16 August - U18's start their league campaign at Swaffham with a heavy 7-0 loss
By Ivor Darby
Not a great start but defensive frailities gifted Swaffham 5 goals
A new look team but not a new look result against a Swaffham team that had twice beaten us heavily last season. This time a 7-0 loss sounds terrible but some appalling defending gifted Swaffham 5 of their goals. First goal came after 8 minutes when a Swaffham free kick 25 metres out on the right was swung into the penalty area and the No 6 Tuttle flicked the ball off the side of his head and past keeper Dayne Herring
. The linesman raised his flag and kept it raised, referee went over to him, words spoken but the goal stood. No idea why the flag was raised. For the next 30 minutes the game was very even between the teams with both attacking down the flanks but defensive cover always able to nullify the attacks. Midfield became a battlefield with both teams cancelling each other out. Swaffham's second goal came after 34 minutes when a well worked free kick on the edge of the Fakenham area had Tuttle faking to take the kick but stepping over the ball, leaving Connor Germaney some space to hit the ball just wide of the keeper, who got his hand to the ball but couldn't stop it going into the net. Goal number 3 came after 37 minutes when a long ball down the left side for Germaney forced!!! Herring to come out diagonally to the edge of his area and he brought Germaney down just inside the area for a penaly. Swaffham's No 10 Harvey Neale comfortably converted the kick. Just before half-time Fakenham so nearly had the goal that some of their play deserved when not once, but twice in succession they thudded the ball against the crossbar before the keeper gratefully smothered the ball. Almost immediately after that Brandon Ballett
, coming in at pace but unbalanced because of that, just couldn't get any power into his shot and the keeper had an easy save. 3-0 to Swaffham at half time but a more even game than that scoreline would suggest.
The second half saw another 4 goals conceded as both team made substitutions. The fourth goal came from a keeper error when he spilled the ball after Swaffham shifted play from left to right with a great diagonal pass and the Swaffham player Uppington had a simple chance as the ball ran loose. Goal Number 5 came from No 9 Wagg who found himself in front of goal, no marker and a simple header from a cross from the left. Goals 6 and 7 came from defensive errors, firstly the ball was passed aimlessly across the back but straight to Swaffham's Wagg who had acres of room to beat the keeper. Wagg got his third as the ball was again too easily given away and he slotted it past the keeper. In between these goals there were a number of excellent saves from the Fakenham keeper as three times he thwarted Swaffham players when they had a one on one chance. Fakenham kept working throughout but couldn't get any penetration against a Swaffham defence containg 2 of the biggest centrebacks you are likely to see, both well over 6 feet tall and skillful as well. There were some good passing movements along the flanks but too often the Fakenham player tried to do way too much when a simple pass or layoff would have been more effective. With the next league match only 6 days away it doesn't leave a lot of time for Neil Jarvis and Ed savage to work with the team but I'm sure the players will respond well to the lessons learned tonight. At least all 5 substitutes had game time and gave Neil & Ed a chance to try out various combinations, even though some didn't work out particularly well. Next up Sheringham at home so another chance to get that first win under the belt.#COYG