Thetford Run Out Winners In Nine Goal Thriller

Above: Thetford Town’s Shannon Richardson and Chloe Webb (maroon shirts) in defensive action at North Walsham on Sunday. Photo: Darrell Allen.

North Walsham Angels 4-5 Thetford Town

By Darrell Allen (1/3/22)

After two weeks without a game, Thetford Town returned to Norfolk Women and Girls League Division One action with a tricky trip to North Walsham Angels who may be bottom of the table but they were certainly up for the fight. 

Thetford came into the game with a squad of 12, with Melissa Boulton the only absentee as Thetford manager David Skipp had a strong team for the challenge ahead. 

It was a proud day for North Walsham Angels with three U16 players making their debuts for the Senior women’s team in the form of Maddy Welton, Amber Roper, and Tanisha Grayling. 

The sunshine was beating down on Greens Road. It was a little windy but a beautiful setting for the afternoon ahead.

Prior to kick-off, both teams stood united in support of Ukraine and respective captains Sophie Hall and Sausha Levy-Twomey held up a Ukraine scarf.

The game began and it was Thetford Town who started brightest. Shannon Richardson darting inside and her cross hit the bar and bounced down but Chelsea Page couldn’t finish. 

Amy Skipp then fired over the bar before Thetford took the lead courtesy of an unfortunate own goal in the seventh minute from an Angels perspective. 

Thetford tried to capitalize on an early lead as Shannon Richardson put in another excellent cross but Becky White was unable to do anything with it.

Becky White then played a wonderful ball over to Shannon Richardson but she couldn’t finish. 

North Walsham had withstood the early pressure and turned the game around with two goals in three minutes, the first from Stella Fletcher Helps and the second from Maddy Welton as their confidence and belief grew.

Thetford Town were quick to reply with a Becky White strike from distance as a remarkable start to the game saw four goals shared in the first 16 minutes. 

Thetford upped the pressure with a series of corners, Dayna Howard fired over, Becky White unable to finish a stunning Shannon Richardson Cross and North Walsham again saw a tough period through with togetherness and team spirit which was at the forefront of everything they did all afternoon. 

Above: Thetford Town captain Sausha Levy-Twomey (with the ball) at North Walsham on Sunday. Photo: Darrell Allen.

North Walsham were in the ascendancy, a good spell of pressure saw them go closest with a free-kick. 

Thetford then had more chances, Becky White and Abbie Corbyn both going close. The latter’s chance went just wide on an afternoon of restricted opportunities for the talented Town winger as North Walsham kept Corbyn very quiet.

Becky White put in an incredible cross but a lacklustre header from Chelsea Page drifted wide.

The half ended with a piece of traditional route one football as the ball was played forward by North Walsham to Keira Brown who rounded Thetford goalkeeper Ellie Prentice and put the ball in to give North Walsham Angels the lead 3-2 at the break.

After the re-start, Becky White pressurized Maddy Welton but the chance was punched away by keeper Nicky Reynolds. 

Amber Roper had a shot but it was scuffed and easily dealt with by Ellie Prentice in the Town goal.

Thetford upped the anti, but were unable to get level, Chelsea Page missing a sitter before Becky White put another golden chance wide.

Half-time Thetford substitute Courtney Musgrove, who came on for Rachel Lynch looked lively and put a cross into the path of goalkeeper Nicky Reynolds who spilled it into the path of Abbie Corbyn who couldn’t reach to get her foot on it.

A Shannon Richardson Cross evaded everyone before Mia Bambury put a great ball through but nobody was on the end of it.

Dayna Howard the star of the show on the afternoon for Thetford ran in behind well but couldn’t finish. 

A further Thetford chance was then spilled by Nicky Reynolds but no one in a Thetford shirt was anywhere to be seen for an easy finish and North Walsham saw the danger away. 

Finally, Thetford were to equalize, Chelsea Page getting her head on a corner to make it 3-3 but collided with the post at the same time and received a badly cut nose for her troubles.

The play was stopped while Page received treatment and credit to North Walsham who allowed Thetford use of some of their own medical facilities.

Above: Thetford Town’s Amy Skipp. Photo: Darrell Allen.

Page had been patched up by manager David Skipp and returned to the pitch shortly before Thetford took the lead with a stunning Shannon Richardson free-kick from around 25 yards out. Thetford had turned the game around and led once again. 

Now it was all about game management, but that went out of the window within minutes as North Walsham went straight up the other end of the pitch and scored a 25-yard stunner themselves as Stella Fletcher-Helps made it a personal brace for the afternoon and levelled the scores at 4-4.

Even periods of play followed with not many clear-cut chances in the final stages. 

Just as it looked like the points were going to be shared, Chelsea Page fired a shot into the goal from distance to win the game in the 96th minute for Thetford Town. 

If ever you needed proof that league tables mean nothing this was it. A truly wonderful game of Norfolk Women and Girls League Division One Football that twisted and turned. The hosts pushed Thetford all the way and can be mighty proud of their efforts.

From Thetford’s perspective to come from a losing position twice to win shows remarkable team spirit and determination. This was demonstrated in abundance from Chelsea Page who scored twice, collided with the post, and left the pitch at full time with blood pouring from her injured nose, to Danya Howard who was here, there, and everywhere. A massive win for Thetford Town but that was very hard work and fair play to Josh Roper and his North Walsham Angels team.

Player of the Match: Dayna Howard (Thetford)

Teams: NORTH WALSHAM ANGELS: Reynolds, East, Hall, Welton, Moore, Roper, Dobbie, Lewis, Carrol, May-Swanson, Fletcher Helps. Subs: Brown, Wittrick Riley, Grayling.

Scorers: Fletcher-Helps (2), Welton, Brown 

THETFORD TOWN: Prentice, Webb, Levy-Twomey, Howard, Lynch, Bambury, Skipp, Richardson, White, Page, Corbyn. Sub: Musgrove 

Scorers: Page (2), White, Richardson, Own Goal 

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