“If we win our games it doesn’t matter how many they score or how many we score, so that’s what it’s about.”

Dixon’s tap-in just after half-time was enough to give Thetford, who had midfielder Steven Harley sent off in the first half, their eighth straight league win.

Swaffham were close to taking the lead after just four minutes when Will O’Brien’s corner was met at the near post by Jack Redhead, but his effort was blocked in the six-yard box.

However, it was Thetford who had the better of the play in a scrappy opening period.

Swaffham goalkeeper Dean Mayes was forced to make the first save of the match, parrying Harley’s well-struck free-kick.

The home side could have taken the lead when Valta Rocha headed across goal, but good defending from centre-half Richard Cornwall kept the game goalless, while Joe Jackson failed to test Ian Fancett from distance at the other end.

Despite Thetford being the better side, Swaffham were looking dangerous on the break. Good link-up play between Jackson and Rob Howling saw the former strike tamely into Fancett’s hands from the edge of the box.

Thetford were reduced to 10 men just before the break when Harley, already on a booking, received his second yellow for an off the ball incident.

The visitors should have taken the lead three minutes ater the restart when Swaffham’s top goalscorer was found in space in the box by O’Brien, but his sidefooted effort failed to test Ian Fancett.

But just two minutes later they were punished when Swaffham failed to deal with Arron Joseph’s inswinging free-kick from the left, the ball falling to top scorer Dixon who tapped home from two yards out.

It was the striker’s 44th goal in all competitions this season, the frontman having now scored 16 goals in his last eight league games.

Thetford were much improved after the break despite being a man down, and could have further increased their lead had Rocha’s effort from range not been smartly saved by Mayes.

Lively winger Bruno Tavares tested Mayes with a free-kick, and almost clinched the home side’s second goal in injury time when he latched on to substitute Simon Mann’s flick-on in the box, but Mayes was once again on hand to thwart Thetford.

Free Press man of the match: Bruno Tavares.

Thetford: Fancett, Joseph (Davies 85), Bailey, Richards, Howard, Harley, Bolton, Cusack (Mann 85), Tavares, Dixon, Rocha (Carter 75).