Ghosts need more spirit
THE only way now for Fakenham Town is up as they turn the year firmly rooted to the bottom of Ridgeons League Division One.They must aim to recapture their pre-Christmas form as they travel to March on Saturday and FC Clacton a week later.
THE only way now for Fakenham Town is up as they turn the year firmly rooted to the bottom of Ridgeons League Division One.
They must aim to recapture their pre-Christmas form as they travel to March on Saturday and FC Clacton a week later.
The Ghosts let themselves down badly in their 2-0 home defeat by Swaffham at the weekend, a result which saw the Pedlars open up a five-point gap between themselves and Town, although the Ghosts have three games in hand.
Fakenham Town 0, Swaffham Town 2
Both sides showed why they are propping up the league in a disappointing derby which produced little to warm the biggest Clipbush Park crowd of the season, albeit 122.
The Ghosts showed more enterprise in second-half spells when Karl Pask and Mark Betts at last got some service from midfield, but after failing to match Swaffham's penalty conversion they rarely looked likely to salvage a point.
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Taking 10 minutes to get on a substitute after Nick Haynes limped out of the action second half seemed to underline there was something badly lacking.
The Ghosts had shown fine qualities the previous game against Debenham LC. They had worked hard for each other, battled to win and maintain possession and showed some fine touches in their build-up play. Most of that was lacking against Swaffham, who asked most of the early questions.
Daniel Stockdale was soon going down to make a save, watched a cross from the left go over his bar then had to leave his area to fly-kick away. Meantime Fakenham wasted two free-kicks from promising positions. On 12 minutes came a good Fakenham move, Adam Woodhouse and Mark Critten combining to put Jason Day on a run at the Swaffham defence.
Again Fakenham had looked uneasy with three men at the back, and Matthew Hooks conceded a 14th minute penalty and collected a yellow card when he fouled the right winger. Andrew Chatters buried his spot kick high to Stockdale's left.
The Ghosts' response was muted although Betts looked threatening with a burst into the box, only to be ruled offside on half-an-hour.
Two minutes later a high cross from the right slid off the Swaffham keeper's fist only to rebound off Hooks as he closed in. Another home shot found the keeper before, on half-time, came the chance to equalise.
A shot which some thought had crossed the Swaffham line was pushed back into play by Sam Darlon using his arm. The Pedlars' full back was red-carded but Pask's spot kick was saved by Lee Brookes diving to his left.
Fakenham began to look more of an attacking force after half-time, but the game was decided on the hour when an untidy attack ended with Matthew Kenny slicing home a shot at the far post.
On 65 minutes Haynes limped off but it took 10 minutes to get a sub on (Ben Woodhouse).
Critten took a knock, and Pask was taken off to be replaced by defender Ian Raisbury. Fakenham rarely looked capable of taking advantage of playing 10 men.
Fakenham: Stockdale, Whittred, Adam Woodhouse, Tagg, Day, Cole, Critten, Haynes (Ben Woodhouse), Pask (Raisbury), Betts, Hooks. Sub not used: King.