Thurlow Nunn League round-up: Neil Jarvis quits as miserable start continues for Fakenham Town

10:40 21 September 2015

Robbie Harris, the new first-team boss of Fakenham Town, shows the strain during the Ghosts

Robbie Harris, the new first-team boss of Fakenham Town, shows the strain during the Ghosts' weekend defeat. Picture: IAN BURT


Rock-bottom Premier Division outfit Fakenham Town will continue their hunt for a first league win of the season under a new manager.

The Ghosts announced last night that Neil Jarvis has called time on his latest tenure in the Clipbush Park hot seat following a torrid start to the campaign. The club stalwart has been replaced by his playing assistant, striker Robbie Harris, whose first job in management looks a daunting one.

Fakenham have lost all eight of their Thurlow Nunn fixtures this season and only opened their goal-scoring account during Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Brantham Athletic.

A club spokesman said: “While The Ghosts sit at the foot of the table, the decision is down to commitments outside of football rather than those within, and Neil will continue as manager of the club’s under-18s side.

“Despite the run of results of late, the performances of the players and chances that have been created have been very pleasing, a sentiment echoed several times this season by Jarvis.

“With roles with the first team, under-18s and more recently helping with the ladies’ team taking up most of his time, as well as his job, family time for Neil would always be much less than before. That’s all now come to a head with Neil’s tough decision to step down from something.

“The players were told prior to the Brantham Athletic game. Robbie Harris will step up from his assistant role with immediate effect to lead the team forward. The club would like to thank Neil for all that he has done, and indeed still does, and look forward to whatever the Robbie Harris era brings.”

Fakenham opted for continuity in May by handing Jarvis the first-team manager’s position – with Harris as his right-hand man. The pair successfully guided the Ghosts through to the end of the last campaign after Wayne Anderson departed to take charge of Dereham Town Reserves.

Jarvis – the father of Lowestoft Town duo Ryan and Rossi – first joined Fakenham as a player in 1986 and after a successful playing career he became reserve team manager and in 2000 was installed as first team manager. After two successful seasons he took a break from football before returning as under-18 boss and first team coach.

At the weekend Harris, a well-known non-league marksman in his early 30s, watched on as Kyle Plumb’s goal was enough to break the Ghosts’ duck – but not another barren run; namely their points return. His first game in sole charge comes on Saturday at home to Whitton United – who hammered Ricci Butler’s Gorleston 5-0 on Saturday.

Elsewhere in the top-flight at the weekend, Kirkley & Pakefield beat Stanway Rovers 4-2 thanks to goals from Kyle Baker, Ross Gilfedder, Jordan Haverson and Miguel Lopez. Managerless duo Swaffham Town and Thetford Town both claimed draws on the road. The latter shared the spoils at Hadleigh United to pick up their first point of the term while Swaffham drew 1-1 at Haverhill Rovers.

In the First Division Great Yarmouth Town moved up the third after a deserved 3-0 win at second-placed Halstead Town. A goal at the start of each half from Ady Ager and a sublime strike from Connor Deeks settled a niggly affair at Rosemary Lane. Diss Town won 2-1 at Team Bury Reserves while their King’s Lynn Town counterparts blew a two-goal lead on Friday night at Downham Town to pick up a derby draw.

In the United Counties League Premier Division, Wisbech Town lost 3-1 at Cogenhoe United.

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