Debenham 2, March Town 2
MARCH Town’s new manager Paul Crosbie had promised his side would be competitive at Debenham and they came close to pulling off a very good win on the opening day of the Thurlow Nunn League season.
It was only six minutes from time that the home side came up with the equaliser and even after that March had a good chance of taking home all three Division One points.
Crosbie had promised attacking football from his team and his intentions were clear from the start with a 4-2-4 line-up.
March took the lead midway through the first half with Sam Darlow’s cross to the far post giving Robbie Masters the opening to slide the ball into the net.
Darlow came off soon after with a hamstring problem and was replaced by Ben Lemmon at left back, and Stu Porter replaced Lee White, who is returning after a long break with injury, at the break.
March were good value for their half-time lead although Debenham wasted a very good chance from just three yards.
But eight minutes into the second half March paid for sloppiness at a set piece, which had been exposed in preseason friendlies. A corner to the far post left Debenham’s player Ed Cussons with a free header for the equaliser.
March had a little luck when they regained the lead but Ash Spendelow’s shot from 25 yards was worthy of a goal anyway. The ball hit the crossbar and then struck the goalkeeper before entering the net to make it 2-1. They were not the only chances March had though and Sean White should have done better but lost opportunities with soft finishes as March’s commitment forward troubled the home defence.
But Debenham also pushed forward for the equaliser and it came after 84 minutes when the March players did not close down James Heathcote on the ball and allowed him to stride into the box before firing home and soon after Heathcote missed from close range too.
Even then March could have won it when Guiliano Staffieri had a late chance to win the game.
Crosbie was delighted with his side’s positive showing and said: “A point was the least we deserved and it could so easily have been three points and the lads were really disappointed afterwards not to have won the game.
“To pick up a point in our first game away is a very positive start for us with almost a completely new team. It was a very good start.”
March: Marc Hipwell, Ash Spendelow, Josh Westley, Adam Sutton, Sam Darlow, Aidan Hollis, Guiliano Staffieri; Lee White, Sean White, Robbie Masters, Stu Anderson. Subs used: Ben Lemmon, Stu Porter. Unused: Olly Carter, Jack McKeown.