Thetford/Watton area notes

LAKENHEATH LEOPARDS U12 went into this game last week having already played and beaten Dereham Stripess twice in the cup. The game started evenly, with chances for both sides.

LAKENHEATH LEOPARDS U12 went into this game last week having already played and beaten Dereham Stripess twice in the cup. The game started evenly, with chances for both sides. Shay Thomson made some fine saves. The defence, missing some regular players, held the line strongly. However, five minutes before half-time Dereham gained a corner and were one up. In the second half Lakenheath came out and attacked and were the better side, with fine performances from Piotr Babicz, Sam Buckley and Jamie Allsop keeping them in the game. Despite this, Dereham went two up after an error in defence. Lakenheath were awarded a free-kick just inside the Dereham half, and captain Connor Knight stepped up and scored with a fierce shot, which the keeper could not hold. Lakenheath continued to push, but Dereham continued to play well, scoring two more goals. Three minutes from time Ben Nolan hit a shot from 20 yards which sailed into the net. Final score: Dereham Stripes 4, Lakenheath Leopards U12 2.

BRANDON LASSES U12 started this fixture on top and took an early lead though Amy Skipp forcing a loose ball home. The Lasses were first to the ball and winning the 50-50 challenges with Georgia O'Malley and Chloe Slater really competing well, but the visitors pulled a goal back from the spot after a hand-ball and followed this with two further goals which really knocked the Brandon girls, who had really been playing the better football up to then. Brandon responded well at the start of the second half, taking the game once more to Cornard and when Ellesse Masters scored for 3-2 it then looked like a game the Lasses could have won but credit to the visitors who broke through twice and on the break finished well. A heart-breaking scoreline for the Lasses who played the better football - but goals win matches.

BRANDON LASSES U15 started slowly probably due to the fact they had not played for three weeks, but once they got into their stride there was no stopping them. Goals came at regular intervals.

By half-time the Lasses were 12-0 up. Brandon added six more in the second half to make it 18-0. PoM: Tash Rutter.

Harling Colts U12's fine winning run continued with a 5-2 score at Mattishall after a hard-fought game. Daniel Mobbs' weighted pass set Rorie Knights through for the opener before Isaac Watkinson and MoM Rob Turner combined to set up Rory Olpin for the second. Mattishall fought back to draw level with a goal either side of half-time before Luke Holland completed a second -half hat-trick, scoring from two great crosses from Watkinson and a Turner defence-splitting pass, to seal the win. Dan Canham, Hayden Iles and Jack Rodwell made tremendous defensive tackles to keep Mattishall out.

MUNDFORD U11 entertained a battling Dereham Wanderers but found the home side's play difficult to deal with as Mundford ran the show from the start. There was some good approach play with Joe Zipfell barely wasting a pass all game and the goals flowed at regular intervals. Ryan Harvey led the way with five, strike partner Michael Corbyn grabbed a hat-trick, John Pearce and Jack Pinner got two apiece, whilst Harry Walker, George Hammond and Sam Long also got on the scoresheet. Goalie Ben Wells completed the scoring with his first goal for the club after thumping home a penalty. MoM: Ryan Harvey.

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MUNDFORD U14 played away to Swaffham in the league. The first half was disastrous with Swaffham scoring from a corner within the first two minutes, and grabbing their second goal after a defensive error. Swaffham continued to attack, but Mundford managed to pull one back when Casey Underwood scored from a corner. Mundford continued on the back foot and conceded two more goals, leaving the half-time score 4-1. An inspirational team talk from manager Paul Billmen spurred Mundford into action in the second half. They started on the attack and were rewarded when a free-kick from Mason Thorogood was knocked in by Ryan Billmen for 4-2. With everyone raising their game Sam Bunten picked up a ball from keeper Adam Whybrow and ran through the Swaffham defence to make it 4-3. They continued to hold Swaffham in their own half, and with minutes to go Robbie Smith headed in the equaliser. They continued to press and were unlucky not to score the winning goal. A great clearance from Ben Peacock in the closing minutes of the game ensured a final score of 4-4. A great comeback in the second half from the whole team, great play in midfield from Robbie Smith.

THETFORD TOWN U12 travelled to Morley for their first league game and came out 5-0 victors. Thetford came out a bit slowly and Morley had a run on goal however Spencer's hands got to the ball. This was the wake-up call that Town needed to up their game. Captain Nathan Boulton spurred the lads on and it wasn't long before Daniel broke through and netted the ball. The play seemed to dry up with Morley putting the ball off the pitch, but with a superb throw-in from Andrew saw Tj making a great shot at goal but hitting the bar; fortunately Taylor was there to get the rebound with a fantastic goal. The second half started with Morley trying their hardest to break the solid defence of Luke, Dominik, Andrew and Jordan but with all Morley's players pushing forward it was Charlie who made a fantastic save. Determination from Town saw some excellent passing from Jack and Daniel found the back of the net. Town made some changes, Joe coming on putting more pressure on Morley's defence creating a corner for Dominik to curl past the keeper. Morley were getting more frustrated giving Town a penalty and Spencer made it 5-0. Great team effort. Morley's MoM: Dominik. Thetford's MoM: Andrew.

BULLDOGS U12 visited Dereham Stripes and although Joseph made a great save Dereham scored the rebound for an early goal. But Milo managed to play in Daniel to level up the scores. Bulldogs scored a great second as Joseph found Milo and after touches by George and Archie, Daniel made it 2-1. But Dereham levelled for 2-2. Dereham took the lead converting a corner for 3-2. Dereham made it four and then from a free-kick 5-2 in the second half. Milo was denied afterwards, but Alfie got a double to make it 5-4 and give Bulldogs a chance. Bulldogs couldn't rescue a point and it ended 5-4 to Dereham.

THETFORD INDEPENDENTS U9A hosted Dereham Wanderers Yellow and were very shy in front of goal until Konnor Dixon popped up to make sure a shot fired into the box from Alfie Cooper made its way across the goal line. Indies stepped up the pace in the second quarter and looked more effective around the penalty area. Jordan Bowie found the net with a shot from distance to make the score 2-0 and a superb blast from Cooper rebounded off the bar into the arms of a Dereham defender who conceded a penalty. Cooper tucked the penalty away with ease. Connor Noble extended the lead early in the third quarter followed by Indies' fifth, scored by Kehan Whitby, getting his foot to the ball to guide a long shot from Aiden Try beyond the keeper. Aiden then scored after he completed a long run from the left wing with a thunderous shot which found its way into the bottom right-hand corner of the Dereham goal. Dereham began the final quarter as if they meant business and narrowed the gap after a fine free-kick from a tight angle looped over the Indies' defence and keeper to make the score 6-1. Aiden then restored the six-goal gap after a fine piece of passing football ended with Noble crossing for Try to tuck away his second. Defender, Brandon Dawson became the final Indies outfield player to get his name on the scoresheet when he ended a long run from his defensive position with a superb shot which the keeper got his hands to, but could not prevent Dawson tucking away another goal. It was Dereham who had the final say on the scoreline, however, as they finished off the game with a fine shot for 8-2 to Indies. MoM: Aiden Try.

THETFORD INDEPENDENTS U10 hosted a local derby match against Thetford Bulldogs B in their league fixture. The match started slowly, but Indies soon found their feet going up 1-0 with a deflected shot by Ryan Fox. But the lead was short lived when Bulldogs equalised after a well-worked move. Continued pressure by Indies was rewarded when Bulldogs handled in the area. A decisive and well-struck penalty by Reece Rudd made it 2-1. Not settling on this Indies made it 3-1 with a powerful shot by Ben Daynes but Bulldogs rallied and scored again to make it 3-2.

After the break continued pressure and a well-worked move put Klae Tucker through to slot home 4-2. Reece struck a marvellous shot from outside the area but Bulldogs fought back again making it 5-3. The Indies' defence of Justin Halford and Harrison Lambe held out for the rest of the match but again well-worked moves from Aaron Byford and Ben was enough for Indies to take the points with further goals from Klae and Ben making the final score 7-3. This was a fine team performance.

THETFORD INDEPENDENTS U13 travelled to Hadleigh for a cup game and came away 3-0 winners. Indies started brightly and were soon controlling the game in the middle of the park with Jordan Foster, Ty Whitby and the impressive Tom Mason dominating and it was the latter who scored the opening goal after some sustained pressure from Indies. Shey Spears' goal-bound shot was only parried by the Hadleigh goalkeeper but Tom Mason was hand to help the ball in. It was all Indies in the first half and they doubled their lead when Charlie Read was put through by Ty Whitby and he rounded the keeper to give Indies a two-goal cushion going into the second half. The second half started similar to the first with Indies camped in the Hadleigh half. Dom Barke had a quiet game thanks to his defence of Callum Crabb, Alex Mac, Kieron Fowler, Charlie Hutt and Luke Chapel who dealt with everything thrown at them. Indies completed the scoring when Harry White slipped in Callum Madix who toe-poked the ball past the onrushing Hadleigh keeper. Luke Jones, who was pushing on down the right, was unlucky not to score. In the end a good all-round team display. MoM:: Tom Mason.

WATTON U12 were at home to Jex and piled on the pressure straight from the start. The Jex keeper pulled off two great saves, first from Cammy and next from Matty. Connor was much untroubled although when called upon did not let the team down. James, David, Lewis and Jamie kept the Jex forwards quite. Watton missed a few chances from Cammy's corners. Luke had a few shots and was unlucky. Perry was starting up front for the first time this season with Jimmy. Jack also was unlucky with a few shots. Watton made two subs, Todd came on for his first start in weeks and Callum came on and both players played really well. Watton went 1-0 up with a cross by Todd which was deflected into the Jex net. Watton started the second half flying with a quick break Cammy to Jack and he smashed a shot in the top corner. Watton took their foot off the pedal and let Jex back into the game but good defending from David and Lewis prevented any goals. Callum was having his best game this season and defending well and Todd slipped back into the game as if he had not been away. Cammy was on his top form and with Luke doing what he does best got to grip swith the game again. Jamie came so close with a shot to the top corner and his manager wishes he would do it more often. Watton should have had more goals in this game but did not play as a team in some places. Watton swapped Perry for Matty and James for Jamie and soon took effect with Cammy taking a corner and Perry heading in the top corner. The Jex keeper still had time to pull off two great saves from Cammy, one from Jimmy and one from Callum. Watton deserved the 3-0 win but have got to learn they are a team and need to pass more. MoM: David.

WATTON U15 were away to Norman. With the Watton lads re-adjusting to team changes and with new team captain Nath leading the way, the lads needed time to adjust. But Norman very quickly scored two goals, one from a thunder strike and another from superb movement. By the end of the first half Watton were 3-0 down. In the second half after a re-shuffle the Watton lads competed harder, with Nath and Bruno leading the way in midfield. Fitzy did a good job of mostly containing the superb striker and Lewis was challenging with all his might at the back, saving the Watton lads on many occasions and now supported with sub Austin. Weige was another Watton lad who had a superb game. Injured Joe came back on and offered more bite to the mid-field. Watton's best spell of the game came in the last 20 minutes when Mikey, Nath, Bruno and Coops linked up to threaten Norman. The Watton lads did eventually score when Mikey ran 70 yards with the ball down the left wing and crossed to Coops who tapped in. This has given the Watton lads great motivation for the future. Despite further goals going in, heads didn't drop. Final score Norman 5, Watton 1. MoM: Lewis.

WATTON U10 played host to an unbeaten Wymondham side and strengthened their position at the top of the league with another impressive display. Wymondham actually started the brighter, forcing the excellent Asher Ducan into a couple of smart saves, but as the quarter wore on, Watton started to settle into their stride. Some great team work saw Watton create a couple of chances. The second quarter saw Watton start to control the play much more, and with Liam Owen and Kade Bond again solid at the back, Wymondham never threatened going forward. Just before half-time, the pressure finally told, as James Beaumont nipped in to give Watton a slender half-time lead. The third quarter saw Watton start to play some of their best football of the season, and they were rewarded as Joshua Walker escaped his marker to turn and finish superbly. Ben Walker and Sam Bray then combined to set up Joshua again, and in almost identical fashion, turned and stroked it past the keeper. At this point, Oliver Kerrison re-entered the game, and set up James with a tremendous through ball, which James coolly slotted home. The final quarter saw Cameron Hudson re-introduced, and some surging runs almost broke through the visitors' defence, but it was left to Oliver to wrap up the scoring with two more excellent strikes for 6-0.

WATTON U13 played away at Cringleford. This was the first match in the second league of the U13 so it was a clean sheet and all to play for. When Watton last played Cringleford they won 8-0 but it was not going to be that easy again. Cringleford straight away came at Watton hard, making the midfielders and defenders work for the first time this season. Watton stood firm and started to move the match back in Cringleford's half. Tom Rayner scored the important first goal to remind Cringleford that Watton still meant business. Watton now had Cringleford pinned in their half and Matty Russell took full advantage of this to score another two goals. Cringleford still fought back with all they had and finally after a uncharacteristic mistake by the Watton defence Cringleford put one away in Watton's net, the first time this year. This seemed to spur Watton on to push harder than ever and just

before half-time Tom Rayner made the score 4-1. The second half was dominated by Watton who were relentless, attack after attack and Matty Russell netted another two goals, C J Edge and Ollie Standley one each to make the final score 8-1. MoM: Matty Russell.