Latest news from Dereham/Fakenham area

DEREHAM U11 met third-placed Firside, who were on the back of a six-match unbeaten run and immediately attacked the Dereham goal.

Even though Dereham had the down-hill advantage they appeared to be off the pace and short of ideas. However, Dereham settled and, when Sam found Mason on the edge of the area, his brilliant first-time strike rocketed into the net. Minutes later Mason became the provider. His pacey corner was met by a superb, powerful header by Harrison that left the Firside team deflated. Firside had further problems when they lost their keeper with a neck injury. The second half saw a Dereham reshuffle to tighten the midfield and protect the defence. Ben earned a penalty which Jake put away for a 3-0 lead. Ben was involved again in goal No 4 when his cross found Harrison, who had an easy tap-in. The rest of the second half was a stop-start affair due to injuries and substitutions. With a minute to go Firside surprised a sleeping Dereham defence with a quick corner and cross that was met a the far post by an unmarked player to make a final score 4-1. Man-of-the-match: Jake.

Dereham Wanderers U13 Girls were away to Scole and lost 4-1. Scole started the strongest but unable to capitalise with the final ball, Dereham had a couple of half chances from Hannah and Anna. The home side took the lead after a good save by Drew but was unable to stop the rebound, Dereham equalised a few minutes later straight from a corner by Ella. The score stayed the same until five minutes into the second half with Erren trying to stop an attacking move as the Scole player was about to shoot but deflected off her foot into the net. The opposition scored twice more within 10 minutes, Dereham had a couple of chances to get back into the game but to no avail. Team: Drew, Erren, Hollie, Ella, Anna, Millie, Hannah and Rochy. Girl-of-the-match was Ella, opposition girl-of-the-match was Millie.

Dereham Wanderers U14 girls travelled to Bungay for their eagerly awaited League Cup Semi-Final looking to make the final for the fourth consecutive year. Both teams boast healthy goal scoring records this season so defences were expecting busy games. Dereham started very well and took the lead on six minutes when Lanti calmly slotted home, the settled some nerves and Dereham continued to press. Chances came but Dereham’s finishing let them down against a tall keeper. Bungay settled into the game after the initial onslaught and started to press hard but Dereham’s defence held firm. Joy, Ellen, Becka and later Robyn were all exceptional as was Channie in goal. Lanti put in a captain’s performance in the centre of midfield supported well by Georgy and Chelsea. Up front Bea and Lily were full of running and chased everything. The game was end to end at times but neither team could find a goal, as time passed both teams seemed to start getting nervous. The decisive moment came in the 64th minute when Lanti forced her way through and this time found the bottom corner with a low shot. The relief was evident as Dereham’s players celebrated. Bungay’s resilience was all but over and a third Dereham goal, again low into the corner this time by Bea finished the game off. It was a great game and a tough battle, Dereham probably deserving the win and reaching another final.

Dereham U15 visited Jex on Sunday. Dereham started into a strong breeze, but some intelligent passing football allowed them to create chances. For the first goal Betts did well to dispossess a defender and find Lake who calmly steered his shot beyond the keeper. After a flurry of Jex pressure, which Dereham defended well, Mason volleyed a cross from Betts into the top corner from 20 yards to make the score 2-0. In the second half Jex battled well but Dereham always had the upper hand and created the better chances. Churchyard headed home a cross from Mason for 3-0, then Betts finished a fine passing move before setting up a tap-in for Lake to make it five. Until some hesitation in clearing a back-pass allowed Jex to block the ball, the rebound falling into the empty goal, Dereham didn’t look like conceding. In the final few minutes Laskey struck a post and in the next attack scored the final goal of the game from Mason’s pass. Final score: Jex Rangers 1, Dereham Town 6. Man-of-the-match: Jordan Lake.

Fakenham Town U9 played Old Catton at Clipbush Park on a wind-affected day. Old Catton chose to defend against the wind in the first half and within the first minute caught Fakenham sleeping and scored. Keeper Zac K was rarely troubled and his clearances cuased problems. From one of them, Ryan A picked up the loose ball and drilled in a shot that the keeper could only parry, Zak W-S followed up well to ram the ball home an equaliser after only five minutes. Shots came from Archie, Jack, Ryan A and Zak W-S. Archie had a chance of a tap in from close range following good work from Zak W-S but couldn’t get a touch. Ryan A then sent a crashing drive into the bottom corner for a 2-1 half-time lead. Fakenham introduced Kian up front and Jake in midfield, both having their best game in a Fakenham shirt. Ross and Nathan had their usual no-nonsense game at the back. Ryan A had a good chance to increase the lead, put through by Zak W-S, but his shot drew a good save. Fakenham gave a gritty and determined performance to ensure a very good win. Final score: Fakenham 2, Old Catton 1. Team: Zac K, Ross, Nathan, Jack, Archie, Zak W-S, Ryan A, Kian, Jake. The Fakenham Heel Bar man-of-the-match: Zac K.

Fakenham TOWN U9 travelled to Sprowston looking to avenge an early-season defeat. Fakenham soon showed how much they had learned in the few months the new managers have been in charge. Sprowston were not allowed to settle as every Fakenham player pressed. Fakenham had several shots through Ryan A, Zak W-S and Archie. Ryan A worked well leading the line. After good work from Zak W-S, Ryan A had a chance cleared by a defender for a corner. Zak W-S’s flag-kick sailed straight into the back of the net. Fakenham’s defence of Ross, Nathan and Jack stood firm and Zac K was saved comfortably. Midway through the second half Sprowston equalised, then Fakenham allowed them to move two goals in front. Fakenham introduced Kian up front and Jake in the holding roll. Ryan A made a crunching tackle which lifted Fakenhamk. Zak W-S crossed from the touchline and hand-ballled to a penalty which Zak W-S converted. Fakenham forced a corner with three minutes left, from which Zak W-S found Kian, who scored his first goal for the Ghosts with a firm drive. Sprowston hit a napping Fakenham on the break twice. Final score: Sprowston 5, Fakenham 3. The Fakenham Heel Bar man-of-the-match was Ryan A. Team: Zac K, Ross, Nathan, Jack, Archie, Zak W-S, Ryan A, Kian and Jake.

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Fakenham Town U11 hosted St Andrews and despite the strong wind tried hard to get the ball down and play passing football. They created an abundance of chances which they were unable to convert early on. Captain Aaron opened the scoring from the edge of the box. Matthew finished from the same distance. Fakenham were totally dominant but added only one further goal before half-time when Ben coolly slotted home. The defence who remained tight throughout the first half ensuring keeper Jamie didn’t have a single touch of the ball. Half-time 3-0. The young Ghosts in the second half, once they started to get the ball into wider areas, added goals at regular intervals. Charlie helped himself to a quickfire hat-trick and Aaron matched this with two more well-taken goals. The rest of the goals were shared between Josh, Dominic, Callum and a rare effort from Daniel with the goal of the game. His shot from just outside the box was placed perfectly into the bottom corner. SFakenham hope to continue this form when they entertain high-flying Sprowston next week. Final score: 12-0. Team: Jamie, Callum, Josh, Jack, Reece, Aaron, Rahul, Dominic, Thomas, Matthew, Ben, Charlie, Daniel and George

Litcham U13 welcomed Swanton Morley Blacks for a league fixture. Litcham settled well, passing the ball and winning the midfield battle only to find Blacks playing a high defensive line to catch the Litcham forwards offside. Litcham squandered early chances. Swanton Morley played the counter-attacking game well and took the lead from a corner which Litcham turned into their own net. Kai and Titus scored one a piece for Litcham to go 2-1 at half-time. The second half saw Litcham turn up the pressure on a well-organised side and get to grips with the offside trap to score another four times with Nathan, Jake and Charlie netting one each, with a bending cross turned into their own net by a Blacks defender to make the final score 6-1. MoM: Nathan Jarrett, with coach’s award for excellent support play going to Liam Wilson. An excellent whole-team effort and performance.

TOFTWOOD U9 hosted second-place Firside. The game plan was to stop Firside’s main play-maker Ollie from dominating the game, this task given to Nathan who won that battle. The game was a hard-fought affair with Firside confined to long-range shots by a solid display of defensive team work by Angus and Alfie. Toftwood created numerous chances after some great link up play between Peter and Oliver but couldn’t convert. The second half continued in the same fashion. Toftwood’s Jamie covered well to shut down Firside, Leon and Charlie maintained the pressure and created chances on the back of some great football. The result: 0-0, but after a 5-1 defeat by Firside in their first encounter, Toftwood must look upon this as a victory, and a massive sign of their progress. MoM went to Purvik for another clean sheet. Every player gave 100 per cent and showed true pride in playing for Toftwood. Thanks went to Burton Wall Associates for sponsoring the new match ball.

Toftwood U13 bagged another three points playing hosts to Watton. They struck early with Matt latching on to Harry T’s through-ball to calmly finish. Ryan, Matt and Sam all went close before another probing ball from Harry T was turned in by a Watton player to make it 2-0. Yet another lapse of concentration from keeper and defender gifted Watton a goal. Josh, Alfie, Harry T and Harry R in defence coped with ease; Sam, Lewis, Keiron and Sonny commanded the midfield’. Robbie, Charlie and Declan were all introduced and worked hard to produce chances for Toftwood, but to no avail. Alfie had a chance from a Lewis corner and Declan had a shot go wide. Ryan found space and finished well for 3-1. Harry R’s lofted ball in the box found Robbie who again proved too strong for the Watton defence. His flick-on gave Lewis a tap-in to make the final score 4-1.