Ghosts must shake off midweek exertions to take on league leaders

Matt Gilchrist scored the winning penalty for Fakenham in their shootout victory over Harleston. Pic

Matt Gilchrist scored the winning penalty for Fakenham in their shootout victory over Harleston. Picture: TONY MILES - Credit: Archant

Fakenham Town must shake off their gruelling midweek exertions for the trip to Thurlow Nunn Premier Division leaders Mildenhall this afternoon.

The Ghosts came from behind despite playing for over an hour with 10 men against Harleston on Wednesday night, to earn a 1-1 draw and seal their place in the Norfolk Senior Cup final on penalties.

That Carrow Road final against King's Lynn is the latest step in the club's improvement since Wayne Anderson returned to the club and the Fakenham boss was delighted with his team's efforts.

'We went through difficult times last season, we were seventh from bottom and then we got in the relegation zone, I've come back to the club and we've pulled them out of there,' Anderson said.

'We're now sitting 14th in the league, probably another six points will keep us well away from the bottom four of five. This was all about this cup though, we've had to play Diss twice, beaten Gorleston away and they've been on a real terrific run in the league, but credit to the boys, they dug in with 10 men and – Carrow Road!'

Reaction: Determined spirit saw Fakenham battle their way past Harleston to reach Carrow Road finalElsewhere, Great Yarmouth Town have named six 16-year-olds in their squad to host third-placed Newmarket at the Wellesley.

Goalkeeper Connor Nicolle, defenders Alex Sawyer and Lewis Johnson, and midfielders Will George, Tom Hunter, Tom Sims are in the squad for the Bloaters, who have slipped to seventh after two draws and a defeat.

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Joint manager Adam Mason explained: 'We have crafted ourselves an opportunity having surpassed everyone's expectations for this season to have a look at a few lads that are banging on the door, training well and working hard.

'It's not to say we are taking our foot off the pedal, far from it. We are winners, we want to finish as high and well as possible, it's just opportunities for competitive exposure are very limited.

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'These lads have good potential and the only way to realistically monitor their readiness is to throw them in. We will experiment with a few others as well towards the rest of the season to see how we are placed for the wider future.'

Fourth-placed Gorleston host lowly Long Melford and Thetford, sixth, travel to Ipswich Wanderers.


Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties League

Premier Division: Brantham Ath v Saffron Walden Tn, Ely City v Hadleigh Utd, FC Clacton v Kirkley & Pakefield, Gorleston v Long Melford, Great Yarmouth Tn v Newmarket Tn, Ipswich Wdrs v Thetford Tn, Mildenhall Tn v Fakenham Tn, Swaffham Tn v Haverhill Rvrs, Wivenhoe Tn v Walsham le Willows.

First Division: Braintree Tn Res v Wisbech St Mary, Coggeshall Tn v Framlingham Tn, Cornard Utd v Debenham LC, Diss Tn v Whitton Utd, Halstead Tn v Downham Tn, Haverhill Borough v Holland FC, Leiston Res v King's Lynn Tn Res, Stowmarket Tn v Dereham Tn Res, Team Bury v March Tn Utd, Woodbridge Tn v AFC Sudbury Res.

• Follow David Freezer on Twitter @davefreezer or on Facebook @DavidFreezer1

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