Brown has modest target for leaders

GIBBS DENLEY EAPL: A mid-table finish is the aim for Chris Brown as Horsford look to keep up their promising early season form against Clacton on Sea at Manor Park tomorrow.

A mid-table finish is the aim for Chris Brown as Horsford look to keep up their promising early season form against Clacton on Sea at Manor Park tomorrow.

Horsford have turned around their struggles from last season - where they propped up the Norfolk sextet - to top the fledgling East Anglian Premier League table with two wins from two.

And Norfolk off-spinner Brown believes Horsford can turn their opening results into a season of marked improvement on 2009.

"We've had a fantastic start to the season, we have played some good cricket and we've done extremely well to pick up 52 points out of two games, so I'm delighted with that," said Brown.

"The start we've had is a bit of a turnaround, and it is very early doors. What I will say is the lads have worked quite hard in training sessions, we've looked at different areas and they have stuck to their task.

"The one thing that's been pleasing for me out of the first two games is both times with the bat we've been in trouble - firstly against Bury and more importantly on Saturday at Halstead, where we were 80 for five at one point but still managed to get 230-odd - and we have shown a lot of character.

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"Obviously to then bowl Halstead out for 60-odd was a good effort, so I'm delighted with the start to the year.

"We've got fantastic team spirit as well at the club. Apart from myself, Richard Gilliatt and Matthew Wilkinson, the rest of the lads are really quite young and their main focus is trying to improve their game. Every time when we go to training we look on areas they can try and improve on and we will continue to do that for the rest of the summer.

"So it's just a case of building on the last couple of years. Realistically if we can finish mid-table I'd be absolutely delighted. Obviously we've had a very good start but there are only two games gone. All we can do is, again, do the right things in practice and hopefully some of that will escalate onto the cricket field on Saturdays."

Clacton have been beneficial opponents for Horsford in recent seasons, with two good results last season. However, Brown believes the Essex side have enough quality to cause them problems at Manor Park tomorrow.

"We actually played extremely well against them last year in beating them at their place," said the Horsford captain. "We had the far superior end of the draw at our place, and in previous years we've always done very well against Clacton.

"But they have got Ben France playing for them this year, the Suffolk player, and an overseas South African professional in Tumi Masekela, who's a decent bowler and has got a few wickets this year. Then there is Michael Comber who is on the Essex Academy, who can be a dangerous cricketer.

"So they are going to be a fairly strong outfit I would think. But we are not going to worry too much about that. We're just going to focus on the work we've done so far and try to put our plans into place."

Horsford will be without Ryan Findlay, who turns out for the Northants Academy tomorrow, leaving a space for off-spinner Chris Browne to come in.

Just as promising has been the start from Great Witchingham, who remain upbeat after their winning draw at Norwich last weekend. The batting line-up showed good form with Carl Rogers and captain James Spelman among the runs, and they will hope to keep their potency when they host Saffron Walden.

Defending champions Vauxhall Mallard have seen a mixed start to their campaign and will travel to Ingham facing a Norwich side looking to build on their stubborn resistance against the Witches.

Unbeaten Swardeston travel to Bury St Edmunds, while best of the rest Cambridge Granta host Burwell.

The season seems set to be one of struggle for Fakenham and Halstead, who will be aiming for their first positive results of this year's campaign when they meet at Highfield Lawn.