On Monday the 27th of February 2017, the Fakenham Academy Norfolk Year 11 football team took on a decent Aylsham side to go top of the league for the time being. We had not known anything about them as a result of not playing them this season or last, but we went into the game with heads held high after beating North Walsham and drawing with APHS; arguably two of strongest teams in our league.
On the day it wasn't too cold, but definitely not a warn occasion! As soon as Aylsham had taken kick off, it was visible that we were looking to close them down quick, apply as much pressure as we could and steal the ball off them.We looked dangerous and sharp from the off, and that showed a few times with a couple of near chances for us in the opening exchanges. But after around 7 minutes, striker Stephen Penny gave us the goal to go 1-0 up after a beautifully threaded ball by Brandon Ballet, while on the counter attack started by a perfectly timed tackle from right back, Cameron Worts.
Around 10 minutes later, another goal from Stephen Penny gave us a two goal cushion. This goal sparked from a long kick from myself in goal which looked to be going nowhere, but all of a sudden with sheer determination in his eyes and passion in his heart, left midfielder Stanley Harvey won the ball off of the opposing right back, to then stick a decent ball through to Stephen who slots it in under the keeper to make it two and his second of the game.
We then went in for half time after a terrific first half in which every one of our players gave all they could and worked their socks off for this deserved lead. Manager and PE teacher Mr Savage said ‘it's the best you lot have played together as a team by miles’ which did nothing but encourage and motivate us to get even more goals and be proud of our performance so far.
We came out confident, knowing we had been the better side in that first half. A couple of minutes into the second half, Stephen Penny once again slotted the ball past the goalkeeper after a terrific pass through from Oliver Flint for his first hattrick of the season. After this we looked up for it again, continuously chasing the ball and wanting even more goals. But then out of nowhere Aylsham pulled one back, after a long throw had been launched into the box, and a failed clearance ended up at the feet of an Aylsham body, who blasted it past myself into the net, making it 3-1. Little did we know 10 or so minutes later they would get another one. This had come from a lack of communication from me and centre back Kieran Ballet causing yet another long throw into the box, resulting in a parried shot being followed in by the Aylsham man.
But we hung on for a 3-2 Fakenham win, meaning we are now top of the league as it stands, and were looking stronger than ever.
Dayne Herring (GK)