Ghosts face tough trip
Fakenham Town face one of their biggest tests of the season on Saturday when they visit Ridgeons First Division leaders Cambridge University Press, who beat the Ghosts 4-2 on their own ground last month.
That is followed on Tuesday by a trip to Downham, with the rare chance of the Ghosts completing a league double following the 2-1 home win.
Ipswich Wanderers 3, Fakenham Town 0
Fakenham travelled to a revitalised Ipswich Wanderers, who had the only 100 per cent record in the Ridgeons First Division, and came away empty handed.
Both sides took a while to settle into their stride but Wanderers proved the more threatening attacking force in the early going with a James Buckle header that went wide and Danny Phillips firing just over after good work from the lively Kostas Karantzis.
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Refereee Mr Fountain signalled a no-nonsense approach and produced a yellow card each for Wanderers Marc Lowe and Fakenham’s Lee Hyde after a clash on the ground.
Wanderers continued to push with efforts from Karantzis and Darius Laws going just over.
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Wanderers enjoyed the better possession with Fike and Laws both going close. Then Karantzis robbed Fakenham right-back Royce Rawlings and his defence-splitting diagonal pass was almost latched onto by Keith Hetherington.
Fakenham might have had the lead in 34 minutes had Lowe’s vital tackle not thwarted Stephen Harvey who had got loose in the Wanderers’ box.
The home side took the lead in the 38th minute when Hetherington’s pass found Fike to the right of the area and he squared for Laws to slot home from five yards.
Wanderers got the perfect start to the second period when Fike was tackled in the area but managed to trap the ball between his feet, and when the ball did break free it found Phillips, who made it 2-0 from an angle.
They might have had a third a few minutes later when Fike’s shot took a wicked deflection and almost found the corner of the Fakenham net.
Fakenham were still getting forward at times but Callum Deacon in the Wanderers’ goal was proving equal to anything they threw at him with a save from a Ben Coe free-kick and an excellent close-range stop from Hyde that a grateful Kevin Morrison hacked clear.
Past the hour mark and Fike, once again, might have made it three when clean through but he tripped over the ball and the home side then rang the changes.
Atay made an immediate impact with his runs down the left causing the Fakenham defence problems.
The visitors weren’t dead yet and Deacon had to be out smartly to beat Harvey to a through ball.
But it was Wanderers who got the last laugh as an inspired substitution brought on T J Le Page for Danny Phillips and in the 90th minute the youngster beat Fakenham keeper Tom Rix with a superb strike from 25 yards.