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Thurlow Nunn League preview: Crucial clash between bottom two in the Premier Division

07:30 09 January 2016

Fakenham Town's players mob Robbie Harris after his late, late equaliser. Picture: TONY MILES

Fakenham Town's players mob Robbie Harris after his late, late equaliser. Picture: TONY MILES

Archant

Fakenham Town have the chance to steal a march on one of their main relegation rivals this afternoon.

The Ghosts travel to Whitton United to take on the only side below them in the Premier Division knowing they and their opponents are in danger of being cut adrift. Fakenham are five points from safety and only two clear of the basement boys – who have played three matches less.

A defeat would send the Clipbush Park side back to the bottom while further decreasing their chances of pulling off the great escape. But player-boss Robbie Harris is remaining upbeat as his men aim to haul themselves out of trouble.

The Fakenham chief, whose side drew 1-1 against fellow strugglers Saffron Walden Town on Saturday, said: “I thought everyone played their part really well. We stuck to the game plan, and could, and probably should have taken all three points.

“I still think with the games we have coming up, realistically we could be looking at a good strong finish.”

Harris’ injury-time equaliser against Walden, 17th and two points above the drop zone, ensured Fakenham could at least take some momentum of sorts into today’s must-win game.

Promoted Walden visit 14th-placed FC Clacton ahead of their next crucial clash – at home to the Ghosts next week.

Elsewhere, also weather permitting, Kirkley & Pakefield, fifth, have a tasty-looking showdown at second-placed Felixstowe & Walton United. The hosts can close the gap from table-topping Norwich United to five points with victory. Swaffham Town welcome Godmanchester Rovers.

In the First Division, promotion-chasing Great Yarmouth Town, third, have the chance to exact revenge on Cornard United. The Bloaters suffered a surprise 3-2 defeat in the reverse fixture and will be looking to turn the tables as they bid to strengthen their bid on a top-three place.

If they show half as much predatory instinct as they did last time out, when they destroyed Needham Market Reserves 9-0, they’ll surely move to within a point of Ely City – who saw their top-of-the-table battle against Wivenhoe Town postponed yesterday due to a waterlogged pitch.

Dereham Town Reserves will hold a morning pitch inspection before they attempt to welcome their Leiston counterparts while King’s Lynn Town Reserves are scheduled to visit Diss Town. In the First Division Knockout Cup quarter-finals Downham Town, reinstated at Yarmouth’s expense after they fielded an ineligible player in an earlier round, visit Halstead Town.

In the Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-finals, Premier Division Gorleston host Thetford Town while champions and league leaders Norwich United welcome lower-level, but dominant Anglian Combination top-flight force, Acle United. Wroxham host King’s Lynn Town Reserves on Tuesday and Dereham Town take on Ang Comb Spixworth at the Bowthorpe FDC on Wednesday.

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