Pedlars put up a spirited fight

The opening Ridgeons Division One game of the season saw a spirited performance from hosts Swaffham despite defeat.The Pedlars welcomed Ipswich Wanderers to Shoemakers Lane.

The opening Ridgeons Division One game of the season saw a spirited performance from hosts Swaffham despite defeat.

The Pedlars welcomed Ipswich Wanderers to Shoemakers Lane. Both sides have seen considerable change over the summer.

Ipswich started strongly, forcing a save from new keeper Dean Mayes in the third minute.

However, two minutes later, still calming nerves, Swaffham's defence was breached, a goalmouth scuffle and failure to clear, the visitors benefiting with an easy knock-in.

A mixture of experience and youth saw the equaliser in the 18th minute. Captain David Spalding put through Joe Jackson, who finished convincingly. It could have been two four minutes later, Jackson combining with Jack Webber who hit just wide.

Wanderers hit their second in the 34th minute, an excellent finish by number 11 Matthew Buckle. Webber had a further attempt in the 39th minute, hitting a powerful strike from an acute angle. The keeper did well, having to punch it clear.

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The visitors made it three five minutes before the break, centre-forward Swann leaving Mayes no chance.

The second half had chances in the 57th and 60th by Richard Cornwall and Craig Burton respectively, the first forcing a corner, the other hit over the bar.

Wanderers put the game to bed in the 66th minute, a long through-ball clinically finished.

A change in the line-up saw 16-year-old Jack Windass making his debut, replacing Will O'Brien with 17 minutes remaining.

The Pedlars continued their spirited battle and never put their heads down. This was repaid when a great over-head kick by Jackson was pushed onto the bar by the keeper but the follow-up header by long-time Swaffham stalwart Scott Voutt saw the second for the Pedlars.

A further substitution in the 81st minute, Jake Platten replacing Jack Webber, another 16-year-old making his debut.

The battle continued with efforts by Jackson and Burton but the damage had already been done. A spirited performance by the home side with much more to offer throughout the season.

The club would like to thank the George Hotel for continuing their support of the football club, by provision of hot food following fixtures.

There are no matches on Saturday at Swaffham FC.

Club secretary Ray Ewart said: 'The club are proud to be hosting the wedding reception of player Daren Hockton and committee member Sharon Anderson, we trust that their day will be special.'

Swaffham host new Ridgeons team Cambridge University Press FC on the following Saturday, ko 3pm.

Meanwhile, Swaffham's local rivals Thetford led the way in Ridgeons Division One on Saturday after a fine 3-0 win at March Town United.

Town will turn their attention this weekend to the FA Cup when they travel to Whitton United, 3pm kick off.

Then on Tuesday, Town entertain Gorleston with a 7.45pm kick-off.

Thetford manager Mark Scott said: 'It's very pleasing just to have the result. Our feet are firmly on the floor - we have had a great start but have got a lot more to do. Our ambition is top six and I think we can achieve that,' he added.