Cusack at the double as Thetford win on the road
Division One: Thetford Town got their Division One campaign off to the perfect start on Saturday.
Thetford were 3-1 winners at Long Melford, thanks to two goals from Tom Cusack and one from Sean O'Donnnell.
'I couldn't ask for more than for us to go away from home on the first day of the season and win,' said Town manager Mark Scott, whose team start among the most fancied promotion prospects. 'The only thing I wasn't happy about was the goal we gave away, which was very sloppy.'
But it was a dreadful opening day for Downham Town, who were hammered 6-0 at Halstead Town, for whom Reis Farley-Hearn bagged four goals to help the hosts to the biggest scoreline of the day in both of the Ridgeons League division.
Swaffham Town's 1-1 draw at home to Cornard on the opening day of the Ridgeons League season may have raised a few eyebrows, the Pedlars having twice beaten the Essex side 7-0 last season. But behind the scoreline is a massive upturn in fortunes at Cornard, who are in the process of being taken over by new owners, and a crippling list of Swaffham absentees.
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The Pedlars only salvaged a point with an injury goal from Scott Voutt after throwing everything forward – though they still almost managed a winner in the time remaining.
'When we played Cornard at the end of last season they only had 11 players and no subs or manager on the bench,' said Swaffham manager Paul Hunt, whose team face Thetford at Shoemakers Lane tomorrow in an eagerly anticipated derby.
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'This is a totally different set-up and it looks as though they have signed experienced players who have played at a better level. We'll probably only know how good or bad a result it was after four or five weeks when we see how other teams have fared against them.
'I was disappointed in one way because we were very disjointed. But I couldn't fault the effort and with five key players out I was delighted by the way we fought to get something out of it.'
The Pedlars went behind in the 53rd minute, against the run of play. But the point Swaffham deserved came in the 89th minute when a long throw from Matthew Parkinson was sweetly met by the head of Araron Clifford. His effort hit the post, but was knocked in by Voutt.
Fakenham Town got their season off to a winning start, with a single goal victory over Brightlingsea Regent at Clipbush Park.
Manager Wayne Anderson had been busy recruiting during the close season and the new signings and his summer work appears to be paying dividends.
Jake Betts scored the only goal just before the interval after good work by Sam Garner – and the Ghosts held on in second half helped by some good work by keeper Tom Rix.