Godmanchester Rovers 2
Thetford Town 0
THETFORD Town’s title aspirations will go down to their last 90 minutes of the season at Mundford Road tomorrow (3pm).
The Brecklanders go into their clash with Suffolk Senior Cup finalists Long Melford knowing they must better title rivals Godmanchester Rovers’ result at Whitton or – if Goddy win – better their victory margin by four goals.
Mark Scott’s promoted charges could have sewn up the title on Wednesday night in a championship showdown at Rovers, but two goals in the opening eight minutes from the home side means Thetford are now the underdogs in the race for league glory.
Brecklanders boss Scott said: “What’s really disappointing is we knew they had to win the game to stand any chance of going on to win the title, so we knew they would come out of the blocks really quickly.”
In a match played in quite an intimidating and aggressive atmosphere at Bearscroft Lane – with a group of foul-mouthed Godmanchester fans chanting offensively throughout the 90 minutes – Thetford seemed to freeze from the start, conceding two quick goals.
Those strikes – from Joe Furness and James Hall – were netted in almost identical fashion, with Luke Bailey unable to deal with John Turner and his fellow defenders slow to react to the Godmanchester right-winger’s low crosses.
After they got in front, Rovers insisted on spoiling the game – conceding a total of 28 free-kicks throughout the match, twice as many as the Brecklanders – with Town having the better of the chances when a football match did break out.
Matt Howard and Tom Cusack were both denied by home custodian Rob Mackney in the first half, with Bruno Tavares sliding a shot wide and then seeing another effort parried in the best of the visitors’ second-half forays forward.
Yet the scoreline would have been greater had it not been for goalkeeper Ian Fancett brilliantly denying James Hall from the penalty spot in the 64th minute and then keeping out Turner nine minutes later.
The result means Thetford go into tomorrow’s final round of fixtures level on 73 points with Godmanchester, but with a goal difference three worse than their rivals.
Ahead of tomorrow’s fascinating finale to the First Division season, Scott added: “We have got to go for it, but we can’t disrespect Long Melford because they have picked up a few better results of late and could be a real party pooper.
“Even though we’ve been promoted, if we don’t win the league, we will feel like we’ve failed.”
Free Press man of the match: Ian Fancett.
Thetford: Fancett, Morphew, Bailey (Harley 63), Carter, Howard, O’Donnell, Bolton, Cusack, Tavares, Dixon, Joseph (Szyszlyk 54). Unused subs: Rocha, Davies, Richards.
Shots on target 6 4
Shots off target 5 3
Woodwork 0 0
Corners 4 4
Offsides 5 2
FK conceded 28 12
Bookings: Godmanchester: Jo Hall (persistent infringement), C Hyem (foul), N Hurst (unsportsmanlike conduct), Ja Hall (kicking ball away). Thetford: Tavares (foul), Harley (dissent), Dixon (diving).
Red cards: None.