Last-gasp penalty save denies Swaffham a point

Jake Platten
Jake Platten

Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division

Swaffham Town 1

Walsham le Willows 2

A last-minute penalty save denied the Pedlars a point on Saturday, writes Harry Cottenden.

Both sides took time to settle, the visitors making the most of the wind advantage, but the Swaffham defence stood strong to deny any threat. With 28 minutes on the clock, Joe Jackson broke the deadlock. He rounded the keeper in great style and fired home the ball from an acute angle with a sublime finish.

Just before the break, Jake Platten replaced Matthew Blackford, the rising hopeful unable to continue. Platten himself was returning following injury, a welcome injection of speed to the left hand side of the field.

Walsham equalised in the 68th minute with a disputed penalty, the kick leaving keeper Dean ‘Rocky’ Mayes no chance. The visitors made it two five minutes later.

Swaffham gave their all for the remainder of the second half but couldn’t find the back of the net, with keeper Mayes putting an appearance in the opposing box for corners. In the 90th minute, a penalty award came for a handball, following a goalline game of pinball. The penalty was saved by man of the match, Willows keeper Liam Bryant, who had denied Swaffham on more than one occasion.

Att: 109.

Next weekend Swaffham travel to title contenders Godmanchester Rovers for the first encounter of a double header meeting.

The Reserves are at home tomorrow to North Walsham, kick off 2.30pm.

Last Sunday the Veterans finished 2015 with a bang, a 4-1 victory at home to Harts, Paul Cockerill scoring and a hat-trick for Tony Chapman.

Thetford Town 5

Fakenham Town 2

The Ghosts lost their basement clash at The Recreation Ground.

The hosts made a bright start playing down the slope and deservedly took the lead in the eighth minute when Shaun Hunsdon produced a delightful finish in the box.

Thetford remained well on top with marauding fullback Sam Bond and Olly Stanley causing Fakenham problems.

Fakenham rarely threatened the home goal, but three minutes before the break they were back on level terms.

The Brecklanders failed to deal with a George Brooks cross and Josh Youngs was allowed a free header in the box.

It was a big blow to the hosts, but they hit back right on the stroke of half-time with an excellent finish from Bond on the edge of the box.

Five minutes after the restart Stanley nodded in at the back stick. Fakenham refused to lie down and midway through the second period Matty Franks drilled home just inside the box to set up a nervous finale.

But any nerves were eased when Hunsdon headed home his second goal of the afternoon to restore Thetford’s two-goal advantage.

Seven minutes from time, Bruno Tavaras converted an Ian Fancett centre from the right.

Att: 110.

Division One

Downham Town 1 Dereham Town 2

Downham lost their bank holiday game by the odd goal in three.

Att: 86.