Thetford target end to 27-year trophy drought
It has been 27 years since Thetford Town football club last enjoyed silverware but that could change this Bank Holiday, writes Simon Staines.
On that occasion, in 1991, they beat St Andrews Football Club 4-3 to lift the Norfolk Senior Cup.
On Bank Holiday Monday, Thetford will aim to end the barren run when they play Brantham Athletic in the Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup final at Diss Town (3pm).
Thetford have faced Brantham, who sit fifth in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, twice this season, drawing at home before a 3-1 defeat away.
But Thetford manager Danny White said he is not reading anything into those results and is urging his players to enjoy the occasion.
“I don’t think the results give them an advantage, even though they may think this,” he said. “We know that we are capable of beating them.
“We all want to win this trophy to cap off the season.
“We have beaten some good sides to get to the final and are now one game away from silverware.
“The lads need to enjoy the occasion and approach it as normal. We need to be at it from the first whistle. Togetherness and desire is the key.”
Thetford have a small, but loyal, band of support and White thinks they can give his team a boost on the big day.
“We are expecting good and passionate support on the day which will be a massive lift to the players,” he said.
“We have a full coach travelling from Thetford and lots of others too. It will make a big difference.”
Thetford will be without three of this season’s key players for the final.
Striker Robbie Priddle, who has 25 goals to his name this season, is away serving in the RAF and talented winger Ben Anderson is suffering with an ongoing leg injury.
The player-manager is also suspended for the final, having been sent off in one of the team’s final league games, but has been permitted to sit in the dugout.
• Meanwhile in the league, Thetford finished their season with back-to-back 1-0 victories to end up in a mid-table 13th place.
On Saturday, they hosted Haverhill Rovers and pulled off an unexpected 1-0 win with a reserve side — with the core of the squad absent for Gym United’s FA Sunday Cup final.
But a goal from Valter Rocha gave the home team the points. And they followed it up with Wednesday’s final game, an away trip to Walsham le Willows. Max Melanson’s 80th-minute goal won it to take them into Monday’s final on the back of two wins.
Walsham, on the other hand, lost their final games with a 6-0 thrashing by Felixstowe & Walton United on Saturday followed by the Thetford defeat.