Ghosts ready to climb table

Fakenham Town stage a Clipbush Park derby against Swaffham on Monday (3pm ko), weather permitting, which will be a battle for points between sides too close to the foot of the Ridgeons First Division for comfort, writes John Cushion.

Ghosts’ manager Wayne Anderson is hoping his players will use their last home experience, the Norfolk Senior Cup tie with a powerful Norwich City outfit, to launch themselves up the table.

“I think that 3-0 result (in City’s favour) was good on Fakenham’s behalf. It proved how far we had come this season and at the end of last season. I think we kept our shape and the lads stuck to the tasks I asked them to do. We did a fair job.

“It could be the springboard to better results. In four or five games in the league we should have won or got a point, and that would have seen us eighth or ninth or even higher.

“If the boys give me what they gave me against Norwich City, there is no reason why we should not start getting better results,” said Anderson.

A City team featuring a host of first-team players were pushed all the way by the Ghosts. “In our changing room at the end it actually felt like we had won. The players were hugging each other and there were a lot of happy people,” said Anderson.

“The chairman (Geoff Saunders) came in and said we could be proud and we had not disgraced ourselves.

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“I could not have asked any more. They gave me 100 per cent and they gave our club 100 per cent. I think I got up for work at 5am on Wednesday and my legs were still in bed at 6am!

“But I told the boys when they were warming down, this can kick-start our season. For a Ridgeons club like us to put up a display like that showed how hard we had worked to prepare with no games to play because of the weather.

“If we re-produce that we’ll have no fears about being in the bottom three or four. Mid-table should be the aim and then we can push on again from that.”

“When you consider we were up against a team of professionals with at least seven first-teamers, to hold them to 1-0 for 70 odd minutes – it was a great achievement,” he said. “I looked down the team sheet and they had people like Oli (Johnson), (Anthony) McNamee, (Michael) Nelson and they added one or two others to the squad that we weren’t expecting.

“Two hours before the game the pitch was lovely, but then the frost set in. Norwich, to be fair, wanted to play. They wanted to get some competitive game time. Conditions didn’t help but it was a cup game and there was no quarter asked or given.

“They came off the worst with a few cuts but credit to them, they stood up to what we wanted to do and to make it a physical game, and they showed their professionalism and got the job done.”