Fakenham Town suffer narrow defeat in Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup final

Fakenham Town manager Andy Cunningham was proud of his players despite their cup final defeat Pictur

Fakenham Town manager Andy Cunningham was proud of his players despite their cup final defeat Picture: RONNIE HEYHOE - Credit: Archant

Fakenham Town manager Andy Cunningham was proud of his side's efforts in Monday's Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup Final after seeing his side beaten by Long Melford.

The Ghosts suffered a 1-0 defeat at Diss Town's Brewers Green Lane ground, with the Suffolk side's skipper Steve Adams scoring the only goal of the game in the 31st minute.

Fakenham responded well to going behind and put Long Melford under increasing pressure in the second half but struggled to make their pressure tell on their higher level opponents, who ply their trade a division above the Ghosts.

Their chances of a comeback were dealt a blow on the hour mark when Lewis Sturman received a second yellow card for a badly timed challenge on Will Wigfield.

Despite a spirited and resilient fight, Cunningham's side couldn't find a way past Michael Bett in the Villagers' goal but the Ghosts boss was still full of praise for his side afterwards.

He said: 'It's always disappointing to be on the wrong side of a result in a cup final but we can be proud of the way we battled and pressed to get back into the game, especially with 10 men.

'Credit to Long Melford, they defended very well and worked hard to protect their lead. It's not the end to the season we wanted but I'm proud of my players.

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'It has been a long season, but a season which has seen us make real progress.

'We have had a great run in the Challenge Cup, we did really well to reach the final it's not often side's from Division One get that far.

'Winning would have been the perfect way to round off a really strong season, but I'm still pleased with where we finished in the table and our cup run.

'It's difficult to be positive having just lost a cup final but there is plenty for us to be positive about. The lads have earned a break over the summer before going again next year.'

Fakenham Town: Coombe, Atkins (Youngs), Field, Franks, Walpole, Tuddenham, Akers, Sturman, Charlesworth, Brain, Claxton (A Matthews). Subs not used: Skipper, G Matthews, Harvey.

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