Familiar failings cost Thetford
By Jackie Skipp
An all to familiar story for Thetford this season. A game they dominated, and should have put beyond their opponents only for defensive errors to cost them points.
Histon, were the visitors to a sun bathed Mundford Road. The Cambridgeshire side, sit in the top six, but came into the game in a bad run of form, with four defeats in the last five matches. One of the those defeats was to Thetford just last month, when a Andrew Wood goal gave Town a 1-0 away win.
Thetford have been in poor form themselves, with no wins in the last five games. Manager Danny White made four changes from the team that drew with Fakenham in midweek.
There were few signs of a lack of confidence as Town dominated the first period, scoring twice but missing a host of good opportunities.
Thetford were two goals to the good within twenty minutes. Valter Rocha’s pass into the inside left channel, was seized upon by Andrew Wood. Wood was too quick for the defender and cut back inside, past the Histon goalkeeper, Sam Roach and fired the home side into the lead.
Then, Elliot Smith, completely unmarked, stooped low to head Max Melanson’s cross into the net from six yards for his first goal of the season and to double Town’s advantage.
Thetford were in complete control and creating chances seemingly at will against a ponderous Histon defence. Any pass beyond the visitor's defence was causing panic and Thetford had a number of clear one on one opportunities. The game should have been out of Histon’s reach by the interval but Town were unable to increase their lead.
There was a warning sign for the home side as Histon created their first real opportunity just before the break. Dan Brown, twisted and turned inside the box before unleashing a shot that Will Viner saved with his legs.
Within eight minutes of the restart Histon had drawn themselves level. The referee adjudged that Danny Gould was nudged in the back by Max Morton and pointed to the penalty spot. The Histon players and supporters behind the goal were calling for a red card, before the referee showed yellow, a fair decision as it was unclear whether Gould would have been presented with a clear goalscoring opportunity. Dan Brown shot high into the top left hand corner, beyond Will Viner’s reach.
Brown scored his second of the afternoon, when Town failed to clear a corner, and he skilfully hooked the ball back into the Town net from a tight ankle at the far post.
Despite the disappointment for Thetford of letting a two goal lead slip, it was the home side who continued to create clear cut opportunities but they found Roach in inspired form, making numerous fine saves, including two from Michael Campbell, who impressed with his pace and direct running. Rocha struck the crossbar with a curling effort from the edge of the box and at the death Wood fired well wide when in a good position.
A frustrating afternoon for Town, but the main positive is the amount of opportunities that are being created. It can only be hoped that things click into place at Diss Town's Brewers Green Lane on May 7th.
The point moves Town into the top half after Kirkley and Pakefield were beaten 3-0 by Thetford's League Cup Final opponents Brantham Athletic.