3-1 win over March Town United sees the team move up to 4th in the table
By Ivor Darby
An Alby Matthews brace and a goal to the returning Connor Charlesworth crowns a dominant display against one of our close rivals.
An excellent team performance that more than made up for the 2-0 reverse against March in the 1st Division KO Cup back in early October. A last minute change was forced when Matty Franks failed a late fitness test and was replaced by Dan Hogston in the starting line-up and Stephen Harvey
came onto the substitutes bench. An enterprising start by both teams looking to put defences under pressure and it was Fakenham that made the brighter start with the first real chance falling to Alby Matthews
on 15 minutes when the March keeper Simon Palton just managed to stick a leg out when faced with a one-on-one with Matthews to concede a corner. Two minutes later Matthews did open the scoring when he was put through, shot from 15 metres out and saw Palton push the shot onto the post, the ball rebounded back into Matthew's path and he made no mistake with his shot. So nearly a second to Matthews just a couple of minutes later, another one-on-one with the keeper but he couldn't convert the chance. With the pace and movement of the Fakenham forward players causing all sorts of problems for the March defence, it was a beautifully worked move on 39 minutes that saw Matthews move into space, beat a defender and put a simple cross past the keeper for an unmarked Charlesworth to have a simple tap-in for a 2 goal lead. March responded with some incisive attacks, mainly the aerial route where they had some success in winning the ball and moving it down the flanks to put in a number of dangerous crosses, at times only some last minute defending clearing the danger. On 39 minutes, March dragged themselves back into the game when No 10 Jack Friend received the ball on the edge of the area and his crisp turn and volley beat Coombe for a really nice finish. A 2-1 half-time was more than deserved and Fakenham continued in the same attacking vein in the second half with Matthews, Exley, Curtis and Charlesworth all combining to keep the pressure on the March defence and midfield who were starting to creak a bit under the long ball chipped down the flanks for a Fakenham player to run onto. After 56 minutes, Matthews increased the lead with a good goal, benefiting from the wotk of Exley and Charlesworth who played him in on goal. A 3-1 lead was always going to be comfortable and March began to become a bit physical in their play with Gilles and Rawson going in the book for some poor tackles. Fakenham played the ball around for the last 5 minutes to keep March under pressure and the crown cheered loudly at the final whistle and 3 more points that sees them move up to 4th.