New Downham Town boss remains positive after defeat

Downham FC v Norwich United Res
Downham manager Paul Neary
Downham FC v Norwich United Res Downham manager Paul Neary

New Downham Town manager Paul Neary was able to take heart from a positive display despite suffering defeat to Norwich United Reserves in his first game in charge of the Memorial Field outfit.

Neary’s troops suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Planters’ second string on Tuesday night. Nathan Stewart put the visitors ahead early on, with Lee Will doubling Norwich’s advantage mid-way through the first half.

Downham FC v Norwich United Res

Downham FC v Norwich United Res

A much-improved Downham side came out fighting in the second half.

But their task was made even harder when Alex Bailey saw red just before the hour mark.

John Sykes’ header pulled a goal back for Downham although Liam Jackson converted a penalty with 18 minutes to go to seal the points for the Plantation Park outfit.

Neary, who took over in the hot seat last week, told the Lynn News that the “passion and commitment” his side showed with ten men will help them bounce back when they welcome Biggleswade United to Norfolk in the FA Vase this weekend.

The Memorial Field chief said: “Tuesday was an exciting night for me, taking charge for the first time, and I felt it was a game of two halves.

“We were slower out of the traps than I would have liked but I thought we were much improved in the second half.

“The passion and commitment we showed when we went down to ten men was really impressive.

“If it hadn’t been for the penalty I fancied us to get back on level terms.

“We are trying to install a set of values and a new philosophy at the club.

“I thought, despite only having one training session together ahead of the Norwich United game, you could already see the commitment and together we have empathised in training.

“It will take a while for people to adjust because people learn in different ways but I was really pleased with what I saw Tuesday and am looking forward to Saturday.

“Biggleswade will be a tough test, we know that, but why not pitch yourself against a testing side?

“Sooner or later those tough sides are going to come around in cup competitions and I think it should be a good grounding for us and I can’t wait.”