Ghosts in fine spirits for derby

Saturday will see the battle of the bottom clubs at Fakenham Town's Clipbush Park as the Ghosts try to hand back the wooden spoon spot in Ridgeons One to visitors Swaffham (ko 3pm).

Saturday will see the battle of the bottom clubs at Fakenham Town's Clipbush Park as the Ghosts try to hand back the wooden spoon spot in Ridgeons One to visitors Swaffham (ko 3pm).

With the Pedlars suffering a 5-0

pre-Christmas defeat at Cornard and Fakenham cruelly denied a deserved point in their 2-0 home reverse against Debenham LC, home fans must feel confident.

In their last two performances Fakenham have shown excellent teamwork and spirit, and are making chances. They will be mindful, however, that derbies rarely follow the form book.

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Fakenham Town 0, Debenham LC 2

This was a harsh result for the Ghosts, to whom referee Duncan Foreman showed little spirit of Christmas.

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His 70th-minute interpretation of what constitutes a back pass to the keeper decided this match, which should have ended all square.

The ball appeared to bounce off a defender's leg and roll towards keeper Daniel Stockdale, who picked it up. Mr Foreman saw intent and awarded a free-kick six yards from the Fakenham goal line. Despite all the Fakenham players being along the line, Warren Taylor-Holt found the bottom right corner of the net.

In the last minute the second goal came from a high ball from wide left by Taylor-Holt which deceived Stockdale.

Both sides had looked lively in the gloom and drizzle. A neat chip into the middle of the Debenham area from Mark Betts failed to find a man and, at the other end, Stockdale was forced into action by a low cross.

The home keeper also blocked another dangerous low cross. Betts found space down the right but hit the side netting.

Then there were appeals for a Fakenham penalty when a defender went down clumsily while tackling Nick Haynes.

Betts tried his luck down the left but could only find a defender with his cross. A Debenham cross had Stockdale tipping the ball over.

On the half-hour, Debenham wasted the best chance so far. Stuart Jopling set Ian Gedney on a run through the home defence but the striker fired wide as the keeper came out. Jason Cole brought the ball out of Fakenham's defence and set up Betts for a cross from the left which again failed to find a forward.

Robbie Kemp's fierce shot from the edge of the Fakenham area was parried by Stockdale. Haynes shot disappointingly at the visiting keeper at the end of a promising Fakenham move.

In the second half a Debenham shot was hacked off the Fakenham line and at the other end a defender got a lucky deflection to a goal-bound Karl Pask effort.

Before the back-pass incident, one of Mr Foreman's many controversial decisions was to try to play advantage after Betts had been flattened. Pask was in possession but heavily marked and he clearly got no advantage, but no free-kick was given in an area which could have produced a dangerous cross.

Fakenham: Stockdale, Ben Woodhouse (Fenwick), Adam Woodhouse, Tagg, Day, Whittred, Critten (Hooks), Betts, Pask, Haynes, Cole. Sub not used: King.

Fakenham Reserves lost 5-0 at Norwich United Reserves and Fakenham A went down 3-0 at Hindolveston.

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