Patience pays off as Hares storm into pole position

Football Action - March Town vs Halstead (blue)
Football Action - March Town vs Halstead (blue)
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Cornard United 0, March Town 2

MARCH Town climbed to the top of the Ridgeons Division One table for the first time this season on Saturday with two second half goals seeing off struggling Cornard.

The home side made things difficult for Brett Whaley’s side as they packed their defence and to their credit March had to grind out a result.

Whaley said: “They set out to defend and make things difficult for us and did it well. This time our players were patient, whereas in the past we have not shown that patience and have paid for it.

“We had plenty of possession in the first half, but could not create the clear cut chances then after the break the game became more open.”

March took the lead after 60 minutes when Ash Brand was brought down in the area and Luke Pepper scored from the penalty spot.

Cornard now had to come out of their shells and Aaron Butcher was called upon to make two fine saves. But as they came forward spaces began to open at the back.

Eventually with 10 minutes left Stu Anderson made the most of a ricochet just inside their half and cut in the left to produce a good finish to sow the points for March with the second goal.

Whaley added: “We really needed that second goal because Cornard were starting to come forward and it really killed the game off.

“When you play teams at the bottom you really need that early goal. We did not get that but we worked hard to get the result in the end.

“It is great to be top of the table, but we do not have a game next week to keep the momentum going and Thetford have four games in hand and Godmanchester three and are only one point behind us.

“We really need to go on a run of nine wins so the defeat at Fakenham was a big disappointment for us. All we can do now is carry on and try and win as many games as possible and put pressure on the other teams.

“Only two teams are promoted this season and had it been the usual three I would have really fancied our chances. But we have come a long way for almost a brand new team and you have to be pleased when you are top in January.

“We will try and arrange a friendly before our next game in two weeks at bottom club Stowmarket where I am sure they will also set out defend.

“This is something new to March as teams usually look to pick up the points against us, but that is how far we have come this season.”

March have 11 games left with just four home games to come, but they do have the easier run-in compared to Thetford and Godmanchester.

March: Aaron Butcher, Lewis Cook, Marc Welcher, Dan Jenkins, Gav Cooke, Chris Lenton, Stu Anderson, Adam Rothery, Ondre Odain, Luke Pepper, Ash Brand. Subs used: Adam Sutton, Craig Norman, Ben Hepworth.

Guiliano Staffieri has joined Peterborough League side Parkway Sports.

RIDGEONS LEAGUE

First Division

March 19 13 1 5 42 16 40

Thetford 15 13 0 2 45 13 39

Godmanchester 16 12 3 1 41 19 39

Whitton 18 11 5 2 40 17 38

Debenham LC 20 11 2 7 37 26 35

Halstead 19 10 3 6 49 32 33

* Camb Uni Press 19 10 2 7 33 22 31

Brightlingsea 19 9 1 9 32 34 28

Fakenham 19 8 2 9 33 37 26

Downham 20 6 5 9 28 39 23

Long Melford 19 7 0 12 26 42 21

Swaffham 18 6 2 10 29 41 20

Ipswich Wand 18 5 1 12 27 57 16

Team Bury 15 4 1 10 24 29 13

Cornard 20 2 4 14 20 61 10

Stowmarket 16 2 0 14 26 46 6