Giant games for Fakenham Town teams in the Vase and FA Youth Cup

Ben Boyce slots home Fakenham Town's winner against Diss Town on Saturday. Picture: TONY MILES

Ben Boyce slots home Fakenham Town's winner against Diss Town on Saturday. Picture: TONY MILES - Credit: Archant

Fakenham Town are readying themselves for a big week with the club’s current first-teamers and also the stars of tomorrow facing “massive” fixtures in the coming days, writes Gareth Davis.

The Ghosts’ senior players are in FA Vase first round action on Saturday when they travel to United Counties League Division One side Irchester United. Then on Tuesday night it’s the turn of the under-18s as the FA Youth Cup returns to Clipbush Park – with the youth team of League Two side AFC Wimbledon visiting Fakenham.

Both fixtures are prestigious, both offer prize money and both represent the chance for the teams to continue their progress in their respective competitions.

“It’s going to be two massive games for this football club, with the FA Vase on Saturday at Irchester then AFC Wimbledon here on Tuesday in the FA Youth Cup, and what a draw that is,” said manager Wayne Anderson.

“The lads have been brilliant in their games so far in the Youth Cup and put in a superb effort over at Wroxham to win after extra time in the last round.

“Being able to welcome a Football League side to Fakenham is going to be a great night for this football club and the boys deserve the chance because of what they have done so far.”

Tuesday’s fixture kicks off at 7.30pm with the Ghosts having earned their place in the first round proper by coming from behind to win 2-1 at Wroxham in the third qualifying round last Thursday, Dan Jarvis and Jacob Doy the scorers. It will be settled on the night with extra time and penalties available if required while the reward on offer for the winners is a trip to either Gillingham or Eastleigh.

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Extra time and penalties were the first team’s activity last Wednesday when they exited the League Cup at home to Kirkley & Pakefield – with an amazing 12-11 reverse from the spot. Josh Youngs had made it 1-1 at the end of the 120 minutes to take it to penalties, and 30 kicks later the Ghosts were out despite goalkeeper Tommy Rix’s three saves in the shoot-out added to an earlier one in extra time. Fakenham followed that up on Saturday with a 1-0 Premier Division victory at home to bottom side Diss Town thanks to Ben Boyce’s 39th-minute goal.

It was a hard-earned win that kept the Ghosts ninth in the table and left Anderson looking ahead to the Vase. Saturday’s tie will go to extra time if required and should a replay be needed, it will take place at Clipbush Park on Wednesday (7.30pm).

Saturday also sees Fakenham’s reserves host South Walsham in Ang Comb Division Three (2pm).