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Thurlow Nunn League: Norwich United aim to continue strong start

Matt Blake scored the only goal in Norwich United's FA Cup win against Deeping Rangers. Photo: Bill Smith

Matt Blake scored the only goal in Norwich United's FA Cup win against Deeping Rangers. Photo: Bill Smith

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Dreams of success have started early for Norwich United this season – and manager Damian Hilton believes his side are capable of living up to expectations.

The Planters have won their first three matches of the season, following last weekend’s 1-0 home win against Deeping Rangers in the FA Cup extra preliminary round.

That means they will face Thetford Town in the next round and also extended a great run of form at the end of last season, which means they have now won 13 of their last 17 matches.

A 4-1 win at Felixstowe & Walton United and a 2-1 win at Kirkley & Pakefield have got United’s Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties Premier Division campaign off to a great start

“We’ve started with two tough looking away fixtures and a tough FA Cup draw so to have an 100 per cent record is obviously very pleasing.” Hilton said.

“We expect ourselves to be there or thereabouts, with a bit of luck on injuries and a few results, I’d like to think we’ll be there or thereabouts but there are some really good sides in the league.

“Godmanchester will be strong, Hadleigh did very well last season and Ipswich Wanderers have started really well so I’m sure it will be tough.”

Hilton has bolstered his squad over the summer with the signing of former Norwich City and Lowestoft Town defender Greg Crane, Adam Hipperson from Acle and keeper Duncan McAnally from Walsham-le-Willows.

Two players Hilton knows from his Wroxham days have also joined from AFC Sudbury, strikers Ben Thompson and Matt Daniels.

“I’m really happy with the squad,” Hilton continued. “Gavin Lemmon has done his cruciate ligament, which is one reason why we brought in Matt on loan.

“We’re probably one or maybe two short of what we’ll need for the whole season at the moment but I’m really pleased with the quality that we’ve got.”

The Planters’ boss said discussions about whether to apply for promotion are still to be had at the Blofield club and, for now, he is just focusing on tomorrow’s clash with Whitton United.

“It’s our first home league game and Whitton will be tough,” Hilton added. “They’ve kept the majority of the squad from last year when they won the First Division so I’m sure they’ll be tough, although I don’t know a lot about them.

“But we’ll set up as we have done in the last three games and hopefully home advantage will help us.”

Thetford look to continue their good start, winning both league games and beating local rivals Swaffham in the FA Cup, at top-of-the-table Ipswich Wanderers.

Fakenham saw their FA Cup campaign come to an end in midweek, losing their replay 1-0 at home against Newmarket. The Ghosts are at Clipbush Park again, this time against Haverhill Rovers, who have only picked up a point from their opening two games.

Gorleston are unbeaten in the league so far and have the chance to gain immediate revenge on Mildenhall at Emerald Park, who they lost 3-0 to away from home in the FA Cup last weekend.


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