Match Report - Fakenham Town Reserves v Brandon Town 17 March 2018
Reserves v Brandon, comprehensive win, 2nd place consolidated
On a bitterly cold day (and the occasional snow flurry), the Reserves hosted Brandon Town, their Cyril Ballyn Cup final opponents and recorded a comprehensive 8-0 victory to consolidate second place in the table. To make this even better, other results in the division have given the whole squad a filip for the tough games ahead. Long time leaders Easton suffered their first home loss of the season to East Harling (wouldn't think we would ever be thanking them but 'thank you'), 5th placed Gayton United lost at home to mid table Caister Reserves and Thetford Rovers had a 4-2 home win over 4th place Martham, our opponents next week and one of our main challengers for promotion. Would have been even better had 3rd place Holt United lost but their away game against Mattishall Reserves fell victim to the weather but we do have 3 games in hand and a 4 point advantage over them already.
For the Brandon match, the squad was missing Connor Daniels (still ill) and Daniel Tuddenham(injured) with Daniel Jarvis
on the bench as he is not fully recovered from an ankle injury sustained against East Harling last weekend. As the final score might indicate, this was a very one sided game where, what according to the teamsheet was very nearly a full strength Brandon squad, they were comprehensively outplayed right from the opening whistle. The earliest Fakenham chance came after only 2 minutes when a break down the left by Kyle Plumb
saw his high cross headed away for a corner, eventually scrambled away after a goal bound shot was blocked by a Brandon defender. Soon after Fakenham had the ball in the net after Kyle Plumb
and Callum Brain
combined to put Joe Harrison
free but he was flagged for offside. Brain then should have opened the scoring when he danced his way through the Brandon defence, took the ball round the advancing keeper but was forced a bit wide and his shot from 20 metres out went wide. Next it was Tom East
's turn to spurn a chance when the wind held up a high ball into the Brandon area but his shot was high, wide and not very handsome. Kyle Plumb
then had a chance when Joe Harrision and Callum Brain
created the opportunity but the resulting Plumb shot didn't have enough power to beat the keeper. Plumb made up for this a minute later when he opened the scoring with a really good finish on the left hand side of the Brandon area to easily beat the keeper. He doubled his score after 21 minutes when Forge broke down the right and put in a fierce centre and there was Plumb on the far post to tap it into an empty net. It became 3-0 when the ball ricoched off the keeper from a Callum Brain
shot and there was Reece Taylor
on hand to place the ball into the net. The 4th goal came from Tom East
, an excellent effort from 5 metres out and the Plumb hat-trick came along a couple of minutes later, again a fine finish to give the keeper no chance.
Half time score 5-0 and changes made for the second half with East and Harrison replaced by Greeves and Bulley. The second half was a one-way procession with further goals by Reece Taylor
after 51 and 58 minutes to complete his hat-trick and finally a goal by Brain who, despite every other aspect of his play being superb, squandered chance after chance - on another day he would have scored half a dozen but it just didn't run for him. As so often happens when one team is so much on top, the Fakenham play became very sloppy with at least 10 really good chances wasted. With a tough run in for the remainder of the season this might come back to haunt us when we are in a much tighter game. Still this has most definitely put down a marker to the other teams looking for promotion and also to Brandon for when we meet again in the Cyril Ballyn Cup final in May.