Missed chances cost Thetford Victory
By Jackie Skipp
Thetford Town 1 - 1 Ipswich Wanderers
Thetford will see this as 2 points dropped, rather than the one they gained. A game they dominated but failed to convert numerous clear-cut chances and were ultimately pinned back by Ipswich Wanderers.
Town would have been confident of following up Tuesday night's 5-1 league cup quarter-final win over Godmanchester with 3 points. Ipswich Wanderers have had a difficult season. With 4 teams likely to be relegated from the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division this season, they came into the game 14 points clear of safety.
Thetford suffered an early blow, after just 13 minutes influential midfielder Max Melanson limped off with an injury to his upper leg. Fortunately the home team were able to call on the returning Ross Bailey
as his replacement. The diminutive midfielder was soon able to exert his influence on the game, a fine pass releasing Robbie Priddle
who had his low shot saved by Jack Spurling.
Thetford midfield's 3 dominated. Valter Rocha, Danny White and Bailey were able to control the tempo and carve out chances.
Two more opportunities were spurned by Priddle but with his fine goalscoring record it was only a matter of time before he found the net. In the 31st minutes, Ben Anderson broke down the right, accelerating passed the trailing defender before his pinpoint cross was turned in by Priddle from 8 yards.
The visitors offered little going forward, one effort troubling the corner flag more than the Thetford goal. The first time Town goalkeeper Will Viner
was called into action was first half injury time when Marcus Taylor's powerful low shot along the wet surface needed to be pushed away.
The Brecklanders domination of midfield continued into the second half. The visitors could not handle the pace and trickery of Ben Anderson. In this form he is Thetford's most eye-catching player and it took a fingertip save from Spurling pushing the ball onto the crossbar to deny him.
While Thetford's lead remained at just a solitary goal there was always the danger of a rare Wanderers attack bring parity to the scoreline. And so it proved. In the 71st minute Ashley Rankin found space between 2 Thetford defenders to head home from 6 yards out.
Thetford pushed hard for a winner, but a mixture of poor finishing, solid goalkeeping, and Ipswich's willingness to put bodies on the line prevented them. The best chance fell to Rocha, a sharp turn 8 yards out left him with the goal at his mercy, but the finish didn't match the piece of skill.