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Many Games Have I Seen…: Hadleigh United 2 v 2 Fakenham Town

Saturday 5th March 2016
Millfield, Hadleigh
Eastern Counties League Premier Division
Admission: 7.00
Programme: Free
Attendance: 152
Match Rating: 3
Taking in this game was very much a case of “needs must”, only because I had only visited Millfield as recently as last July. But my initial plan to head for Needham Market following my lunchtime game at Stowmarket was thwarted when the pitch failed an early pitch inspection. Despite the Twitter feed stating that the pitch at Felixstowe and Walton only just passed a lunchtime club pitch inspection, I headed in that direction, only for that game to be called off as well just as I crossed the Orwell Bridge at 2 o’clock after one heavy shower too many.

So I turned around and headed for Hadleigh to take in a game which was actually the designated Groundhopper Weekend 3 o’clock match.

The Millfield is a very pleasant place to watch football, described in detail on my previous visit1. It was a nice touch that programmes were offered free of charge to all groundhoppers today, and a decent programme it was too, attractively laid out and with plenty of stats and reading material.

Hadleigh’s season is heading for a comfortable mid-table finish, as they were in 11th place in the 20 team division, with ten wins and four draws from their 27 games so far. The season is rather more interesting for Fakenham, unfortunately at the wrong end of the table, as they were second bottom and had played more games than all other teams around them.

They had won six and drawn two of their 29 games, and were seven points adrift of safety coming into today’s game. When the two teams met in January, Fakenham won 3-0.

With much brighter conditions than this morning at Stowmarket, with the sun even putting in an appearance at one stage but the very chilly wind prevailing, the first half was surprising considering the league positions of the two teams, as Fakenham looked much the better team and did most of the attacking, and they duly took the lead on 15 minute when a long looping ball from the left wing fell to Danny Williams, who bundled the ball in from close range at the far post. They doubled their lead a minute before the break when some rather static defending allowed Matt Franks dribble into a central position before firing the ball home.

So, Fakenham held a comfortable and deserved half time lead as they set out in the second half to secure a priceless three points in their battle against relegation.

One expected that Hadleigh could not play as badly as they had in the first half though, and so it proved as they looked the better team after the break. Fakenham still looked quite comfortable for the most part despite allowing Hadleigh plenty of possession, until the home side were awarded a penalty when Danny Thower was tripped in the box. Thrower fired the ball low into the bottom left hand corner, only just beating the keeper’s dive.

Still Hadleigh enjoyed plenty of possession without really threatening to get back on level terms, although Fakenham had a massive let-off on 68 minutes when the ball was fired back off the cross bar following a pull-back and a follow up shot was blocked.

But as Fakenham looked increasingly likely to hold on to the priceless three points, Hadleigh scored a great goal.

The ball was played up and through the defence, and Sam Sharp hit a superb volley into the far top corner, to send the Fakenham players to their knees, and one couldn’t help but feel sorry for them, although Hadleigh were rewarded for a much improved second half performance.


  1. ^ described in detail on my previous visit (

Xylophone Productions presents 'Can You Dig It' touring around …

Xylophone Productions Presents 'Can You Dig It' Touring Around ...

Xylophone Productions presents Can You Dig It; Full of comedy songs about growing your own vegetables, including a powerful love song to Alan Titchmarsh, and a virtuoso performance on a cucumber trumpet, Can You Dig It? will appeal to gardeners and non-gardeners alike!

Can You Dig It will be touring around Norfolk throughout March; along with our Village Hall promoters, Creative Arts East has been working with Pub is the Hub to create a special showcase of Live Theatre performances in pubs in Norfolk.

Terry Stork, Advisor for Pub is The Hub commented:

We ve been delighted to work with Karen and the team from Creative Arts East to set up these live productions in rural community pubs.

Nothing beats live performance for excitement, so to bring it into the heart of local communities will be a real treat for locals who can t always get out to venues in major towns and cities.

The Banningham Crown on Thursday 3rd March at 7.30pm (Pub)
Colby Road, Banningham, Norwich, Norfolk, NR11 7DY
Tickets: 10 Ticket price includes Supper
Box Office: 01263 733534

Sedgeford Village Hall on Friday 4th March 7.30pm
Jarvie Close, Sedgeford, Norfolk PE36 5NG
Tickets: 12.00 which includes a glass of wine.
Box Office: 01485 570097 | 01485 579355

The Mermaid Inn Saturday 5th March 8pm (Pub)
Church Street, Elsing, Nr Dereham, Norfolk, NR20 3EA
Tickets: 5 Ticket price includes A mug of chunky allotment soup and a doorstep for dipping
Box Office: 01362 637640

Cley Marshes Visitors Centre Thursday 10th March 6.30pm
Coast Road, Cley, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 7SA
Tickets: 12 per person
Box Office: 01263 740008

Coach and Horses, Friday 11th March 7.30pm
77 Manor Road, Dersingham PE31 6LN

Ludham Village Hall Saturday 12th March 7.30pm
Norwich Road, Ludham, NR29 5PB
Tickets: 8 proceeds go to Ludham Church
Box Office: Tickets available from Ludham Butchers
or by SAE and Cheque to
Ludham PCC, The Limes, Norwich Road, Ludham, Norfolk, NR29 5QA

Ashill Community Centre on Sunday 13th March 7.30pm
Hale Road, Ashill, Norfolk, IP25 7AX
Tickets: 8
Box Office: 01760 441196 | 01760 441374

The Pavilion Hindringham Saturday 26th March 7.30pm (Pub)
Wells Road, Hindringham, Norfolk, NR21 0PL
Tickets: 5 including soup and roll, Numbers are limited so book early.
Raffle for Pavilion funds.

Box Office:
Box office: 01328 878805

This event is organised in partnership with Creative Arts East with funding by Arts Council England,

Norfolk County Council and Breckland Council.

Xylophone Productions Presents 'Can You Dig It' Touring Around ...

For further information on this and other Creative Arts East events please go to: or contact Karen Kidman on 01953 713390 or [email protected]23


Xylophone Productions Presents 'Can You Dig It' Touring Around ...Monarch Catering Services, Norfolk, Suffolk



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  3. ^ [email protected] (

Reference Root Document: Xylophone Productions presents 'Can You Dig It' touring around …

Many Games Have I Seen…: Frimley Green 1 v 1 Ash United

Saturday 13th February 2016
Recreation Ground, Frimley Green
Combined Counties League Division One
Admission: 6.00
Programme: 1.00
Attendance: 40 (estimate)
Match Rating: 3
With heavy rain forecast throughout the morning, I decided to head to south-west Surrey today with the possibility of a last minute diversion to the 3G pitch at Alton Town for a back up in case my intended game was postponed late on. Happily the game survived so that I could watch a game on grass today. This game would also have the added dimension that it would be a local derby, with less than four miles between the two clubs.

The Frimley Green Recreation Ground is about a 20 minute walk from Farnborough North train station.

The football ground is fenced off from the rest of the recreation ground by green see through fencing. Behind one length is a grassy hill which makes for an attractive backdrop to the ground but also offers a good vantage point to watch the game from without paying. On this side of the pitch, an atcost all-seater stand straddles the half way line.

On the opposite side there is a brick building attached to a rather less attractive breeze block building with a cast iron roof. In front of this building, there is a covered standing area, whilst to the other side of the brick building, there is a covered area with a roof but no wall to it. Around most of the rest of the ground there is just hard standing, apart from a small section between the seated stand and a corner flag.

The 24 page programme covered the important fact but with almost half of the pages advertising, was very light on interesting reading material.

This was a game between two mid table teams, with little prospect of challenging for a promotion spot. Frimley Green went into this game in eighth places, with nine wins and two draws from 20 games, while Ash United were in eleventh place, with seven wins and four draws from their 20 games. When the two teams met over the Christmas period, Ash made home advantage count with a 2-1 win.

On a cold, overcast afternoon with occasional light drizzle, Frimley Green started the game strongly and took the lead on 13 minutes with a great strike driven in from 30 yards by Dan Milborrow.

They should have doubled their lead within a minute when Ben Acton ran onto a ball over the top, but placed his shot wide of the goal. But after Ash had completely dominated the opening half hour, they equalised on the break. The ball was launched downfield and the striker ran onto the ball with two covering defenders, but he managed to eventually get his shot away to send the ball low past the keeper.

Ash now assumed the ascendancy, and on 34 minutes saw a shot come back off the inside of the far post.

Into the second half, which started as the first half had ended, with Ash in the ascendency, passing up a couple of good chances to take the lead, but in the final 20 minutes it was all Frimley Green, and they will wonder how they didn t score, foiled by a combination of near misses and terrific saves.

Indeed, after a shaky start by the visiting keeper, which promoted the Frimley Green bench to shout to his players “he can’t catch, he can’t kick, he can’t save”, he was in inspired form thereafter, and certainly had the last laugh as he denied his mockers the win, and certainly Ash would be the happier of the two teams to have shared the points here today.