Thetford Town 1-2 Fakenham Town
By Darrell Allen (1/2/22)
Above: Becky White (left) in action for Thetford Town against Fakenham Town yesterday. Photo: Hannah Parnell.
After two weekends of cup action for Thetford Town, all eyes were on the return of the Norfolk Women and Girls League and a huge top-of-the-table clash awaited on Sunday as second place Thetford Town hosted third place Fakenham Town.
Bright blue skies and sunshine were the order of the day, a little chilly but very good weather-wise considering it was January.
Pre-game, Thetford Town’s new signing Amy Coaker was present and full of enthusiasm for the afternoon ahead.
Following a moment of silence to remember Lewis Sturman’s Mum from Fakenham Town impeccably observed by all, we were then off and underway.
Fakenham got the best early touches of the ball but Thetford was not allowing anything to happen with it and quickly turned the screw. The opening goal came on five minutes when wonderful work from Thetford Town striker Rebecca White earned the reward as she managed to get the ball to Abbie Corbyn who slotted past the Fakenham keeper. Thetford Town in front as they then looked to build on it.
Thetford Town denied Fakenham as the defence stood firm not allowing a quick reply, captained as ever brilliantly by Sausha Levy-Twomey. The next stage of the game was all Thetford dominance, a great cross from Melissa Boulton but nothing to show for it.
Katie Hardie crashed a dramatic shot against the bar as Thetford loomed to put the game out of reach.
The game calmed after this point. A series of several on and off substitutions as David Skipp used the options available to him well and managed his players’ fitness and wellbeing perfectly all afternoon. The luxury when you have 16 players must have felt like dreamland after Thetford played with 10 players for 80 minutes at Bungay last weekend in the cup.
Amy Coaker was introduced on the wing for her debut and got stuck in from the start.
Thetford were without the ever-reliable Rachel Lynch who was coordinating matters from the touchline alongside David Skipp in the absence of assistant Stuart Terry who was resting at home following suffering broken ribs. We wish Stuart well and hope he is back next Sunday.
Thetford Town saw the game through to half time with no danger and were full value for the lead. They will feel very disappointed that they didn’t score more in a dominant first-half period.
The second half began as the sun began to drop and Fakenham Town came out with a new lease of life.
Lydia Ward produced another solid performance in the Thetford goal to deny Fakenham and ensure that Thetford got to the hour mark still in the lead. Abbie Corbyn continued to try and make things happen for Thetford Town but in terms of attacking creativity, there was very little to write home about for the home side.
Fakenham continued to stay in the game and reward came on 88 minutes when Shelley Woods fired across the keeper and into the corner.
A nervous stoppage time period followed with both teams having chances, Thetford could have won it when Abbie Corbyn crossed and Becky White couldn’t get her header in the right place.
Fakenham Town then went straight up the other end and Shelley Woods fired the ball over Lydia Ward to win it.
Verdict: A disappointing afternoon for Thetford Town as their unbeaten league record is ended in dramatic fashion at Mundford Road. Plenty of positives to take though with recent signings Amy Coaker and Chloe Bentick involved. A decent crowd and lots of people using bar facilities before, during, and after the game. The future is very bright and all Thetford’s home games continue to be free of charge and welcoming of everyone.
Thetford recently launched a partnership with Her Game Too and were delighted to have a photo with a new banner yesterday to support the fact that football is a game for all.
Player of the match: This week goes to Abbie Corbyn for her goal and tireless effort, determination, and work rate to always try and make things happen.
Teams: THETFORD TOWN: Ward, Webb, Davies, Levy-Twomey, Hardie, Musgrove, Howard, Boulton, Corbyn, Bentick, White. Substitutes: Coaker, Bambury, Rogers, Skipp, Howard.
Scorer: Corbyn 5′.
FAKENHAM TOWN: Betts, Pooley, Ketteringham, Riches, Hutchinson, Sands, Lubbock, Spurrell, Lubbock, Woods, Baker. Substitute: Davies.
Scorers: Woods 88′, 90′.
In the days’ other Division 1 fixtures, leaders Mulbarton Belles won 2-0 at Sprowston. Long Stratton took all three points at Stalham thanks to a sole goal by Luci Middleton. Bungay Town continued their great form with a 3-1 win at Beccles, Lucy Eagle, Selina Rowland and Gemma Moore on target for the victorious visitors.
In the days’ final game the Thorpe St Andrew girls produced a performance to be proud of despite losing 5-0 at home to Dussindale and Hellesdon. A very creditable result and shows the progress of the team following a 25-0 defeat in the reverse fixture in the opening day of the season. Certainly a good birthday weekend for Thorpe St Andrew manager Tony Allen who celebrated his big day on Saturday.