Royals suffer 'disappointing' opening day league defeat

Thurlow Nunn Premier action - Kirkley & Pakefield 0 Thetford Town 1

Thurlow Nunn Premier action - Kirkley & Pakefield 0 Thetford Town 1. - Credit: Bryan Grint

KIRKLEY & PAKEFIELD 0 THETFORD TOWN 1

It was a very disappointing first day of the new 2022/23 football season at Walmer Road in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division last Saturday when Kirkley & Pakefield FC went down to a 1-0 home defeat to Thetford Town.

The ‘Royals’ fielded mainly the same players as last season with the exception of Kyle Haylock who has gone to Lowestoft Town but former youth player Jerrell Barbor - who has returned to the club from Lowestoft - was on the substitutes bench.

Thurlow Nunn Premier action - Kirkley & Pakefield 0 Thetford Town 1

Thurlow Nunn Premier action - Kirkley & Pakefield 0 Thetford Town 1. - Credit: Bryan Grint

The ‘Royals’ started brightly with both Miguel Lopez and Macauley Holt forcing the keeper into early saves.

Alex Blowers was handling well in the home goal but Thetford's Elliot Smith had a glorious chance on 18 minutes but headed over.

At the other end Jack Herbert had a couple of good headers saved then on 41 minutes Thetford’s Jody Lake produced a cracking shot from some 35 yards out that went just over the crossbar.

Herbert headed over again on 59 minutes but on 70 minutes Blowers punched out only for Thetford’s Dan Gilchrist to fire back in for the opening goal.

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This remained the decisive winning goal as Thetford took all three points.

Kirkley & Pakefield: A Blowers, D Munro, A Meeken, B George (J Barbor 70 mins), J Herbert, H Creamer, M Holt, M Lopez, C Swan (D Conroy 65 mins), C Russell (G Barber 65 mins). Unused subs L McComb, K Underdown.

This Saturday sees the return of this season's Emirates FA Cup with Walmer Road staging an Extra Preliminary Round match with Kirkley & Pakefield FC entertaining fellow Thurlow Nunn Premier leaguers Fakenham Town, 3pm kick off.

If the match is a draw at 90 minutes it goes straight to a replay at Fakenham on Tuesday evening.