Fakenham Town Reserves draw 1-1 away at Easton
By Ivor Darby
So near but just not to be as 10 man Fakenham Reserves have to settle for a draw
A windy old day, Easton start the game playing with the wind and immediately put the Fakenham defence under pressure, making Bond dive to his left and tip a low, goal bound, shot round the post for a corner. Easton have three corners in quick succession but it was a long throw after 8 minutes which lead to the Easton goal. Into the Fakenham area, a shot by Matt Hoeppner, a half block, the ball runs free to No 11 George Crowe at the far post and he doesn't miss from 1 metre out. Fakenham get right back into the game with a Jonny Lane free-kick from 25 metres out, floated in to Dan Tuddenham but the Easton keeper Barrie Franklin gets his body in the way of Tuddenham's shot, a bit of confusion between attackers and defenders sees the ball end up in the net but disallowed (Linesman says the ball was out for a goal kick). The game settled down to some nice one touch football from both sides, interspersed with a longer ball by Easton using the conditions to get behind the Fakenham defence. For Fakenham, a good move sees Franklin make a good save from Ben Darby
to concede a corner. Very soon after, another free kick by Lane finds Darby at the far post, he heads it back across goal but Dan Jarvis can't direct his header and it just goes wide of the upright. On 37 minutes Dan Tuddenham is Yellow Carded for a foul on Ben Cissell, a weighty individual who had been using his strength (bulk!) to give the Fakenham players a physical challenge - which Tuddenham accepted. A minute later Easton's George Crowe was also Yellow Carded for a poor challenge on Dan Payne. Still slightly carrying an injury from last weeks game, Samir Sulemen was replaced out wide by Ian Bulley
making his first appearance since his injury against Bungay Town back in early November. Just before half time, a visibly frustrated Tuddenham, angered by the lack of protection from the referee in some physical Easton challenges was shown a Red Card for comments made. A 1-0 scoreline at half time seemed a fair reflection of play with Easton having most definitely the better chances, Crowe always looking dangerous but Fakenham survived knowing that in the second half, with the wind now in their favour, they would put Easton under pressure despite being a man down. So it proved, with the equaliser coming on 51 minutes. Connor Laskey
received the ball on the left just inside the Easton half, drove down the wing, cut inside along the by-line and put in a low cross, which Franklin in the Easton goal could have cut out had he actually come off his line, but he didn't, the ball found Darby at the far post for a good finish. The remainder of the half saw Fakenham dominate territorally and possession wise. Dan Jarvis in midfield continued his excellent form with some great defending and creative attacking play, Connor Daniels
and James Slater started to flourish down the right as they continually made ground and Forge and Payne answered evey Easton threat with some great defensive play. A Darby free kick directly in front of goal 20 metres out beat the wall but was just over the bar, a call for a penalty after Darby was brought down inside the area was waved away, Franklin made a couple of saves but in the end, the wind was the winner with passes being overhit. At the other end Easton also had a few good chances to retake the lead, showing some good skills to get to the edge of the Fakenham area but finding Bond and the defence in an uncompromising mood as they got their bodies in the way or intercepted poor passes. Right up to the end, both teams were chasing the win but a final score of 1-1 was just about fair though both teams will say they really should have won. The game at Clipbush Park later in the season should be an interesting one, we've played on their 3G pitch, they can come and play on our grass and lets see who comes out on top this time. #COYG.