Struggling Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division Fakenham Town blow two-goal lead at Hadleigh United

Danny Williams, left, in action for Fakenham Town on Saturday. Picture: JACKIE PRICE

Danny Williams, left, in action for Fakenham Town on Saturday. Picture: JACKIE PRICE - Credit: Archant

It was very much a tale of two halves for Fakenham Town at Hadleigh United, writes Tony Miles.

Having dominated the first period at Hadleigh and going in at 2-0 ahead at the break, the hosts came out fighting and scored twice to leave the Ghosts with just one point – when they could have had three.

It was Danny Williams who opened the scoring for Fakenham after 14 minutes, converting from close range. That came after an early scare for the home side as Ashley Jarvis fired goalwards in the opening minute.

The lead was extended just before half-time as Matt Franks took full advantage of some defensive frailties in the Hadleigh penalty box, taking charge of an awkwardly bouncing ball to round the keeper and slot home.

The Ghosts must have thought it would be a similar tale to the last time the teams met, in which they emerged 3-0 winners at Clipbush Park towards the end of January but the Hadleigh management must have had other ideas judging by their half-time team talk.

The home side shuffled their pack, and took the game to Fakenham. Blocked shots, close-range misses and a top drawer save from Tommy Rix in the Fakenham goal showed their intent.

And after 55 minutes Hadleigh got a lifeline they’d been searching for as Danny Thrower converted a penalty he’d earned after being brought down in the box. As Hadleigh dominated more and more, they hit the bar, and again forced Rix into heroics.

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However, the Fakenham keeper was beaten again with just two minutes left on the clock. A long ball was chased by Hadleigh substitute Sam Sharp, who hit an unstoppable shot over Rix and into the Ghosts net to level the tie.

Ipswich Wanderers are the visitors to Clipbush Park this Saturday (3pm), in a rescheduled encounter after the initial tie was changed due to Ipswich’s FA Vase run. It’s another huge match for Wayne Anderson’s Ghosts who six points adrift of Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division safety with just six matches left to play. Wanderers are the side directly above the drop zone.

Fakenham’s reserves suffered from the weather again at the weekend with their game at Clipbush Park against Sprowston Wanderers being postponed. They next play on Tuesday evening at home to South Walsham (7.30pm). The ladies suffered the same fate as their away tie with Lynn was also postponed, and they have no fixture this weekend.

n Dereham Town reached their second Norfolk Senior Cup final in a row by winning 3-1 at King’s Lynn Town Reserves on Tuesday.

The Magpies return to action on Saturday when they host Redbridge in league action.