Thurlow Nunn League preview: Thetford Town aim to move out of Premier Division bottom three

Gorleston, green, and Kirkley, blue, are back in action today. Picture: DAVID HARDY

Gorleston, green, and Kirkley, blue, are back in action today. Picture: DAVID HARDY - Credit: Archant

Thetford Town can suck their fiercest rivals into the Premier Division relegation zone with a victory in Suffolk.

There may be just 16 miles as the crow flies between Thetford and Swaffham but the distance between the two clubs in the Eastern Counties League's top-flight is even smaller. Only one point and place separates the struggling duo.

With out-of-sorts Swaffham without a game this afternoon, the third-from-bottom Brecklanders know a win at Ipswich Wanderers this afternoon will haul them out of the drop zone with just, in their case at least, five matches to play.

Wanderers are only five points better off than their visitors but have played three matches less. Yet they will be keen to ensure the pressure on them does not start to increase if they find themselves pulled even closer to trouble by losing.

Thetford endured a frustrating Easter Monday when their crunch clash at Fakenham Town fell foul of the weather. Danny White had been looking for his side to arrest a run of two defeats in a row which stalled their progress following a fine win at Gorleston.

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While three points would be hugely beneficial for Thetford, they look an absolute must for the side directly them in the table – Fakenham.

The Ghosts are six points adrift of safety, five behind White's troops, and with time running out probably didn't need their latest match to be at sixth-placed Kirkley & Pakefield, who have won their last six top-flight matches.

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Elsewhere Gorleston – who have given themselves some breathing room in the lower reaches of the table with two wins in three matches – visit Long Melford while Norwich United can take another step towards their seemingly inevitable successful title defence by seeing off Brantham Athletic at Plantation Park.

In the First Division, promotion-chasing Great Yarmouth Town's 10-match unbeaten run will be tested to the limit at King's Lynn Town Reserves. The hosts sit fifth while their visitors are second.

Dereham Town Reserves welcome Cornard United, Downham Town host Needham Market Reserves, Leiston's second-string entertain Diss Town and March Town United host Team Bury.

In the United Counties League Premier Division, Wisbech Town begin life without Brett Whaley at home to Harborough Town.

Whaley quit as manager earlier this week after less than a year in charge with the inconsistent, especially at home, Fenmen sitting 10th in the table.

Dick Creasey has taken over and is looking for a winning start to his fourth stint in the reds' hot seat as preparations for a Cambs Invitation Cup final on May 9 against Cambridge City begin to gather pace.

He said: 'We've got the cup final coming up, but that's going to be put on the back-burner for now. We've got a few games before it, and getting points in the league is more important.

'We've got seven league games left, and 21 points is the aim for me. All my thoughts are about today. We're coming up against a Harborough side that's on a five-game unbeaten run, but it's a game that we want to be winning.

'Let's all get down to the ground, cheer the lads on and hopefully enjoy a good game of football.'

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