Late Yates goal ensures derby honours end even

Action from Tuesday evening game Downham v Swaffham ANL-140810-092436009
Action from Tuesday evening game Downham v Swaffham ANL-140810-092436009
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Downham 2 Swaffham 2

The local rivals couldn’t be separated in Tuesday’s West Norfolk derby at Memorial Field.

Action from Tuesday evening game Downham v Swaffham ANL-140810-092422009

Action from Tuesday evening game Downham v Swaffham ANL-140810-092422009

After the match Downham boss Mark Reeve praised his side’s character after a battling performance.

He said: “We showed great character to grind out a result and I am really pleased with just how hard we battled.

“While we weren’t at our best, we have a game plan which we stuck to and executed really well, and I thought we were excellent without the ball, despite being poor at times with it.

“The penalty was a big blow to us, especially after the way we started, but we showed a lot of character to respond the way we did and hit them on the counter attack so quickly.

Action from Tuesday evening game Downham v Swaffham ANL-140810-092450009

Action from Tuesday evening game Downham v Swaffham ANL-140810-092450009

“While it was disappointing to go behind again, the way we continued to battle and work hard was great to see and the lads deserved an equaliser for their excellent work rate.”

After the original fixture was postponed due to a floodlight failure, Jack Redhead fired Swaffham ahead from the penalty spot after 35 minutes.

The hosts responded well to going behind and just five minutes later Ben Longmuir finished off a quick Downham counter attack to put his side back on level terms.

However in first half stoppage time, Luke Reed’s effort ensured Paul Hunt’s side went in ahead.

Downham FC with new kit, sponsored by Stuart Calvert (front centre) owner of FDC Civil Engineering Ltd ANL-140810-092544009

Downham FC with new kit, sponsored by Stuart Calvert (front centre) owner of FDC Civil Engineering Ltd ANL-140810-092544009

The second half was largely a scrappy affair, with both midfields working hard.

As time went on good organisation from Downham started to frustrate Swaffham and seven minutes from time Patrick Yates bagged his side a deserved equaliser as the Pedlars were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.

The result means Swaffham are second to Debenham LC on goal difference in the Thurlow Nunn First Division, while Downham sit in 12th place.

Next up for Downham is a trip to Halstead tomorrow in the Division One Knock Out Cup, while Swaffham welcome Braintree Town Reserves to Shoemakers Lane.

Downham: Billmen, Calvert, Clements, Dickson, Longmuir, Miller, Ogden, Porter, Sykes, Tansley, Yates. Subs: Cross, Fisher, Jarvis.

Swaffham: Allibone, Brooks, Castellan, Hockton, Jackson, Page, Platten, Porter, Redhead, Reed, Thompson. Subs: Edge, Miller, Woods, Thompson, Vincent.

Referee: Mr. C. Steele. Attendance: 75.