Riches shines for Fakenham

Fakenham Ladies Reserves started the new year against a Thorpe side who had made an impressive start to the season.

From the off, Fakenham showed they were determined to put a difficult first half of the season behind them as they took the game to Thorpe with some determined tackling in all areas of the pitch.

The central midfield pairing of Kelly Adcock and Natalie Wright were in no mood to be second best and were winning possession and making the most of it on nearly every occasion.

On 15 minutes Fakenham carved out the first clear chance when a Sam King snap-shot went just over the bar. Thorpe’s right winger then cut through to create a chance which was cut out by Kim Pannell who was looking solid at centre-half.

A lively Betty Coe then created a couple of half chances but Fakenham were unable to capitalise. After a long period away Kirsty Hannant was slotting into right-back as if she had never missed a match, making some timely interceptions and clearing her lines to great effect.

Fakenham broke through again with some strong play by Sam King who crossed to Ellie Ready but the ball bounced up off the uneven surface and she was unable to get a shot off when well placed.

As the half moved to its conclusion Fakenham were grateful for a cool bit of handling from Katie Huggins in the Fakenham goal who had been relatively unemployed but showed her concentration by catching a shot which came through a crowded area.

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Fakenham started the second half strongly and a ball played through by Natalie Wright who caught the eye with some great vision in midfield very nearly played in Lorren Payne who controlled the ball well but was quickly closed down by the excellent Thorpe defence.

Thorpe then threatened to break through but a combination of Emma Weller and Tara Curtis stopped them in their tracks.

On 55 minutes Thorpe snatched the lead when a shot was deflected into her own goal by Jemma Riches who up until then had not put a foot wrong. This stung Fakenham into action and from a sharp back to front move Sam King received the ball on the edge of the Thorpe area and led the defence a merry dance before dispatching the ball into the goal.

From then on Fakenham were in the ascendancy, with Lorren Payne and Laura Riches on either flank creating space and using their pace to get at the Thorpe defence while in midfield Natalie Wright was showing great composure as Kelly Adcock put in a real captains performance, covering every inch of the heavy surface.

As the game neared its conclusion Fakenham were again grateful to Katie Huggins who, at full stretch, kept out a rising shot from the edge of the box.

Full-time 1-1.

Opposition manger’s Player of the match: Laura Riches.