West Norfolk FA Vase hopes dashed at the first hurdle
Hopes of a West Norfolk side having a prolonged run in this season’s FA Vase competition were ended at the weekend.
Fakenham Town were humbled 4-0 by Thurlow Nunn Premier Division outfit Norwich United on Saturday, while Swaffham Town bowed out 2-0 at Mildenhall Town.
And on Sunday, Downham Town crashed out at the first hurdle after being beaten 4-0 by Peterborough Premier side Netherton United at the Memorial Field.
Downham’s dream was ended by a disappointing first half display which saw errors at the back gift the visitors a 3-0 half-time lead.
The hosts did improve after the break but a fourth goal and the sending-off of Isaac Bloodworth for serious foul play compounded their misery.
Downham’s joint management team had few complaints after their second 4-0 reverse in the space of a few days and held a heart-to-heart with the players after the final whistle.
“People have apologised for their performances and mistakes and there are bits as a group we need to improve on collectively,” said Craig Dickson.
“It’s always good to air your views and it is all done in the right manner.
“You’ve got to look at the bigger picture. We’ve still picked up 12 points from our first five games, which we’d have taken at the start of the season, and to finish as high in the league as possible remains our ultimate aim.”
Fellow joint boss Dale Stokes added: “The first four games of the season everyone put a massive shift in and we ground out results.
“We were without players in the first few games and we were forced to work harder. Perhaps now that players have come back, a little bit of complacency has crept in.
“All goals come from mistakes at some point, however. Tuesday and today seven of those eight have come as a direct result of a basic error.
“They are easy to get rid of and you just hope they’ve gone in two games as you normally get that many over a course of the season.
"I don’t think it was a 4-0 game again, just like Lakenheath wasn’t.”
Downham now turn their attentions to a Thurlow Nunn Division One North trip to Wisbech St Mary on Wednesday night.
“Going into today’s game we were expecting a response after Tuesday so going into Wednesday we will be looking for one,” said Stokes.
“We are going to train on Tuesday and work on some stuff.
"Hopefully we will be able to put a few things right.”
Elsewhere in Division One North at the weekend, King’s Lynn Town Reserves were made to pay for missed chances and a penalty miss during a 3-1 reverse at Needham Market Reserves, where Mitch Rasberry was on target.
On Thursday night, King's Lynn Town under-18s travel to their counterparts from Mildenhall Town in the FA Youth Cup.