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Thetford Town 1 Felixstowe & Walton United 3

18:54 17 January 2015

Thetford v Felixstowe - Sam Bryant scored for Thetford.  Picture by: Sonya Duncan

Thetford v Felixstowe - Sam Bryant scored for Thetford. Picture by: Sonya Duncan

Thetford Town’s unbeaten league run was brought to an end by Felixstowe & Walton United at Mundford Road this afternoon.

The visitors, managed by Thetford’s former assistant manager Kevin O’Donnell, went into the break with a deserved 2-0 lead after a sluggish start from the hosts.

The Brecklanders improved after the break but a calamitous goal in the 57th minute saw the Seasiders take control. Winger Sam Bryant gave the home support hope in the 66th minute with a well-taken goal, but Town couldn’t find the legs to force a comeback.

The defeat ended a four-match unbeaten run in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division for Thetford and dropped Mark Scott’s side down to 14th in the table, with the visitors jumping into fourth place.

Thetford went closest to taking the lead in the opening stages when Ryan Pearson hit the right-hand upright with a low left-footed shot from the edge of the area in the 12th minute.

Felixstowe moved ahead four minutes later though, after good work from Jamie Cole on the right wing. His cross seemed to miss everyone as it fired through the Thetford penalty area but left-back James Ross was steaming in at the back post to nip in front of an unsuspecting Sam Bond and poke home from close range.

The visitors then sat back and tried to play on the counter-attack, but Thetford could not make the most of having more possession.

They then saw their chances of victory suffer another blow just before the break, after right-back Bond had made a late tackle on Brad Barber on the edge of the penalty area.

Danny Thrower’s cross from the resulting free-kick was headed clear but only as far as Cole, whose shot was deflected by striker Tom Dew into the path of Barber, who fired across Thetford keeper Scott Cruickshank for 2-0.

Striker James Dean was brought on after the break, replacing ineffective right winger Marcus Szysyzik, as Thetford moved from a 4-3-3 formation to a more traditional 4-4-2 shape.

Dean immediately posed a threat and his presence following a cross from the right from Pearson was enough of a distraction for the Felixstowe defence to allow Bruno Tavares the space to shoot, but his low shot went just wide.

However, the hosts shot themselves in the foot in the 57th minute, skipper Ashley Thompson passing back to his goalkeeper and Cruickshank deciding not to take a touch before attempting to kick clear, only to see the ball bobble over his foot on a poor surface and allow Dew to walk the ball into an empty net for 3-0.

The Brecklanders hit back in the 66th minute after a burst forward from midfield from Shane Leech, who picked out left winger Bryant on the edge of the box. The former Diss Town man curled a right-footed shot high over Felixstowe keeper Ryan Bedingfield and into the bottom-right corner.

It looked like the comeback could be on, but Thetford didn’t manage to create any momentum and eventually ran out of steam.

Thetford: Scott Cruickshank; Sam Bond (Arron Joseph, 71), Ashley Thompson (C), Luke Bailey, Alex McIntosh; Elliot Smith; Marcus Szysyzik (Dean, 46), Shane Leech, Ryan Pearson, Sam Bryant; Bruno Tavares (Halen Smith, 71). Unused subs: Ian Fancett, Ryan Skipp.

Felixstowe: Ryan Bedingfield; Lewis Pemberton, Rhys Barber, Dan Davis, James Ross; Jamie Cole (Ryan Clarke, 71), Sheridan Driver, Brad Barber (Stuart Ainsley, 71), Danny Thrower (Ryan Birchfield, 71); Ben Cranfield (C), Tom Dew. Unused sub: Matt West.

Attendance: 70

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