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Thurlow Nunn League: New leaders Norwich United look to extend their lead

Ross King is congratulated by his team mates having just scored the equaliser for Kirkley & Pakefield in a 3-3 draw at Hadleight United. Picture: Steve Wood

Ross King is congratulated by his team mates having just scored the equaliser for Kirkley & Pakefield in a 3-3 draw at Hadleight United. Picture: Steve Wood

Steve Wood Photography

League leaders Norwich United will look to start strengthening their position at the top of the Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties Premier Division table this afternoon.

The Planters reached the summit on Tuesday night after winning their fifth successive league match, beating Thetford Town 4-0 at Plantation Park.

Two goals from Matt Blake – against his former club – and one apiece from Andy Eastaugh and Andrew Cussack sealed the win to push Damian Hilton’s side to the top of the table.

Blake now has 13 goals in 15 games this season and will be on the hunt for more away at ninth-placed Mildenhall Town today.

Thetford meanwhile will look to get back on track away at Kirkley & Pakefield.

Jamie Godbold’s side lost 6-2 at home against AFC Sudbury in midweek and need to stabilise, after an initially strong start to the campaign.

The Royals saw a run of seven wins in eight games in all competitions ended with a 3-1 home loss to high-flying Felixstowe & Walton United but had steadied the ship with a 3-3 draw at reigning champions Hadleigh last weekend.

Thetford are also in need of a stabilising win, having won just one of their previous six league games.

Diss Town earned their first win of the season last Saturday, Matt Dixon scoring twice in a 2-1 win at Ely City.

Manager Mike Derbyshire now has a good chance to see if his side have truly turned the corner when Ipswich Wanderers come to Brewers Green Lane – they lost to 4-0 to the Suffolk side on the opening day of the season.

“I have made clear to everyone that this result will mean little or nothing if we are unable to build on it,” Derbyshire said, writing in his blog on the Tangerines’ website.

“We must carry any momentum we have established into this coming Saturday’s home game with Ipswich Wanderers, which won’t be easy.

“Wanderers made the best start to the season of all the promoted sides, which began with a comfortable 4-0 home win over us on the opening day. So as well as wanting to build on last week’s three points, we have a heavy defeat to avenge too.”

Elsewhere in the division, Fakenham Town face a tough trip to second-placed Godmanchester Rovers, while Gorleston host another top-half side in the shape of Stanway Rovers.

In the First Division, Dereham Town Reserves go in search of their third win of the season at Halstead Town and King’s Lynn Town Reserves travel to fourth-placed Saffron Walden Town.

League leaders Swaffham are in Norfolk Senior Cup action, hosting Hempnall, as are Downham Town, who host Holt United.

The pick of the third-round ties is likely to be at Acle United though, where the reigning Anglian Combination Premier Division champions host local rivals Great Yarmouth Town, managed by former Acle striker Ricci Butler.

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