March Town 3, Halstead 1
THE Hares bounced back from a disappointing defeat against Fakenham to move back into second place in Ridgeons Division One in front of their biggest home league attendance of 171 in over six years.
Manager Brett Whaley was absolutely delighted with his side’s performance. “As bad as we were at keeping the ball at Fakenham, we were as good at keeping it on Saturday. We played some of the best football of the season and thoroughly deserved the win.
“The big crowd created a good atmosphere and I think this encouraged the players to go out and produce.
“We were a bit stretched defensively in the first half but we put that right at half-time and even when they scored a lucky goal from a penalty we responded well then.”
Scoring sensation Ondre Odain was given the striker’s role in place of Stu Anderson and repaid Whaley with two goals to make it seven strikes in six games since his move from Huntingdon United.
March were soon playing the better football with Halstead content to hit them on the break and with a little more accuracy Luke Pepper may had had two goals. but his shots were too high.
But Odain is deadly in front of goal at present and after a well worked move he finished off a five pass move just before the break with a well taken goal after the final pass from Adam Rothery.
Ash Brand came close to making it 2-0 before the break when his well-struck shot hit the woodwork.
Odain gave March the perfect start to the second half with a second goal after just three minutes when Chris Lenton headed on a free-kick and the striker was in space to put the ball into the corner of the net.
Halstead were given a chance after 65 minutes when the referee adjudged handball against Marc Welcher from three yards even though his hands were at his side.
Halstead scored from the penalty spot and shortly after Aaron Butcher did well to block a goalbound effort from the visitors.
To their credit March knuckled down to start dominating once more and their efforts paid off when Rothery hit a glorious shot on the half-volley from the edge of the area after substitute Anderson had supplied the pass.
Whaley added: “You are always apprehensive when you lose after five wins but I got a great reaction from the players.
“We had a good training session in midweek and the players were determined to put things right.
“Ondre is in top form at present and finds space all the time which is a great ability to have and something that is difficult to coach. But it was a really good all round performance.”
March: Aaron Butcher, Lewis Cook, Marc Welcher, Dan Jenkins, Gavin Cooke, Chris Lenton, Adam Rothery, Kyle Nolan, Ondre Odain, Luke Pepper, Ash Brand. Subs used: Adam Sutton, Ben Hepworth, Stu Anderson.