THETFORD Town manager Mark Scott has admitted the Ridgeons League First Division title is now his side’s to lose after defeating second-placed Whitton United on Saturday.
The table-toppers now have a break from action until January 2, 2012, but know there is nothing that can stop them remaining at the summit until then.
A Matt Dixon penalty broke the deadlock in a tight game before substitute Stephen Davies rounded off victory late on, much to the delight of Scott.
The Brecklanders’ boss — whose side suffered their first league defeat of the season seven days earlier — said: “That just demonstrates the characters I have within my squad — there is a real sense of belief and everyone is hungry for success.
“The club is going in the right direction — the players are determined to put Thetford Town back on the map.”
Ian Fancett made two fine saves in the first half, while Arron Joseph and Matt Blake shot just wide, before Sean O’Donnell forced visiting goalkeeper Darren Moyes into a good stop.
Whitton applied pressure at the start of the second period, but Thetford held firm defensively and a good run by right-back Dan Morphew resulted in him being brought down illegally, allowing Matt Dixon to convert the resultant penalty.
Fancett kept the scores level with another good block, but the home team wrapped up the points when Davies intercepted a weak kick from Moyes and ran through to squeeze the ball under the advancing custodian.
“We’ve put the title in our hands now,” added Scott. “I set a target of us being in the top three or four come Christmas and not to be too far adrift, but we have surpassed that by being four points clear at the top with two games in hand.
“For us to throw it away in our position would be disappointing, but we have to be careful because we still have to play Godmanchester twice, host March and travel to Whitton, who will be out for revenge. They are games we could trip up in, but I believe in my squad and trust them.”
Scott also praised the defensive attributes of his team — including goalkeeper Ian Fancett, who has played part of the season in midfield — and acknowledged everyone must be on their game when they return to action in the New Year against in-form Debenham LC on January 2 (3pm).
Thetford: Fancett, Morphew, Howard, Richards, Carter, Joseph (Croome), Bolton, Cusack, O’Donnell, Blake (Davies), Dixon.