by Darrell Allen (17/6/22)
Above: The Thetford Town team promote the Her Game Too initiative. Photo: Thetford Town.
Tier Seven Thetford Town achieved their highest ever finish of fourth place in the Norfolk Women and Girls League Division One in their first-ever season at this level.
Spearheaded by manager David Skipp and assisted by Stuart Terry, with Sausha Levy-Twomey captaining the side, with Darrell Allen and Amber Browne joining at other points in the season, the team embarked on their 20-game league adventure and various cup competitions with enthusiasm. Here we look back at how they achieved fourth in this month-by-month guide.
Thetford Town began their season on the final Sunday in September with a tricky-looking trip to Long Stratton. Thetford came out on top in a physical and tough encounter winning 2-1 thanks to goals from Melissa Boulton and Rebecca White.
Thetford contested three games, beginning with an 11-1 win over North Walsham coming in their first home game of the season. A display of high-quality football saw Rebecca White get four goals, Abbie Corbyn and Shannon Richardson secure a brace each. Rachel Lynch, Dayna Howard, and Melissa Boulton weighed in with the other goals.
The following weekend, Thetford were at home again and completed the double over Long Stratton with a 3-1 win with goals from Rebecca White and a Hannah Rogers brace.
Thetford’s 100% winning start ended the following week when they were held to a 1-1 draw at Sprowston with a Rebecca White goal ensuring the team remained unbeaten.
Thetford made it 13 points from 15 with a convincing 6-1 home win over Stalham thanks to a brace from Shannon Richardson and goals from Rebecca White, Chelsea Page, Dayna Howard, and Rachel Lynch.
The first cup game of the Thetford season followed as local rivals Thetford Bulldogs visited Mundford Road. A convincing 12-0 win thanks to hat tricks from Hannah Rogers, Rebecca White, and Melissa Boulton with Shannon Richardson, Courtney Musgrove and Abbie Corbyn adding a further goal each, saw Thetford Town progress into the next round of the Norfolk Women and Girls League Challenge Cup.
During this month, Thetford Town played two league games, first a 5-1 home win over Thorpe St. Andrew with Shannon Richardson and Melissa Boulton getting braces and Hannah Rogers with the other.
The final game before Christmas saw Thetford win 3-1 at Beccles. Abbie Corbyn, Rebecca White, and Chelsea Page getting the team’s final goals of 2021. This was a win that saw the team head into the Christmas break unbeaten in all competitions.
2022 began with a massive cup tie at Mundford Road as Tier five Wymondham Town visited in the Norfolk Women’s Cup Quarter Final. Despite falling behind early, Chelsea Page levelled for Thetford as the team held their illustrious visitors with a terrific display until the 55th minute when their quality shone through and Wymondham ran out 6-1 winners with a display of clinical finishing.
The following weekend saw Thetford Town travel to Bungay Town in the Norfolk Women and Girls League Cup Quarter Final. Thetford had a squad of 11 but that became 10 when Rachel Lynch was forced off early through injury. Despite this, it took an 88th-minute penalty from Bungay to win as Thetford were beaten 2-1. Chloe Bentick with the Thetford goal as her team exited their second cup competition in as many weeks.
The final weekend of January saw Thetford’s unbeaten league run end as Fakenham Town scored two goals at the death – 88 minutes and 90+1 to take the three points away after an Abbie Corbyn opener.
February opened with Thetford beaten 7-0 by runaway league leaders Mulbarton.
The second game of the month saw a 5-4 win on the road at bottom of the table North Walsham. A brace from Chelsea Page with an own goal and strikes from Shannon Richardson and Rebecca White secured the points. This game was to be the last game temporarily for club captain Sausha Levy-Twomey who began her maternity leave from football after this game, Melissa Boulton took over the captain’s reins for the remainder of the season.
A disappointing month for Thetford saw two defeats. The first on the road 1-0 at Stalham before Sprowston visited Mundford Road and took all three points with a 2-1 win. Melissa Boulton the Thetford scorer on the afternoon.
A busy but brilliant April saw Thetford resurrect their tricky spell with nine points from a possible 15 in the month.
The month began with a 6-0 win at Thorpe St. Andrew with Rebecca White getting a brace and further goals from Melissa Boulton, Hannah Rogers, Chelsea Page, and Sophie Burr-Walpole making it a comfortable win for Thetford.
The following weekend, the good form continued with Hannah Claughton getting a hat trick and Chelsea Page the other in a comfortable 4-0 win over Beccles Town.
Back-to-back home defeats followed against the division’s best teams Mulbarton and Dussindale and Hellesdon Rovers both by 4-0 but that didn’t spoil a brilliant April for Thetford.
The month was rounded off with a 5-0 win under the lights in their final home game of the season at Mundford Road thanks to goals from Melissa Boulton, Hannah Claughton, Hannah Rogers, Rebecca Russell, and Rebecca White.
The season rounded off with three games in May as the team claimed a brilliant 2-2 draw at Fakenham Town thanks to goals from Abbie Corbyn and Rebecca White.
Thetford then secured fourth place and made it a double over Bungay with a stunning 3-1 win at Maltings Meadow thanks to goals from Abbie Corbyn, Charlotte Howard, and Rachel Lynch.
The season ended with a 4-0 defeat in their final game of the season away to Dussindale and Hellesdon Rovers.
A brilliant season for Thetford Town and the aim will be to finish even higher next time round.