League leaders toppled at home, Reserves win 2-0
By Ivor Darby
A Luke Gray brace seals a magnificent team effort.
An outstanding team performance against opponents who hadn't tasted defeat since the first game of the season, and boy, didn't they find it a bit hard to stomach, though give them their due they congratulated the Fakenham players at the end of the game. As has happened over the last few games, the final squad wasn't known until Saturday morning with Jonny Lane and Connor Daniels both starting despite not having played for the last month, with James Slater playing despite carrying an injury and again our 2 U18 players Sam Owen and Charlie Alcott in the squad, Sam starting in place of the injured Ian Bulley. Fraser Field came straight into the team at left back fresh from his cameo for the 1st Team the previous evening. The first half was characterised by Mundford stopped in their tracks with some resolute defending and resorting to the long ball, mostly overhit and making life easy for Bond in the Fakenham goal. Midfield was a battle between the teams with Fakenham winning more than their fair share of the engagements and providing strikers Joe Harrison and Ben Darby with some good ball and bringing winger Luke Gray into the game where his runs caused continual problems for Mundford. It was Gray who opened the scoring after 15 minutes when a pin point corner by Jonny Lane found Gray 3 metres out from goal in the middle of the area and his powerful header left Frank Gammon in the Mundford goal helpless to prevent the score. Mundford upped the effort with Mason Thorogood proving a handful on the left wing and Ben Coe and the league's top Scorer Ian Fancett always a threat. The Fakenham woodwork came to the rescure when a nice move saw the shot come off the post and a couple of times keeper Bond had to get down quickly to smother the ball. At the other end, Harrison was giving defenders a hard time with some excellent runs that always looked likely to add to the score. A 1-0 half time score was well deserved but Mundford started the 2nd half the better. The Fakenham cross bar was rattled by an excellent Fancett effort, shortly after that Bond got down to clear a goal bound shot away with his legs for a corner. Charlie Alcott came on to replace Slater, his existing injury finally, despite a great game, restricting his mobility so a fresh pair of legs was called for. With all the Fakenham players working hard, Sam Owen, on the 63 minute mark, was subject to an awful tackle by Mundford's captain Nathan Rose who was immediately shown a Red Card by the referee. With Mundford down to 10 men, they continued to press for the equaliser but were continually thwarted by some very solid defending. On the 72 minute mark, Fakenham had an opportunity to increase their lead when Joe Harrison slipped past the Mundford cover, drove onto goal but was brought down spectacularly just outside the penalty area by Gammon who earned a Yellow Card for his effort and was perhaps a bit lucky not to have been shown a Red. With Fakenham taking control, the lead was doubled after 80 minutes when a Luke Gray break and subsequent shot took a wicked deflection to leave Gammon stranded. Mundford responded by hitting the woodwork for the third time during the match but started to resort to long range shots that flew high and wide. Final score 2-0 to the Reserves and a really well deserved win. No man of the match for this game as this was a team effort, all working for each other for the whole game, Jonny Lane outstanding as he was still covering ground at the end of the game with as much effort as when the game started, Dan Jarvis had his best game for some time and Fraser Field, Liam Forge and Connor Daniels marshalled the Mundford strikers really well. #COYG
ps. The club appreciate that Mundford contacted our manager Craig in the evening to enquire after Sam Owen. Top club for that.