Injury time goal gives Thetford a deserved point
By Jackie Skipp
Thetford Town 2 Brantham Athletic 2
Two late goals gave Thetford a point against Brantham Athletic in a dress rehearsal for the Thurlow Nunn League Cup final on May 7th.
It was a well earned result for Town against a team sitting sixth in the table, and further evidence that Thetford can hold their own against teams sitting towards the top of the league.
Thetford manager Danny White spoke of his pride with the scoreline and set his team an ambitious target,
"I was delighted with the lads' character today to comeback. We will go into the final with confidence but they are a good side and that game will take care of itself"
"I'm aiming for a top seven finish. A bit optimistic but if we play like we have in the last four games there is no reason why we can't go on a run".
Brantham took a two goal advantage into the interval at a rain sodden Mundford Road but this was not a fair reflection of the half as Thetford had gone close on numerous occasions.
The visitors went in front following a rare error from Town keeper Will Viner, whose attempted cross pitch pass was intercepted by Brantham winger Ben Newson, who struck a 25 yard half volley past Viner, scampering back into position.
Brantham’s physical threat in attack was causing Town problems and from a flicked on long ball, Newson broke clear on goal. His first effort was excellently saved by Viner’s outstretched leg, but from the rebound Newson struck forcefully into the corner of the net for his second of the afternoon.
Thetford nearly pulled a goal back just before the break. Ben Anderson, Thetford’s most threatening player, of the half cut inside and from the edge of the area struck a left-foot effort against the crossbar.
The second half was at times not a pretty spectacle as the rain continued to fall and the pitch increasing resembled a quagmire.
The game looked as though it may be fizzling out to a defeat for Thetford but substitute Bradley Sandell, changed its course.
In the 85th miniute, the teenager delivered a delightful cross from the right hand side deep into the Brantham area. Robbie Priddle was unmarked and left with a simple headed finish. It roused the crowd and gave Thetford hope of rescuing a point.
Deep in injury time, Priddle managed to poke a weak shot at goal and In the marsh of the six yard box the diving goalkeeper, Callum Robinson could only push the ball away from goal. Sandell showed composure to lay the ball back for Max Melanson to stroke the ball into the net from close range.
The equaliser sent the home fans into rapture and moves The Brecklanders into the top half of the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.