Perfect a constant threat as the Bloaters grab a deserved away draw

Sean Perfect in action for the Bloaters. Picture: Denise Bradley.

Sean Perfect in action for the Bloaters. Picture: Denise Bradley. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Friday night football at Mundford Road proved a success for Thetford with a decent crowd for a battle for sixth place with the Bloaters ending in a 1-1 draw.

From the start the home side launched a long throw into the Bloaters area and Putnins did well to tip over a firm header.

In the third minute a through ball by Davis found Perfect racing through. The home defence seemed confused as Holmes was clearly standing offside but referee Laflin quite rightly waved play on as Holmes was not interfering with play, Perfect calmly rounded Barnes and rolled the ball into an empty net to give the Bloaters the lead.

Perfect and Davis were enjoying the relative freedom of the middle of the park and Perfect was a thorn for the home side as his direct penetrating runs were causing problems. Young Alex Sawyer, after a nervous opening 10 minutes, grew into the game and managed to break up a couple of attacks.

A good shout for a penalty was ignored when Perfect was upended in the box before King fired in a shot, gathered well by Putnins. Mitch Forbes turned provider and rolled a pass into the onrushing Perfect whose shot grazed the bar.

In the second half McAra had the ball in the net after Davis and Forbes exchanged passes but the winger’s delight was short-lived as an assistant’s flag ruled offside. Applegate was booked for hauling back King and the Bloaters were dealt a further blow as leading scorer Forbes limped off with an ankle injury.

The key moment in the game for the visitors came when Applegate threaded a pass through the offside trap and found Davis bearing down on goal with only Barnes to beat, but the Yarmouth-based keeper did well to deflect the shot away for a corner and deny the Bloaters a crucial second goal.

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As the clock struck 70 minutes a short corner was taken to King who wriggled his way past a couple of defenders and fired in a low cross and Robbie Priddle was on hand to tap in from close range to give the home side the equaliser.

The Bloaters managed to see off the lively home attack from then on and claimed a vital point with a hard-fought performance and with three 16-year-olds on the pitch towards the end of the game.