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Pedlar Pearson completes hat trick in stoppage time to earn draw

By Pete Woodhouse

Neither Swaffham Town or Fakenham Town were able to take the bragging rights from Tuesday night's local derby as the sides played out a 3-3 draw at Shoemakers Lane.

Swaffham's Ryan Pearson completed his hat trick deep into stoppage time to earn Paul Hunt's side a share of the spoils, leaving them third in the Thurlow Nunn First Division North standings.

Pearson had given Swaffham the lead after just seven mintues but Callum Brain levelled for the Ghosts seven minutes later, before Alby Matthews fired Fakenham ahead two minutes before the interval only for Pearson to peg the visitors back in the third added minute at the end of the opening period.

Joe Jackson attempt blocked by the visiting keeper 080918 STFC v. Haverhill B. (4139788)
Joe Jackson attempt blocked by the visiting keeper 080918 STFC v. Haverhill B. (4139788)

Seven minutes after the restart the Ghosts regained the lead and held it until deep into stoppage time when Pearson bagged his third goal of the evening, to ensure a share of the spoils between the two West-Norfolk outfits.

Reacting to the draw, Ghosts’ boss Andy Cunningham admitted it was mixed emotions for his side.

“To concede a 95th minute goal is hard to take, but it shouldn’t overshadow a strong performance,” he said.

“Swaffham have got a very strong squad, we knew it was going to be tough to come here and come away with something to show for our efforts so to have done that is pleasing.

“Before the game you have taken a point, but it is always a kick in the teeth to concede such a late equaliser when you have led from just after half-time.

“We can take a lot from the game, the lads more than matched Swaffham and in the end we are disappointed to be coming away from one of the best sides in the division with just a point.”

Cunningham’s side climb to 12th after Tuesday's draw but are without a game tomorrow due to March Town United's progress in the FA Vase.

Swaffham Town do return to Vase action tomorrow, Hunt takes his side to Thurlow Nunn Premier Division outfit Framlingham Town, who are currently marooned at the foot of the Eastern Counties top-flight table having lost all six of their games so far this season.

Downham Town FC 4 Lakenheath 2

Downham under the guidance of interim managers Craig Dickson and Simon Bird gained an important three points which moved them up to fifth with games in hand on the teams above in the early First Division North standings.

Town were quick off the mark when Jack Brand struck after just two minutes when the Lakenheath keeper tried to clear from outside his box.

The visitors were quick to respond when Aaron Turner equalised four minutes later. Lakenheath made it two from the penalty spot after 24 minutes when Kelvin Enaro slotted home. Town continued to press and were rewarded for their efforts when awarded a penalty in the 35th minute, Ben Baxter Hunt with a cool finish levelling the scores for the half time interval.

After the break both sides continued to press for the winner but it was Issac Bloodworth’s ferocious strike in the 58th minute that gave Town the lead once again and when Matty Bussens added Town’s fourth in the 80th minute there was no way back for the visitors.

Downham would like to thank Paul Neary and Ray Harrison for everything they have done whilst with the club; the highlight being reaching the Norfolk County Cup final at Carrow Road in May and wish them both all the best for the future at the University of East Anglia.

Fakenham v Downham Football Action. (3727093)
Fakenham v Downham Football Action. (3727093)

Downham travel to Wisbech St Mary tomorrow, knowing that three points could see them rise to fourth depending on other results.

Swaffham Reserves were unlucky away to Earsham in the Cyril Ballyn Cup. Despite having nearly all of the play, they lost 2-0. Next weekend, the Pedlars are away to Snettisham in the First Round of the Norfolk Junior Cup.

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