Ghosts strangers to Clipbush Park

Fakenham Town's Ridgeons League side are becoming strangers to Clipbush Park. Saturday sees their third successive away game in Division One, at sixth-placed Hadleigh United.

Fakenham Town's Ridgeons League side are becoming strangers to Clipbush Park. Saturday sees their third successive away game in Division One, at sixth-placed Hadleigh United.

At section leaders Tiptree at the weekend, the whole team worked extremely hard and were unfortunate to suffer such a big 5-1 defeat.

Joint manager Mark King felt: “After working so hard throughout the game it is disappointing to see four goals conceded from set pieces. If we can tighten up in that area, we can start picking up results.”

Tiptree United 5, Fakenham Town 1

The Ghosts faced an extremely tough encounter. However it was the team propping up the table that started the brighter, playing some decent football and absorbing any Tiptree attack, writes Kieran Bacon.

The hosts, expecting an easy victory, found themselves on the back foot and after 15 minutes were 1-0 down. Patient play from Fakenham found Ben Darby on the edge of the box, who held up the ball well, evading several challenges before playing a low ball into the box.

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The ball came to Kieran Bacon at the penalty spot who took one touch, giving him space to deftly chip into the far corner.

Surprised at being one up against such a highly-regarded side, Fakenham didn't really know how to react and they invited Tiptree to play in front of them.

The back three of Ian Raisbury, Andrew Morgan and Martin Fenwick dealt well with any attacks in open play with Raisbury in particular coping with league top scorer English.

The Tiptree equaliser came from a free-kick from the right, a Tiptree player rising above a crowd of players to nod home from a good delivery.

It didn't take long for Tiptree to gain the initiative and go into the lead. Fakenham failed to clear their lines from a set piece, leading to the ball being smashed through a pack of players and into the back of the net.

Tiptree scored a third goal before half-time after the Ghosts didn't get the ball out of the area.

Fakenham had created chances in the first half with Mark Critten twice going close with long-range strikes.

The first came after a good lay-off into the path of the oncoming midfielder whose left-foot strike curled over the bar.

The second shot was a half-volley from 20 yards after a bouncing ball had found him in space.

The team were faced with a predicament at half-time: should they continue to try and contain their opponents or go out and be more adventurous. To their credit every Fakenham player raised their game and looked to trouble the Tiptree defence.

However, as Fakenham looked to push forward, Tiptree were given space to counter. They demonstrated their clinical finishing by converting both of the only chances they had during the second half.

In the last 25 minutes Fakenham took control of possession but couldn't find the killer pass to slice open the home defence, leaving the squad to make the long journey home disappointed that they had given away soft goals that cost them dear after another decent performance.

Praise went to Kevin Whittred for giving a solid performance as captain.

Fakenham: Daniel Stockdale, Andrew Morgan, Ian Raisbury, Martin Fenwick, Kieran Bacon, John Connolly, Kevin Whittred, James Bamford, Mark Critten, Ben Darby, Nick Haynes. Subs: Tom Bryant, Mark King.

Fakenham Town Reserves suffered a 9-1 Dolphin Autos Anglian Combination Division One defeat at Wymondham.

On Saturday they entertain Long Stratton.

Fakenham Town A won 4-2 at Flitcham in the Build Carter (NWN) League.