Haverhill Borough 2 Downham Town 1
Downham fell to a late sucker punch despite getting their noses in front early on at the New Croft, writes Ed Colman.
The Norfolk side started well and enjoyed the majority of the early possession in testing conditions and on 12 minutes Mark Smith picked up a long ball over the top before rounding Borough keeper Charlie Turner and tucking the ball into the bottom corner of the net to give Bob Warby’s side a deserved early lead.
After going ahead Downham continued to impress with Turner having to produce a string of high quality saves to prevent Smith from adding to his tally. On 21 minutes Smith appeared unmarked at the edge of the Borough penalty area and was denied as Turner stretched himself to his fullest extent, and minutes later an attempted lob from Smith was directed straight at Turner when the striker should have perhaps done better.
At half-time Downham’s lack of quality in the final third came back to haunt them, as a much improved Haverhill side took to the field after the restart.
Borough introduced their assistant manager, Martin Westcott, who seemed to have an immediate effect on the home team. His early turn and shot flew just wide of Joe Clements’ right hand upright.
Haverhill centre back Gavin Taylor soon levelled, poking in an in-swinging Lee Hurkett corner after keeper Clements had fumbled under pressure from a number of Borough players.
Soon after, Ryan Kent’s cross grazed the crossbar and Hurkett shot just wide. With seven minutes remaining, Clements produced an excellent save to keep out Ash Drew’s powerful volley.
Deep into stoppage time, Jordan Read sprinted past the back pedalling Downham defenders and after a quick Haverhill counter attack Read fired home to score his first goal for the club, robbing Downham of a deserved point.
Downham: Clements, Rosablade, Sharp, Gould, Yates, Sykes, Porter, Stokes, Smith, Tansley, Cross. Subs: Sharp, Longmuir, Fisher, Calvert, Jarvis.
Attendance: 58. Referee: Mr. M. Jarvis.