Thurlow Nunn Premier Division Fakenham Town’s late lesson

Danny Williams shows off his skills during Fakenham Town's final game of the season. Picture: TONY M

Danny Williams shows off his skills during Fakenham Town's final game of the season. Picture: TONY MILES - Credit: Archant

Fakenham Town can be pleased with their first season back in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division – but they know where they need to improve next time around, writes Gareth Davis.

That’s the verdict of joint caretaker boss Neil Jarvis, who – alongside striker Robbie Harris – has guided the Ghosts to a respectable 13th-place finish in the top flight after taking over in April. For a while they looked well set to finish in the top 10 but a poor run through the spring saw them drop into the bottom half.

Jarvis says finishing 13th would have been satisfactory having won promotion in 2013/14 and he now wants the players to learn the lessons of the last nine months.

He said: “This time last year we sat over at Great Yarmouth having got promoted and it was a tremendous achievement to go up with Whitton United and Ipswich Wanderers, two quality teams.

“I think, before this season kicked off, everyone would have been delighted with this position but I can remember going to Felixstowe & Walton United in January and we were 3-2 up there with five minutes to go.

“If we’d have won that game we’d have got to within a point of them, they were fourth in the table, but we lost 4-3 and that grated on me for a while. Sometimes you get those defining moments in a season and if we had won we would have been close to fourth so can you then go and kick on?

“But you’re asking young lads to play at that level week in, week out and suddenly you get a tough run, like going to Stanway on a Tuesday night. That’s the bottom line – we can compete with the very best teams in the league and we’ve got to be at our best but therefore we also have to be at our best against the lesser teams too, and if we’re not then we’re not turning them over, they’re still close games.

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“So that’s something for next season, like against Newmarket – at two goals clear we need to put the game to bed.”

Fakenham ended the season on Friday night at home to Newmarket Town, and as Jarvis referred to they were 2-0 up at half-time thanks to a pair of well-taken goals by striker Ashley Jarvis (30 and 33 minutes). But the visitors came levelled through Ross Patterson (66) and Adam Dalby (82).

“At 2-0 up it’s always a difficult scoreline then you give a goal away, the youngsters panic a little bit up against quite an experienced team who put us under a lot of pressure in the second half, and they (Newmarket) probably deserved their equaliser,” said Jarvis.

Fakenham’s final position of 13th saw them collect 45 points thanks to 12 wins and nine draws, with 17 defeats, culminating in 43 goals being scored and 61 being conceded.

Their reserves have ended their Anglian Combination Division Three season in a creditable eighth place, having also won promotion last season.