Thurlow Nunn League: Thetford get campaign off to a real flier

PUBLISHED: 11:09 01 August 2016 | UPDATED: 15:11 01 August 2016

Robbie Priddle scored twice for Thetford against Clacton. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Robbie Priddle scored twice for Thetford against Clacton. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2015

Thetford Town raised hopes they won't endure another season of struggle by starting the new Thurlow Nunn League with a bang.

Danny White’s side only maintained their Premier Division status this summer thanks to a relegation reprieve.

And they were quick to capitalise on the feel-good factor by recording a stunning success on the opening day of the 2016/17 term on Saturday.

Facing a tricky trip to FC Clacton – who finished mid-table last season – proved no problem at all for Thetford as they ran out resounding 4-0 winners.

A one-goal half-time advantage, secured courtesy of Robbie Priddle’s early strike, was the least they deserved for their dominance.

Three strikes after the restart ensured it didn’t go to waste as they enjoyed a memorable away day in their first competitive match for almost three months.

Samuel Bond, substitute Ryan Fuller and Priddle struck to compound Clacton’s woes.

Swaffham Town, who were likewise handed a top-flight lifeline despite finishing in the bottom three, also had something to smile about on the road.

They were heading for a narrow defeat at Saffron Walden Town until Jake Platten’s header in the 93rd minute rescued a 1-1 draw.

Positive beginnings continued for another side who spent all of last term scrapping for survival.

Unlike the aforementioned duo, Fakenham Town stayed up of their own accord thanks to a late-season upturn in results.

So it was perhaps no surprise when they beat Hadleigh United 2-0 to give themselves a platform to build from.

Ashley Jarvis struck for the hosts in the first half before Sam Garner’s stunner wrapped up the win for the Ghosts.

The wideman’s finish was described as an early contender for goal of the season.

They were the only three top-flight fixtures on a shorter than usual opening round of fixtures. However, Gorleston did get a first slice of competitive action under their belts by taking on Leiston Reserves in the League Challenge Cup second round.

The Greens progressed courtesy of a 4-0 victory – which was secured thanks to strikes from Keegan Middleton, Joel Watts, Connor Ingram and Kieren Joseph.

There were only two matches in the First Division, one of which was Wisbech St Mary’s first at this level.

The Saints’ maiden taste of life at their highest-ever level didn’t produce the sweetest result however as they were beaten 2-0 at home by AFC Sudbury Reserves.

Elsewhere, Halstead Town ground out a 2-1 home victory against Needham Market’s second-string.

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