THE next three games could shape Thetford Town’s season, according to manager Mark Scott.
The Brecklanders are currently second in the Ridgeons League First Division with 10 wins from 10 matches, but go into a trio of tough matches against their promotion rivals.
They start at home to fourth-placed Brightlingsea Regent tomorrow (3pm) before visiting third-placed March Town United on December 10 and welcoming leaders Whitton United to Mundford Road on December 17.
“We have to stand up and be counted,” said Scott. “We’ve had some great results to date, but we’ve only faced one of the top eight in the league.
“The next three games can go a long way to determining what we will achieve this season — if we win those three games, everybody will be chasing us.”
Central defender Martin Carter is unavailable for tomorrow’s trip to Essex side Brightlingsea, but Dave Richards — back at the Brecklanders after departing in the summer — is expected to slot straight in.
Thetford go into the game two points behind leaders Whitton United, but with four games in hand, after Regent drew 3-3 at the leaders on Saturday.
“Brightlingsea are a little bit inconsistent and a bit of an unknown to us,” said Scott. “They took two points off Whitton at the weekend and scored three goals against them so they are going to be a dangerous side.
“However, we could really set ourselves up — a victory against Brightlingsea would send out a message to Whitton and the rest of the league.”
Taking a break from league action again, Thetford advanced to the quarter-finals of the Norfolk Senior Cup with a 3-2 success over Holt United.
After observing a minute’s silence for Richard Croome, who was tragically killed during the week, Town twice took the lead through Matt Blake and Matt Dixon, only for Holt to level on each occasion.
With extra-time looming, a dramatic last-minute winner from Valta Rocha saw town through to the last eight.
Scott said: “Holt turned up with the right attitude and played better than I expected them to — we just weren’t at the races and never really got going.
“It was disappointing from our point of view, but take nothing away from Holt, they did a job on us and were unlucky not to go through.”
Thetford: Fancett, Joseph, Morphew, Carter, Bailey, Bolton, O’ Donnell, Cusack, Tavares, Blake, Dixon. Substitutes: Mann, Rocha, Clayton.
n Thetford Town Reserves won 4-1 at Ipswich Wanderers Reserves with goals from Priddle (two), Bowers and Piggott.
They travel to Stowmarket Town Reserves tomorrow (3pm), while the Brecklanders’ under-18s entertain their Framlingham Town counterparts on Monday (7.45pm).