Perfect start to the season maintained with a 5-1 win over Downham Town veterans
By Ivor Darby
unbeaten, into Round 3 of the Norfolk Veterans Cup, what could possibly go wrong?
A much tougher match than the scoreline would suggest and what you would expect playing a Downham Town team. If they had more than the single substitute, as opposed to our 5, it would have been even tougher. With a minutes silence commemorating Armistice daybefore the game, the game started and 4 minutes later Fakenham scored their first goal. An attack down the left by Danny Overton to the by-line, a cross to the back post to Riccy Mallett who looped the ball back in and Danny Overton had a firm header dissect the keeper and a defender, that easy but some smart play. Shortly after, Downham gave the Fakenham team a scare with a good attack that forced keeper Chris Cracknell to come rushing out of his goal to clear away with his legs (not the first time during the match that happened!). The pressure didn't go away and a Downham free kick from 30 metres out by the No 11 Mark Hunter curled round the wall and off the crossbar with Cracknell a spectator. Fakenham made their 1st substitution when Billy Overton replaced Gary Belton after 25 minutes, in celebration of which captain Kent Cooper made a valiant attempt at an own goal with a slightly misplaced header that had Cracknell stranded as the ball went just wide of the post. With the Downham effort slightly easing, Fakenham introduced 2 fresh players in Phil Hurr and Kevin Heyhoe to replace Matt Pooley and Mallett after 34 minutes, tactics which paid dividends a couple of minutes later when Fakenham scored their second through Phil Hurr, an easy chance in front of goal after a deep corner came back into the area and fell nicely for him. Just before half-time, Downham had to replace their No 9 Pete Merleski through injury so that was them clearing the bench at one foul swoop. Second half saw a lot of Fakenham pressure but it was Downham who scored first after 63 minutes. Just to confirm that goalkeepers aren't normal people, Chris Cracknell came sprinting!! out of his area to clear the ball, never really in with a chance of reaching it before Downham's Paul Donovan who got there first, took it round Chris and a nice finish into an empty goal. With Fakenham substitutions being made regularly, Daryl Parsley helped himself to 2 goals in the space of 5 minutes, before himself being tactically substituted when it appeared that he was after a hat-trick. Last 15 minutes were all Fakenham and a 5th was added by Kevin Heyhoe with just a couple of minutes left. Final score 5-1 to Fakenham. A good win. Ironically, the match was played the day after the club had a Race Night as there was some betting going on among the spectators as to where Chris Cracknell's goal kicks were going to end up. He obviously had chosen the wrong boots to wear as, like a 36 handicap golfer, he was shanking the ball every which way but where he wanted. Just hope his lad didn't hear some of the choice language used!!
Next game, in 3 weeks time, a Round 3 Norfolk Veterans Cup match against Martham veterans. A home match so let's hope a good crowd, a full complement of 16 players and a win. #COYG