NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Substitutes strike as March Town triumph in derby scrap

March Town defender Gav Cooke during their derby win against Downham Town. Picture: IAN CARTER

March Town defender Gav Cooke during their derby win against Downham Town. Picture: IAN CARTER - Credit: Archant

March Town boss Brett Whaley praised his players for battling to derby success last Saturday.

The Hares climbed into fifth place in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North standings thanks to a 2-0 victory against Downham Town at the GER.

Substitutes Toby Allen and Florian Nobel Guimdo Tsagium climbed off the bench to hit the goals in the closing quarter-of-an-hour. The latter player was making his Hares debut after arriving from higher-level Peterborough Northern Star.

“It wasn’t particularly pretty, but it was a match we needed to win,” said Whaley.

“I got the reaction I wanted after a disappointing performance and defeat in our previous games.

“We knew it would be a tough scrap and had that in mind with our team selection.

“We set up as solidly as we could and we knew we had players on the bench who could on and make an impact with pace and quality.

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“And that’s exactly how it turned out with Toby and Flo getting the goals that earned us a really important result. Everyone involved did everything asked of them.”

Allen broke the deadlock when heading in a long throw from Danny Emmington before Tsagium sealed the points late on.

The Cameroonian teenager pounced from close range after a Gav Cooke free-kick had been spilled by the visiting goalkeeper.

The Hares go to mid-table side Leiston Reserves this Saturday, 3pm, when captain Max Mattless returns after serving a three-match suspension.

And Whaley has stressed the importance of backing up their success against Downham with another three points.

He added: “We need to finish the season strongly and finish as high as we possibly can.

“There is a good surface at Leiston and it will be a case of setting up with a different gameplan to last Saturday.

“It’s an opportunity to play a bit more football than is possible on our pitch and it’s a test for the lads to be adaptable in how they approach the game.”