Fakenham Town begin new era on a winning note

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Fakenham Town came from a goal behind at the break to ensure they marked the beginning of a new era at Clipbush Park with a deserved three points on Saturday.

Caretaker manager Alex Walpole, assisted by James Page, masterminded Fakenham’s first win in eight, to cap a week of progress for the club which also saw the arrival of a trio of club stalwarts.

Dougie Colman, Simon Barnes and Nolan Keeley, all former Ghosts players or managers, have joined the club in football administration roles.

Interim chief Walpole believes Saturday’s hard-fought win was the perfect start to this new chapter in the club’s history.

“It is an amazing feeling,” Walpole said.

“It’s special. Not just for me, but for all the players, the supporters – who were fantastic today – and all the volunteers.

“Everyone behind the scenes has worked incredibly hard to get the new set-up together and the players gave everything today and I can’t fault them.

“It is so easy, when you are in a rut and used to losing games, to roll over and let your heads drop but the reaction from the lads was first class and they got what they deserved.” The Ghosts were thrown into turmoil a fortnight ago when the club’s players refused to take to the field for their home league clash against Yarmouth Town.

Fakenham managed to field a side with players from the reserves, under-18s, youth team coaches and a supporter for the subsequent Norfolk Senior Cup defeat to Yelverton.

The club have called an emergency general meeting on November 8 (7.30pm start) to elect officers of the club and establish the committee for the remainder of the season.

Chairman Bill Clayton praised the togetherness at Clipbush Park following a difficult few weeks.

Clayton said: “I would just like to thank everyone who has worked to help the club over the last few weeks.

“There was a real buzz around the place today and I’d like to thank Alex, James, all the players and everyone behind the scenes for helping to put a smile on people’s faces today.

“It was great to see everyone smiling in the bar at the end.

“It was a brilliant start to this new chapter, but we have got to keep our feet on the floor and not get carried away because there is still a lot of work to do.”

Hadleigh opened the scoring when Kyron Andrews curled his free-kick, from a central position, into Luke Pearson’s net, leaving the Ghosts with an uphill task at the break.

Fakenham started the second half strongly and just past the hour-mark Kyle Plumb pulled the Ghosts level from the penalty spot, their target man converting after Ricky Claxton had been brought down.

The hosts wrapped up Saturday’s Thurlow Nunn Premier Division points when Claxton made no mistake with his finish from the edge of the penalty area.