League points more important that Ridgeons rivalries

When listing the great derbies of British football, matches that spring to mind are usually the likes of Everton versus. Liverpool, Manchester City versus Manchester United, Birmingham versus Aston Villa and Spurs versus Arsenal. Locals in the Norfolk area will always focus on the so called 'Old Farm' derby between Norwich and Ipswich.

One derby that is unlikely to spring the mind and get the pulse racing is the North West Norfolk derby between Fakenham Town and Swaffham Town. Both did battle on Tuesday night at Clipbush Park with a deserved point each in a thrilling 2-2 draw.

Although, there was more at stake in this derby than just local pride and bragging rights. The pair are in a battle to avoid relegation along with another Norfolk-based team Downham Town. Cornard United looked doomed with only seven points, but above them are five teams locked in a tussle to avoid the possible descent to The Anglian Combination. Downham, Fakenham, Swaffham, Team Bury and Long Melford are all in serious danger of slipping out of the Ridgeons League and into the Anglian Combination.

This season's relegation battle has taken on a whole new importance given that Anglian Combination promotion favourites Cromer Town look as if they will apply for promotion to the Ridgeons League, Division One, as they have now been given the opportunity to do so.

Fakenham Town have a huge few weeks coming up with a trip to Long Melford on Saturday and then the reverse fixture against Swaffham at Shoemakers Lane the following week, before playing host to Cornard in their next fixture.


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As the relegation battle intensifies, the derbies between Fakenham and Swaffham may not boast the publicity and viewing numbers as the Manchester and Merseyside derbies, but there is no denying the importance, especially given the league positions of both sides.

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