Swaffham Town 1 Mildenhall 1 – New-boy Duarte earns Pedlars a point
- Credit: Eddie Deane
Swaffham produced a much-improved performance which went some way to making up for their midweek disappointment against Kirkley & Pakefield.
The Pedlars were beaten 3-0 by the Royals, but bounced back to provide some cheer in the run-up to Christmas.
The wind was something of a spoiler against Mildenhall, but was of no particular advantage to either side – in the opening few minutes it held the ball up more than the players.
Both sides had few opportunities on goal in the first half, which saw Joe Jackson come close when his shot from just inside the penalty area was saved.
But it was Mildenhall who broke the deadlock with 41 minutes played – Dean Mayes made the initial save but Matthew Green knocked in the rebound at his near post.
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The opening minutes of the second half began the same as the first with the wind controlling the ball in the air. Both sides went close, with Mayes called into action to make some terrific saves, including one on the hour mark, low to his right, to deny Mildenhall's centre forward.
Then came the all-important equaliser – Alex Vincent's shot rebounded to the feet of new signing Luis Duarte who opened his account at Shoemakers Lane by despatching his effort high into the roof of the net. With the goal coming after 81 minutes, the momentum was with the Pedlars and they almost took the lead following a corner by Alex Vincent which got tipped away by the keeper.
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Man of the match was Swaffham keeper Dean Mayes.
Duarte was delighted with his goal: 'It felt very good to open my account with the club. I feel as a team we can finish mid-table or just higher in this league this season and I feel I made the move to Swaffham at the right time in my career as I'm getting much more time on the pitch now than before and the standard of football is very similar to what I have played in the past.'
This Saturday the Pedlars have a journey to Felixstowe and Walton – a tough game judging by the home side's recent form.
The Reserves felt the pinch away to Freethorpe, suffering a 5-1 defeat, Alfie Brindle scoring for the Pedlars. This Saturday they entertain Costessey Sports.
The Under-18s had a good win on Thursday, 2-1 at home to Horsford, Ahmed Rhaouti and Matthew Blackford on target for the Pedlars. This Thursday they have a repeat fixture, but away, with the game to be played at Holt. Their final fixture before Christmas is at Fakenham on Monday.
The Veterans game, away against North Walsham Town Old Boys was postponed due to an unfit pitch.