Stalham cup hopes rise and fall
Fakenham Town 3, Stalham Town 2STALHAM Town of Anglian Combination Division One travelled to Fakenham's lush Clipbush Park in the Norfolk Senior Cup with five wins behind them and full of hope of an upset against their Ridgeons One hosts.
Fakenham Town 3, Stalham Town 2
STALHAM Town of Anglian Combination Division One travelled to Fakenham's lush Clipbush Park in the Norfolk Senior Cup with five wins behind them and full of hope of an upset against their Ridgeons One hosts.
They were in the driving seat at half-time, two goals up.
Stalham were in fine form in the first half and soon took the lead when young winger Pete Skivington slid the ball past Stockdale.
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Stalham then took a 2-0 lead when keeper Daniel Stockdale came off his line and was cleverly lobbed from the edge of the box by a striker Carl Bailey.
At the break home managers Mark King and Stuart Woodhouse must have grilled their team for it took only 10 minutes for the Ghosts' Ben Darby to smash home for 2-1.
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Fakenham at this point were camped in Stalham's half and five minutes later Karl Pask drove a cross into the box that was finished by the skilful Julian Delicata for 2-2.
For the Reds, Lee Howard played well as did Nick Meale, and keeper Thomas Nicholls performed well in windy conditions.
However, Stalham could not contain the pace of Darby who was put through by a great ball by Pask to seal the win and put the Ghosts into the hat for the next round.
A club spokesman said: “It was a good game and I thought we had them at the break, but credit to Stuart and Mark's team, they never gave up.”
Stalham wish Fakenham all the best in the next round and thank the Ghosts for excellent hospitality.
Stalham Reserves entertained a Bungay Reserves unbeaten and top of Division Five after a string of victories against some of the best teams in the section.
Stalham played with the wind in the first half but didn't take advantage.
The game was an even affair, both keepers untested in the first period.
The first half was a real midfield battle and saw some very good defending from both sides.
Stalham's Dan Osborne looked class and made numerous quality interventions.
The score at half-time was 0-0.
The seconded half again saw both sides evenly matched. For Stalham young Nick Grapes, playing out of position at right-back, had a cracking game, as did Matty Haystead. And skipper David Cole was excellent at left-back and should reconsider hanging up his boots.
Bungay's best chance came in the 75th minute when they fired in a wind-assisted shot that took a deflection. Keeper Edward Savage pulled off a top-class save, tipping the ball round
For Stalham, Shane Kay, who was outstanding all afternoon and ran things for the Reds, went close in the 80th minute, the keeper saving well.
Kay almost won it for Stalham when he chipped the centre-half before firing goalward, Bungay's No 1 saving well.
MoM: Dan Osbourne.