Thetford 5 Great Yarmouth 2
Bloaters Suffer Heavy Defeat At Thetford
Following the disappointing opening day defeat at Newmarket joint-mangers Sinclair And Mason opted to leave out defenders Ady Ager and Jordan Forbes for this tough midweek fixture at Thetford. Ben Lewis reverted to defence alongside Ray Urry. Aaron Sanders returned to midfield to partner captain Bartram, Eagleton and Davis with Cullumbine and Perfect up front. Lee Roots and Kierron Rose continued at full back. This was a big night for former Thetford goalkeeper KINGSLEY BARNES who would be looking to do particularly well against his former club. A strong looking Bloaters bench of Hagan, Oliver, Ward, Ford, Palmer gave the visitors plenty of optimism before the game.
Both sides would be looking to get their season off the ground after losing their opening games with Thetford losing narrowly to title favourites Stowmarket, and the Bloaters suffering a disappointing defensive performance at Newmarket.
After another sweltering day the visitors were first to show as a good move between Rose and Davis found Perfect through on goal but he was pushed wide and could only find the side netting from a tight angle. The hosts then took a firm grip of the game which saw Bond marauding forward and feeding the impressive Valter Rocha who played a fine ball into Fancett that Roots managed to scramble away for a corner. The home striker has been attracting lots of attention from Kings Lynn and other higher – ranked clubs and was a thorn in the Bloaters side all night. The hosts, with a clear height advantage, looked to capitalise and were unlucky when Bartram cleared a header off the line and then a header from Telmo Rocha narrowly missed the near post. The Bloaters suffered an early blow on eight minutes when speedy striker Cullumbine pulled up with a hamstring injury as he raced through for the visitors. He was instantly replaced by new signing ORREN OLIVER, on for his Bloaters debut.
Thetford got the goal their early play deserved when Lewis was uncharacteristically caught in possession and as Rocha raced through he was brought down by Urry and referee Mark Chalkley awarded a penalty that was duly dispatched by Rocha to give the hosts the lead on twenty minutes. Thetford then dictated most of the play with the visitors struggling to stay in the game and were reduced to playing long hopeful passes that were easily dealt with by the home defence. Barnes was keeping his side in it at times as the hosts threatened to run riot. There was only move of note for the visitors as Davis and Oliver combined to set Perfect free but he was hauled back by the assistant’s flag for offside. A disappointing half for the Bloaters could have been worse as Bailey fired in a dangerous ball across the face of goal and the ball was scrambled away on the stroke of halftime.
HT Thetford Town 1 Great Yarmouth 0
The Bloaters would have hoped for better display in the second half and could have gone level as Viner’s hasty clearance found Davis who slid the ball to Sanders but his shot was straight into the arms of the home ‘keeper. The hosts extended their lead when after another spell of pressure by the home side saw the Bloaters failed to clear and Bailey fired in to double the lead, three minutes into the second half. The home side were again threatening to overwhelm the visitors as they created more opportunities but a combination of wayward finishing and Barnes in the visitor’s goal kept the score down to two. Viner had to be on hand to rush out of his area but his headed clearance found Oliver whose volley narrowly missed the target.
On the hour mark the visitors made a double substitution with Hagan and Ward replacing the over-worked Eagleton and Sanders, in an attempt to get something from the game. However two minutes later an excellent ball by Bailey found Fancett in space on the left and he coolly rounded Barnes to make it three nil to the hosts, as the much needed rain began to fall. Now three down the visitors finally stirred as Ward almost connected with a volley and Perfect was halted as he broke through. A free kick to Yarmouth in midfield was quickly taken and the ball was played out to Rose who hit a speculative shot from twenty five yards that deceived Viner and found its way into the back of the net, to the surprise of everyone in the ground including the home ‘keeper who appeared to shepherd the ball away. With fifteen minutes left the Bloaters finally showed some spirit and the deficit was further reduced when Davis and Perfect combined for a cross that was met by the head of Oliver who scored from close range to make it 3-2, with seven minutes left. With the Bloaters pushing forwards searching for an unlikely equaliser, a deep cross deceived Ward and left Tavares in on goal and he made no mistake to finish well past Barnes, much to the relief of the home faithful. There were chances for both sides towards the end with Oliver and Tavares creating attempts on goal. The final action of the night came from a short corner that was eventually parried away by Barnes but substitute Piggott was on hand to fire in the rebound to make it five for the home side.
A tough night for the Bloaters was summed up by joint-manager Adam Mason “We went with a strong squad to Thetford and have real ambition to do well this season, but in all honesty we were completely dominated for the majority of the game apart from a twenty minute spell when we scored our two goals. Thetford were very strong tonight and we can have no complaints.”
FT Thetford Town 5 Great Yarmouth 2
Bloaters : Barnes ,Roots, Rose, Bartram©, Lewis, Urry, Perfect, Eagleton, Cullumbine, Sanders, Davis Subs : Oliver, Ward, Hagan, Ford, Palmer,