Ghosts full of confidence despite defeat

Gorleston 1, Fakenham Town 0THE Ghosts started their Ridgeons First Division campaign with a Tuesday night defeat which joint manager Stuart Woodhouse described as a big disappointment.

Gorleston 1, Fakenham Town 0

THE Ghosts started their Ridgeons First Division campaign with a Tuesday night defeat which joint manager Stuart Woodhouse described as a big disappointment. But he was confident about the season ahead.

“We were very unfortunate to lose. The least we deserved was a point. We had the better chances over the 90 minutes, we played really well,” said Woodhouse yesterday.

Karl Pask was denied by the woodwork, Mark Betts had the ball taken off his toe as he delayed a trifle too long in a good shooting position and Nick Haynes flashed a shot just wide. Woodhouse thought a Pask shot had found the net, but it hit the bar, came down near the line and out.

“If we continue to play for the rest of the season like we did last night, we will have no problems at all.” Woodhouse said there had been “a big turnaround” from last season, when the Ghosts finished bottom of their section.

“We played a little bit more defensively, played well up front, everyone was on top of their game.”

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The only goal of the game came in the first half through the Greens' Luke Goreham.

Fakenham have no game on Saturday, so tomorrow (Friday) night they have arranged a home friendly with Watton, kick-off at Clipbush Park 7.30pm.

They are next in league action on Saturday, August 22, at home to Saffron Walden.

Squad at Gorleston: Cameron Brown, Adam Halford, Ben Woodhouse, Nick Tagg, Jason Cole, Mark Betts, James Bamford, Kevin Whittred, Darren West, Nick Haynes, Karl Pask. Subs used: Julian Delicata, Mark Critten; not used: Jason Day.Gorleston 1 Fakenham Town 0

Club vice-chairman Paul Wright said: Fakenham started their season with an away trip to a strong Gorleston side and left feeling disappointed that their efforts hadn't reaped some reward.

Gorleston, who had started their campaign the previous Saturday with a 3 - 1 home win over Long Melford, started the stronger and tested new keeper Cameron Brown in the 10th minute when Hurren's shot from 15 yards was tipped over the bar. Karl Pask, playing a lone striking role in front of a five-man midfield, was kept busy and looked very sharp as he first sent a header wide then crashed a long range effort against the crossbar.

Gorleston took advantage of a missed tackle in the area as Luke Goreham slid the ball wide of Brown in the 18th minute to take the lead. The Ghosts stuck to their game plan and were always in contention and creating chances. Both sides had penalty appeals turned down by the referee. As the Fakenham defence grew in stature, they coped very well with the Gorleston attack, in particular Steve Taylor and Neil Hurren, who were the main threat down the right flank.

Fakenham were still looking to get back into the game and Nicky Haynes drilled a low shot just wide of the post, then James Bamford scooped the ball over the bar from the edge of the area following a corner from the right. Brown then saved with his legs to thwart a Gorleston attack. Half time: 1-0.

Fakenham continued in the same vein in the second half, although the Gorleston defence played a high line with Fakenham continually caught offside as they pushed for the equaliser.

Injured Nick Haynes was replaced by Mark Critten. Pask carved out a brilliant opening on the hour, turning his defender inside out in the box then unleashing a powerful shot from a narrow angle that cannoned off the underside of the bar onto the line before being cleared.

It underlined the frustration of the night as the Ghosts richly deserved their equaliser. Julian Delicata replaced Kevin Whittred in midfield as Fakenham kept their shape but failed to capitalise on their chances, and were left ruing just the one mistake that left Gorleston with the points.

But The Ghosts can take a lot of credit out of this game. The defence in particular came in for praise with Adam Halford, making his senior debut looking a natural, and there will surely be games this season when they will play worse and still pick up points.