NON-LEAGUE: Cruel late twist leads to first March Town defeat of Brett Whaley’s third stint - but boss is full of praise for his players

March Town manager Brett Whaley.

March Town manager Brett Whaley. - Credit: Archant

Boss Brett Whaley heaped praise on his players following the first defeat of his third March Town reign.

The Hares were beaten 2-1 at fourth-placed Swaffham in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division last night (Tuesday) – a first setback in seven games since Whaley succeeded Mel Mattless back in February.

It was a match which came complete a cruel conclusion as a late slip from March defender Stu Porter allowed Joe Jackson – the leading scorer in the First Division – to fire the winner for Swaffham.

March had earlier fallen behind midway through the second half after a corner was followed by a goalmouth scramble, but they quickly levelled thanks to a smart individual strike from Sean White.

The same Hares man was then denied a second goal by a fine save before the match was settled in unfortunate fashion.

“I really feel for the lads after seeing the unbeaten run ended in such a cruel manner,” said Whaley.

“But we can take lots of positives from the way we performed against a good side who boast the two top strikers in the division. We restricted them very well and I thought we might go on to win the game after getting level.

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“Many of the lads have already proved they are better players than I possibly thought they were when taking the job.

“They deserve a lot of praise for that and I’ve been hugely impressed with the way they’ve bought into I’ve asked of them. We have a squad of genuine lads who are improving all the time.

“They’ve given me everything in every game and their hard work has been rewarded with a run of good results despite facing four of the current top five teams in recent weeks.”

March performed with credit against another leading team last Saturday when battling out a goalless GER draw with third-placed Framlingham.

Goalkeeper Dave Beeny made two terrific second-half saves in a match of few chances.

March are without a game tomorrow but have another clash with Framlingham when travelling to the Suffolk town on Tuesday.

They then face three teams below them in the standings – Little Oakley, Diss and Cornard – before ending the campaign at Debenham LC on May 5.