Ghosts' stay at top of division short-lived

Fakenham Town 0,Stowmarket Town 1Fakenham's early season bubble burst on Saturday as they sufered their first defeat of the season, which knocked them off the top of Ridgeons One.

Fakenham Town 0,

Stowmarket Town 1

Fakenham's early season bubble burst on Saturday as they sufered their first defeat of the season, which knocked them off the top of Ridgeons One.

Following their midweek victory over Gorleston, manager Wayne Anderson was forced into changes, writes Paul Wright.

With Martin Allen unavailable, Jake Betts was promoted from the bench, with Jason Cole named as sub.

Stowmarket started the brighter as their dual strikeforce of Brown and Drummond asked the early questions, but the first real chance fell to Betts.

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After eight minutes the home winger fired his shot over the bar, Darryl Rose then missed an easier chance. He burst into the area, warding off two defenders, only to drag his left-foot shot wide from six yards.

Fakenham were playing some very attractive one-touch football, dominated the game for the first 30 minutes but failed to turn that into goals.

Stowmarket slowly got back into the game and forced two corners in quick succession then were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area that Dan Hall sent narrowly over the bar. Tom Rix then had to tip an angled shot from Drummond over for a corner as the visitors ended the half on top.

The second half continued in the same vein with Stowmarket making all the play, and they were rewarded in the 68th minute when Drummond finished off a slick three-man move by shooting low past Rix despite a despairing tackle by Matty Gilchrist.

Rix was kept busy as Stowmarket looked to capitalise on their superiority. Midfielder Dan Hall for Stowmarket was in the thick of the action and was the catalyst for most of their moves as they pressed forward looking to stretch their lead.

Fakenham made two changes in an effort to get back into the game, Julian Delicata replaced Rose, just after the Fakenham midfielder was booked, then Cole came on for Betts for the Ghosts with Gilchrist pushed up. But it was Stowmarket who looked the more likely to score as Drummond then Proctor were guilty of glaring misses.

Fakenham were restricted to a long-range free-kick from Stephen Harvey that skimmed the foot of a post, then Sam Garner's angled shot was too high to worry Bugg in the Stowmarket goal.

Anderson was philosophical after the game. “We were half-a-yard short in key areas today,” he said. “We had three or four players who were feeling the effects from Tuesday night at Gorleston after they had run themselves into the ground, so I can't really argue.

“We're still on target points wise. Although it was nice to hit the top of the table early on, we fully realise the task we have ahead of us, and once we have our full-strength squad in contention then we can push on.”

Fakenham squad: Tom Rix, Royce Rawlings, Jason Pease, Matty Gilchrist, Danny Savory, Sam Garner, Stephen Harvey, James Bamford, Nicky Bunting, Daryll Rose, Jake Betts, Jason Cole, Jason Day, Yiotis Alamonis, Julian Delicata.

Fakenham travel to Saffron Walden on Saturday then face Downham Town, Anderson's former club, at Clipbush Park next Tuesday night (7.45pm).