26-03-2011: Fakenham Town 1 Gorleston 1 (Ridgeons League First Division) Clipbush Park, Fakenham, Norfolk
North Norfolk Day One:
As the previous few days in Suffolk had been rather pleasant it was with high hopes of continuing good weather that we headed off earlier today for a spot of R&R in North Norfolk having rented a cottage in the costal village of Weybourne for the week. However, as we crossed the Suffolk-Norfolk border at Thetford the clouds began to roll in, it began spitting with rain as we drove through Swaffham and by the time we reached our first stopping off point of Fakenham it was fairly tipping it down.
Mrs Extremegroundhopping had very kindly agreed for me to attend the Fakenham Town v Gorleston fixture at Clipbush Park, while she stocked up with holiday provisions at the adjacent supermarket, however, arriving some two hours or so before kick-off we had time to kill and nothing is harder to do than that while the heavens are open.
Still we had a nice fry up at a town centre café, bought a few plants for the garden at an art and crafts bash in the parish church, and having pretty much done everything that this nice market town had to offer in a spring deluge decided on a quick drive out to the ruins of Creake Abbey before returning to Fakenham for the match.
At Creake Abbey the rain had let up slightly and we enjoyed a stroll around the remains of this one time Augustinian Abbey. Various disasters have struck the place since it was elevated from priory to abbey in 1231 including a major fire, a deadly epidemic and of course the Protestant reformation. Despite all this many of the walls still stand to a decent height and there are sufficient window arches, doorways and other architectural features remaining to give a feel for the place as it would have been in its prime.
Back to Clipbush Park and the game went ahead after a late inspection of the rain sodden surface, the referees whistle signalling the start of the game and almost immediately a further bout of torrential rain. Fakenham have struggled at the wrong end of the table this season, while Gorleston are pushing for promotion, but the home side – ‘The Ghosts’ – belying their lowly position controlled the first half and had more than enough chances to head for the dressing rooms at least a goal to the good.
But they didn’t and where made to pay six minutes after the restart. A corner was cleared as far as the edge of the penalty area and a speculative shot skidded along the muddy surface eluding ‘the keeper and his right-hand post to find the back of the net. A late late equaliser – some five minutes into injury time – for the hosts brought some semblance of fairness to proceedings. The ball was hoofed into the Gorleston area, their defence failed to clear, and a Fakenham player was on hand to prod home from the edge of the six yard box.
Well we’ve now located our cottage in Weybourne and, with the rain now stopped, have just completed a short walk along the beach which is just a handy 10 minutes stroll away. Expect more on our adventures as the week progresses.
More pictures here.