Cornard United slip to 14th defeat of the season

RARE CHANCE: Jake Wood was just off target with a first-half chance for Cornard MSFP-24-11-12-BC 012
RARE CHANCE: Jake Wood was just off target with a first-half chance for Cornard MSFP-24-11-12-BC 012

THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE

FIRST DIVISION

Cornard United 0

Fakenham Town 4

by Ken Watkins at Blackhouse Lane

Saturday’s defeat, the 14th in the league this season, leaving Cornard without a point and adrift at the foot of the table, was perhaps a little harsh on a team that showed plenty of fighting spirit on a rain-lashed pitch that cut up badly and reduced the match to a lottery after the break.

But by then the damage had been done. An even first half, which saw Cornard enjoy the greater share of possession, ended with them two goals adrift. The goals, in the 30th and 32nd minutes, were defensively dreadful, and left Cornard once again chasing a game.

Cornard, with new joint manager Paul Grainger’s recruits Dan Stephens and Jamie Gregory making their home debuts, were forced to shuffle their planned starting line-up when two players cried off.

They took time to settle, almost conceding in the first 30 seconds, but gradually settled down and began to take the game to Fakenham. Clear-cut chances were few, with Fakenham creating the majority, but Stephens was inches away with a free kick and Jake Wood blasted over when another touch might have taken him round the advancing keeper.

But a 30th-minute free kick was headed in unchallenged by Plumb, and two minutes later the same player turned the defence too easily before shooting under Marcus Weeks, and Cornard were in an all-too-familiar situation.

Forced to chase the game in the second period, inevitably error-strewn in the torrential rain and on a deteriorating pitch, Cornard were caught twice, Fakenham making the most of their chances with Jarvis heading in at the far post after 77 minutes, and Plumb completing his hat-trick after outpacing the defence in the 84th.

Cornard: Weeks; Gordon, Beckett, Whitwell, Gregory, Newcombe (Hynes 86), Stephens, Wood, Melia (Henderson 62), Curran (Sheffield 65), Hammond.