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Front pair shine again as March too good for Thetford



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March Town 3, Thetford Town 2

Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League Premier Division

With a front pair such as Craig Gillies and Jack Friend, March were never going to stay in the relegation places they occupied after losing their first five games of the season.

Jack Saunders celebrates as Craig Gillies turns in his cross
Jack Saunders celebrates as Craig Gillies turns in his cross

The prolific pair were just too much for their Norfolk visitors this afternoon as they ran them ragged in a match which was not half as close as the final scoreline might suggest.

Although still struggling on their travels, the Hares have now won six of interim manager Ash Taylor's seven home games in charge, and he should soon be rewarded with a permanent appointment.

March took the lead within a minute against The Brecklanders, Friend sweeping the ball out to the left wing, where Jack Saunders crossed for Gillies to tap in his 10th goal of the campaign.

Jack Friend scores the second goal
Jack Friend scores the second goal

The powerful striker saw a 10th minute drive just clear the bar, but back came Town, with the tricky striker Joao Varela hitting the bar with an 18th minute effort before forcing Charlie Congreve into a good save with his legs five minutes later.

March were the better team for the rest of the half but chances were few and far between for both sides.

The Hares started the second period on the front foot and, following a superb Lewis Gibson corner, a Gillies header was cleared off the line after 52 minutes. Three minutes later and Gillies passed to Friend on the edge of the area and the ace marksman drilled home his 14th of the campaign.

A minute from the restart and Gillies found himself in the same position, but this time drilled a shot towards goal, which squirmed under the visiting keeper. Friend applied the final touch, but the ball had already crossed the line.

Jack Friend celebrates the third goal
Jack Friend celebrates the third goal

Thetford pulled one back through sub Ryan Fuller in the 71st minute, but March kept attacking, Gillies seeing a second header cleared off the line after a super cross from Adam Brumby, Friend firing just over from the edge of the area and then Gillies spurning a great hat-trick chance when he fired wide after a great back heel from Josh Burrows.

Thetford scored a second through Elliot Smith in the final minute, but it was against the run of play and four minutes of stoppage time were not nervy as the Hares held on comfortably for another home win.

March Town (4-4-2): Congreve; Garner, Miller, Emmington, Brumby; Burrows, Hilliard, Gibson (Callaghan 76 mins), Saunders (Frohawk 86); Gillies, Friend. Sub (not used): Short.

Thetford Town: Rodgers, Bond (Williams 68 mins), Cusack (Laker 75), Morton,Balment, Smith, Visocanskis, Mann, Varela, Vasileiou, Delgado (Fuller 52). Subs (not used): Cruz.

Booking: Congreve (March) – time wasting.

Attendance: 152.

Star man: Craig Gillies – scored two, set up the other and terrorised the visiting defence all afternoon.

Jack Saunders celebrates as Craig Gillies turns in his cross
Jack Saunders celebrates as Craig Gillies turns in his cross
Craig Gillies celebrating the opening goal
Craig Gillies celebrating the opening goal
Josh Burrows
Josh Burrows
Lewis Hilliard
Lewis Hilliard
Jack Friend
Jack Friend
Jack Friend
Jack Friend
Jack Saunders battles for possession
Jack Saunders battles for possession
Jack Saunders
Jack Saunders
Lewis Gibson on the run
Lewis Gibson on the run
Craig Gillies on the ball
Craig Gillies on the ball
Craig Gillies goes up for a header
Craig Gillies goes up for a header
Jack Friend scores the second goal
Jack Friend scores the second goal
2-0 and the crowd join in the celebrations
2-0 and the crowd join in the celebrations
March players celebrate their second goal
March players celebrate their second goal
Jack Friend celebrates the third goal
Jack Friend celebrates the third goal
Craig Gillies and Jack Friend celebrate the second goal
Craig Gillies and Jack Friend celebrate the second goal
Who scored the third goal? From the stand it definitely looked like Craig Gillies' shot has crossed the line.
Who scored the third goal? From the stand it definitely looked like Craig Gillies' shot has crossed the line.
Jack Saunders on the run
Jack Saunders on the run
Josh Burrows in action
Josh Burrows in action
Lewis Gibson escapes an opponent
Lewis Gibson escapes an opponent


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