Seasiders claim routine victory over strugglers Fakenham
- Credit: Archant
Thurlow Nunn Premier Felixstowe & Walton United 2 Fakenham Town 0 This encounter highlighted the fact that there are no easy rides as the Seasiders chase the Premier Division title, writes Phil Griffiths.
Games where, on paper, they might expect a routine three points are proving to be hurdles they have to overcome, with the opposition raising their game and lining up defensively saying, ‘come and break us down’.
Fakenham, who were in lots of trouble at the start of the season, have pulled themselves round in the last month to haul themselves off the foot of the table under a new management regime on and off the pitch.
And while the result never looked in any doubt after Craig Jennings put the home side ahead in the sixth minute, the visitors showed plenty of grit, getting bodies behind the ball in the first 45 minutes as a continual wave of attacks kept them pinned in their own half.
Having survived the first half with minimal damage, they became more adventurous in the second period and while the home side’s goal was never under serious threat, it wasn’t one-way traffic as the first had been.
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Stand in ‘keeper Karl Knights, deputising for the injured Danny Crump, was never called into serious action throughout the match but was more involved in the game after the opening 45 minutes where he had just one touch, that from a backpass.
Matthews squandered an early chance before Jennings’ clever overhead kick from Stuart Boardley’s corner to the near post opened the scoring.
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And the visitors’ goal led a charmed life after that with first Scott Chaplin rattling Luke Pearson’s cross bar, and the visitors’ keeper denying Taylor Hastings with a spectacular save, racing back to touch the ball over the bar for another corner when it looked as though Hastings’ 40-yard dipping volley was goal-bound.
Another 350 plus crowd were kept entertained by the football dished up, and any nerves they may have had about the single goal lead were calmed in the 71st minute when a clumsy challenge by Williams on Jennings earned the defender a yellow card, and gave Joe Francis the opportunity to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot.