Bramble looks to be a thorn in Garden City’s side in FA Vase

BACK IN ACTION: Hadleigh signing Tesfaye Bramble, pictured during his Southend United days          PA Photo: Jon Super
BACK IN ACTION: Hadleigh signing Tesfaye Bramble, pictured during his Southend United days PA Photo: Jon Super

THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE

THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE

PREMIER DIVISION

Hadleigh United 4

Thetford Town 1

Tesfaye Bramble will be looking to transfer his instant impact to the FA Vase when Hadleigh United look to book their place in the last 32.

The 33-year-old striker hit a hat-trick inside the opening 30 minutes against lowly Thetford Town on Saturday in only his second game for his new club.

The brother of Titus Bramble, who only came out of a spell in prison last month, goes into Saturday’s FA Vase third round proper tie with lower-league Welwyn Garden City (3pm) having already bagged four goals for the Brettsiders.

Hadleigh manager Stuart Crawford, who used to play with Bramble in the Ipswich Town youth sides, has already stated he is aiming to surpass last season’s record-breaking FA Vase run, which saw the Brettsiders reach the quarter-finals before losing 2-0 at Tunbridge Wells.

Step six Hertfordshire side Welwyn Garden City, known as the Citizens, are currently sitting fifth in the Spartan South Midlands League Division One table, having finished 13th last season.

Hadleigh’s 3-2 win at Oxhey Jets in the second round proper was their first game in this year’s competition, having been given a bye through the earlier rounds due to reaching the latter stages last season.

Bramble headed in the first goal after five minutes against Thetford on Saturday.

But Mark Scott’s Thetford Town side had some good chances in the first half, with Matt Dixon heading over from close range after Fred Howe had blocked a shot from Luke Catchpole.

On 26 minutes, a crossfield ball from Mark Goldfinch found Matt Downing and his left-wing pinpoint cross was converted by Bramble for the second goal.

Two minutes later, another Downing cross was touched into the net by Bramble for number three.

Sixty seconds later, a low shot from distance by Dixon reduced the deficit with Howe being beaten to his right.

Thetford goalkeeper Scott Cruickshanks made great saves either side of the interval as Hadleigh began to gain control.

Thetford’s Steve Harley received a second yellow card and was sent off after 55 minutes.

Cruickshanks was a big stumbling block to the Brettsiders in the second half.

The Thetford custodian made great saves from Duane Wright and Ollie Canfer before Downing was again provider in the 76th minute with another left-wing cross for Canfer to complete the scoring.

In the last minute, Howe made a smart save on his near post to deny Thetford a second goal.

Hadleigh: Howe, Stafford, Goldfinch, Donnelly, Wardley (Rose 46), Calver, Wright, Jennings, Bramble, Mayhew (Canfer 67), Downing (Newbigging 76).

Attendance: 106.