Team more focused than ever as league position piles on pressure
THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Haverhill Borough 3
Thetford Town 2
Manager Anthony Choat is feeling pretty positive about his side’s survival hopes, after beating ‘a really good’ Thetford Town at the weekend.
The team, he said, are ‘really focused’ as the reality of their league position has sunk in — they narrowly occupy the last safe spot in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division — and the 3-2 victory was a crucial three points in this battle.
They now lie three points clear of Hadleigh United, who they are locked in an increasingly fierce relegation fight with as clubs enter the business end of the season.
The side went into the game having lost the reverse fixture 2-1 less than a month ago but the arrival of proven shot-stopper Niall Conroy helped tip the balance of the game in their favour, according to the manager.
He said: “It was a well deserved win, we were the better side and had even more opportunities than the scoreline shows. We watched them demolish Rovers and we knew it was going to be tough.
“But we showed we can play a team who are really good and we were fully prepared.
“We are really focused at the minute, our position in the league has given us something big to rally behind.
“Hopefully the win can be a catalyst to kick on and finish our season on a real positive.”
Thetford started well and Andrew Wood worried debutant ‘keeper Conroy with a shot that went just wide after nine minutes.
Casey Phillips wasted a good opportunity for the hosts in reply, heading wide from a Rory Bone free-kick on the quarter hour mark, before striker Charlie Homes spurned two golden opportunities in five minutes.
Thetford’s Valter Rocha had their best chance of the half, bursting into the penalty area before Conroy tipped his shot onto the crossbar.
Borough finally opened the scoring as the game entered added time, Holmes collecting the ball to score his 10th goal of the season, side-footing the ball into an empty net.
Thetford grabbed an equaliser seconds after the break as Wood evaded the offside trap and fired past Conroy.
The hosts responded quickly, with two goals in three minutes.
First Casey Phillips rose highest at the near post to power home Bone’s corner, before Holmes again broke into the penalty area to score, straight from the kick off.
Michael Campbell pulled a very late goal back for Thetford, but it was too little too late, with the hosts running out victors.
Choat said the side are looking forward to Saturday’s home game against Gorleston (3pm).
He said: “We’ve landed a top ‘keeper, which is a massive boost, and we’re a young side learning all the time.
“We lost 4-3 earlier in the season to Gorleston, but the lad who scored all their goals has left, and we’re a much more experienced side now.”