Ghosts hope for fan boost
By JOHN CUSHION
Fakenham Town manager Wayne Anderson is acutely aware that the Ghosts need to get fans back to Clipbush Park.
The crowds of 200 to 300 who regularly cheered on sides like the one which finished Ridgeons Premier runners-up in the same season they won the Norfolk Senior Cup have subsided to double-figure attendances following the team’s slip to the lower section of the first division as the purse strings had to be tightened.
“If we do the job properly, we will bring the crowds back,” said Anderson, buoyed by his squad’s pre-season home 3-3 draw with Premier outfit Norwich United last Thursday. He had seen the Ghosts score three quality goals which would have delighted crowds at any level.
The first came from Rory Harper, who Anderson hopes to sign, converting in style a chance created down the right. Then came a 20-yarder into the top right corner from Jason Day, eclipsed by a gem from 25 yards by Julian Delicata. The Ghosts led 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2, conceding the draw in the final minute.
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Players’ faith in the Fakenham set-up has been underlined by only two players not re-signing from last season. Ben Coe has been enticed to King’s Lynn Town while Dan Savory is USA-bound on a scholarship.
Danny Rasberry has come on board and has already impressed Anderson with his play on the right. Carl Plum, from King’s Lynn, will need a few weeks to get over a knee injury, and Jordan Pentney is back from the States, but key signing Ade Hayes already has Anderson purring. “What a difference there will be with him. His left foot is second to none,” he said.
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The Fakenham boss was pleased with an earlier 1-1 draw at Reepham and delighted with the showing against the Planters, who he reckons will be in the Premier top five.
“We didn’t look out of place, we got the ball forward when we could and defended well when we had to. It was a good work-out. And our three goals were a lot better than theirs!” said Anderson.
Fakenham teams missing several players on Saturday entertained Wroxham sides. Fakenham Reserves went down 4-1 while the first team crashed 7-1 after taking the lead through a Delicata penalty.
Tuesday’s friendly with Gorleston was called off because of a rain-affected pitch and switched to Gorleston on Wednesday night, where the Ghosts lost 5-1 (Delicata pen).
Saturday sees a home match with AFC Sudbury and July 30 a home derby with Dereham (both 3pm).
Former Wroxham player Paul McGuire has taken charge of Fakenham Reserves with Fakenham A in the hands of Martin Halliday.
The Ghosts kick off their Ridgeons League campaign with two home games, against Brightlingsea Regent on August 13, followed by Downham on August 16. In the FA Vase first qualifying round on September 10, Fakenham visit Walsham-le-Willows.