Pedlars put up a fight in derby
Swaffham Town wrapped up their Ridgeons Division One season with a 3-1 derby defeat at the hands of Thetford on Monday afternoon.
But the Pedlars put up a good fight, earning the praise of the opposition.
Swaffham manager Paul Hunt said: 'It's always a good test against Thetford, they are a good side. We have had three tough games against them this season – in the cup and twice in the league.
'It was a hard fight, and we were a bit unlucky. In the second half we played really, really well and so nearly got something from the game. The players put everything into it.'
Opposition manager Mark Scott was full of praise for the Pedlars' performance after the game: 'Swaffham pulled a goal back and gave it a really good go. They made a really good game of it.'
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Swaffham should have come away with at least one point in this penultimate Ridgeons league fixture.
Early pressure by the home side brought Dean Mayes into action in the second minute, his save knocked to safety for a corner.
Quickly taken, the cross was met deep in the box, the connection hit high over the bar.
The Pedlars countered, winning a throw-in taken by Matthew Parkinson, headed on by Richard Cornwall and hooked over the bar by Nathan Cross. Good inter-play between Parkinson and Jack Redhead, setting Joe Jackson to volley over. The favour returned left Redhead an opportunity from 25 yards, brushing the top of the bar.
Close to half-time, Mayes was required to save again, diving low to his near post, pushing the ball for a corner. The corner lofted deep to the back post, Mayes impeded and awarded a free kick.
Swaffham started the second half strongly, Will O'Brien having an early effort pushed wide by the Halstead keeper.
The midfield consisting of Redhead, Cornwall and Scott Voutt worked hard to provide chances for Cross and Jackson with the Halstead keeper doing enough to keep the ball from going in the net.
The damage was done in the 83rd minute and summing up the luck that the Pedlars have had this season.
Mayes gathered in his six-yard box and in an effort to make a quick break, volleyed to clear, the kick striking a Swaffham player on the back, the rebound falling sweetly to the Halstead number four to net.
Swaffham Reserves host North Walsham Reserves on Saturday (ko 2.30pm) while the A team travels to Bridgham (3pm). Swaffham Veterans are at home for their last game of their season on Sunday (2.30pm).
The Hospital Cup competition continues and Thursday evening saw Castle Acre play Great Massingham.
A well-contested match, Massingham taking the lead in the first half and looking by far the stronger side.
Acre rallied at half-time and left it late into the half to equalise, forcing extra-time. Acre finally put the match to bed, scoring their second in extra time.
The next quarter-finals will be played today (Wed) Swaffham A v Marham and tomorrow Narborough v Stoke Ferry.