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Thurlow Nunn League preview: Swaffham Town hit the front in First Division

07:45 14 March 2015

King's Lynn Town Reserves v Great Yarmouth at The Walks last weekend. Picture: Ian Burt

King's Lynn Town Reserves v Great Yarmouth at The Walks last weekend. Picture: Ian Burt

Swaffham Town kicked off the Thurlow Nunn League’s ‘Groundhopper Weekend’ last night with a 3-1 home derby win against Downham Town.

Alex Vincent’s brace and a goal from Joe Jackson sent Paul Hunt’s Pedlars to the top of the First Division, temporarily, ahead of Long Melford welcoming Leiston Reserves this afternoon.

Thetford Town’s resurgent form will be tested when the Groundhopper initiative continues with Premier Division leaders Norwich United visiting Mundford Road at midday. The Brecklanders have won two and drawn one of their last three matches but face opponents who have not tasted defeat in the league since November.

Damian Hilton’s side have lost just five of their 41 matches in all competitions this season, winning 34, and are 14 points clear at the top with 12 games to play.

The Planters were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Kirkley & Pakefield in midweek but have already beaten Thetford three times this season, 3-0 in FA Cup qualifying, 4-0 in the league and 5-0 in the League Cup.

Kirkley go to 14th-placed Walsham-le-Willows looking to build on that result, although Walsham won 4-1 at Gorleston last week so could be dangerous.

Supporters following the Groundhopper can watch Gorleston at Mildenhall at 3pm and Haverhill at Newmarket at 6pm.

The Greens are level on points with Mildenhall going into the match, in ninth place courtesy of a better goal difference, and ended a run of three matches without a win in midweek with a 2-0 home success against bottom-of-the-table Ely City.

Diss must end a three-game losing streak when they travel to Whitton United if they are to stand any chance of hauling themselves out of relegation trouble.

Fakenham have also slipped to defeat in their last three league matches and host Brantham at Clipbush Park knowing Athletic would leapfrog them in mid-table if that losing run is extended.

In the First Division, Great Yarmouth saw their good form come to an end with a 2-0 loss at March Town United on Tuesday. The Bloaters were unbeaten in their last eight league matches.

But a goal either side of half-time condemned Ricci Butler’s side to their first defeat of the year, dropping them to fifth in the table and eight points behind the third promotion spot.

All of which makes today’s game all the more interesting as third-placed Saffron Walden Town, who lost at home 3-0 to Swaffham on Saturday, visit the Wellesley.

Yarmouth boss Butler said: “This is a big game for us and it is my job to make sure that all our players will have left Tuesday’s disappointment behind them.

“We have just come off of the back of a 10-game unbeaten run in which we have played some fantastic football to win some matches, and have had to dig in and win ugly in others.”

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