Magpies defeat Ghosts in local derby humdinger
Heacham FC welcomed local rivals, Fakenham Town, to their Station Road ground on the evening of Tuesday, 1st August.
Nearly 300 spectators had turned out to watch this potentially mouth watering affair.
This was Heacham's first home game in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division. Having been unlucky to lose their opening game away at Woodbridge Town, the home side were keen to make quick amends.
David Griggs & Ross McNeil
Welcoming back Fletcher Toll, who has been on trial at King’s Lynn FC, manager Dave Griggs was pleased to be able to field a strong eleven.
Both teams were quick to try and stamp their authority on this match, with some fiery challenges from the start. There were early bookings for each side as the challenges flew in and the referee did his best to keep control. However, it was the away side who settled quickest, keeping the ball on the deck and utilising their tricky forwards, whilst Heacham relied on counter attacks. Captain, Royce Rawlings, was immense in the early stages, he was everywhere as Heacham thwarted any Fakenham threat. The away side did hit the bar before their efforts were finally rewarded late in the first half when Fin Whiteley curled in sublimely from the edge of the box to make it 1-0.
In the second half, Heacham started well but an incident in the 49th minute turned this game on its head. Fakenham’s Alex Walpole had already tested the patience of Dereham based referee, Stuart Jessop, when another late challenge gave him no option but to give the player his marching orders. New signing Owen Gilbert took the resulting free kick and, spotting the keeper off his line, smartly curled the ball into the net. 1-1.
Heacham now had the momentum and it was the home side’s forwards turn to show their trickery, continually posing a threat. Eventually, another Summer signing, Jack Noble, found space in the box, taking advantage of a deft cross, he headed the ball home to make it 2-1. Game management will be key at this level and Heacham managed to defend their lead well. There was one heart in mouth moment as Fakenham blazed a late chance over the bar. But it wasn’t to be for the Ghosts as Heacham held on to the delight of the home support.
One thing is for sure, Heacham have bite and will never go down without a fight. There will be some tough games in this division but no team will relish coming to Heacham’s Station Road fortress. Chairman, Dave Page, was pleased with the outcome, “very important to get our first points on the board”.
Next up, Heacham are in FA Cup qualifying action as they travel to Isthmian League side, Gorleston Town, on Saturday, 5th August.