Fakenham Town boss Anderson expects a battle at Whitton United

Robbie Harris sidesteps the keeper, then a defender before stroking the ball home for the opening go

Robbie Harris sidesteps the keeper, then a defender before stroking the ball home for the opening goal. Picture: TONY MILES - Credit: Archant

Fakenham Town come up against a familiar foe on Saturday with the chance to show them how far they have come since last season’s clashes, writes Gareth Davis.

Whitton United and the Ghosts finished first and second respectively in the 2013/14 Thurlow Nunn First Division with the Suffolk club winning both of the campaign’s meetings.

Now the two teams go head–to–head in the top flight with Fakenham eighth and Whitton ninth – albeit with the perceived benefit of five games in hand.

“We’ve changed a little bit in terms of shape and personnel from last season, we have a great blend of players and hopefully we can go over there and see where we are now,” said boss Wayne Anderson ahead of the visit to Whitton.

“I know they have got a bit of money but we are sitting above them and that’s a credit to our boys and how well they have been playing.

“You get more time on the ball in the Premier Division but over there [at Whitton] it’s a small pitch and I think it will be more like First Division-style football, and I’m confident we can go over there and get a result.”

The latest point on Fakenham’s board came on Saturday when they drew 2-2 at home to Gorleston.

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It was a game they led twice – Robbie Harris opening the scoring and Alex Walpole making it 2-1 – but goals from the visitors’ Chris Sandford (37) and Nathan Russell (75) ensured the points were shared.

Fakenham had plenty of chances to have secured the victory with Harris and Ashley Jarvis going close, while Dion Frary was denied a stoppage-time winner by a wonder save from Gorleston keeper Jack Whatmough.

Anderson said: “We played really well but I feel it was two points dropped. We could have walked off with a 4-1 or 5-1 win as we had chance after chance but they only had a couple of opportunities and scored twice.

“I don’t think Tommy Rix had to make a save and that’s the difference in this league, teams are a lot more clinical and we have to take that on board. We have got some real good quality in the camp so we perhaps need to work on our shooting more and being more ruthless around the goal.”

Fakenham hope to have Jarvis and Josh Youngs fit to travel to Whitton after both went off injured against Gorleston at the weekend.

The club’s reserves remain seventh in Division Three of the Anglian Combination after winning 3-0 at North Walsham Town Reserves last Saturday – Callum Brain’s brace and a Dan Jarvis goal doing the damage for the Ghosts.

This Saturday they host Norwich CEYMS Reserves (2pm) at Clipbush Park.