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Boss 'comfortable' as Ghosts reach FA Vase fourth round for second straight year

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FA Vase third round
Fakenham Town 3
Hadley FC 1

Fakenham boss Andy Cunningham felt it was a "comfortable" afternoon for his side as they reached the last 32 of the FA Vase for the second successive season.

A dramatic opening saw the hosts fall behind before scoring twice to take the lead, all within the first quarter of an hour.

And Jack Robinson's strike 14 minutes from time secured the Ghosts' place in Monday's fourth round draw.

Jack Robinson scored the decisive goal as Fakenham progressed to the last 32 of the FA Vase.
Jack Robinson scored the decisive goal as Fakenham progressed to the last 32 of the FA Vase.

Cunningham said: "It was scrappy second half, but I don't think Tommy had a great deal of saves to make.

"Comfortable. I think, without being great today, particularly second half, but a great win."

With their last four Vase ties going all the way to penalties, drama seems guaranteed whenever Fakenham play in the competition.

But any latecomers thinking they wouldn't miss the main action were to be mistaken when the visitors took the lead in only the fifth minute.

A slick passing move opened up the home defence, allowing Shaz Anwar time to slide the ball past Tom Coombe.

But the Ghosts hit back four minutes later when a Jake Watts cross found Robinson in the box, before he played Ash Jarvis in to level affairs.

And when a stunning Josh Hazell free kick found the net on 14 minutes, the tie looked like destined to become a classic.

Thereafter, though, both teams struggled to create clear-cut chances in a game that wasn't helped by some rather fussy officiating.

Despite enjoying long periods of possession, Hadley were largely restricted to strikes from distance as they searched for an equaliser.

And they should have been further behind just past the hour when Jarvis shot straight at visiting keeper Charlie Mann from a Watts cut-back.

But Fakenham ensured they would equal their best ever run in the competition from last season on 76 minutes when Robinson finished off a swift counter-attack, having been played in by substitute Louis Henman-Mason.

Cunningham conceded his side's luck with home draws may well run out soon, but added: "I'd fancy our chances playing anybody here."

And he's also enjoying the growth in interest created by the team's cup exploits.

"It lifts the brand of the club, gets people watching games. They keep coming back, they're coming to league games now.

"Everyone's getting excitement. The community's getting involved and that's the whole part. That's what we're trying to do."

Fakenham: Coombe, Akers, Walpole, Beazer (Guyton), Youngs, Hazell, Robinson (Wengrizk 90), Sturman, Jarvis, Brain (Henman-Mason 70), Watts. Subs not used: Dickinson, Grand, Taylor, Claxton.

Hadley: Mann, Marriott (Adeboyega 86), White (Yoane 46), Baird, Ebengo, Ofori, Uribarri, Edwards (Rodney 80), Anwar, Jupp, Milton.

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