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Heacham suffer defeat on Thurlow Nunn bow – but plenty of positives on landmark day for club





Heacham 0 Framlingham Town 1

Heacham Football Club's Thurlow Nunn First Division North debut ended in defeat – but there were plenty of positives on a landmark day for the club.

The Magpies – playing at Step Six for the first time in their history – did everything but score after completely dominating the second half against the Castlemen.

A sun-drenched crowd of 145 saw chance-after-chance go begging in the second period after Josh Lucraft had fired the visitors in front with a curling effort eight minutes before the interval.

Heacham striker Nick Davey. Picture: Ian Burt. (58482196)
Heacham striker Nick Davey. Picture: Ian Burt. (58482196)

Heacham, who had controlled the first half without creating too much in the way of clear-cut chances, were a completely different animal after the interval, as they searched for a way back into the game.

Striker Nick Davey – one of two summer signings from Parson Drove – missed a glorious opportunity to level the scores for the hosts shortly after the restart following a delightful ball in from former Linnet Jack Frowhawk.

A triple change by the Magpies on the hour-mark saw the pressure increase for the remainder of the second half with record goalscorer John Flanagan the tormentor-in-chief for the coastal outfit after being introduced into the action.

Despair for the Heacham management team of David Griggs, left, and Sean McQuaid as another chance goes begging at Station Road. Picture: Ian Burt. (58482198)
Despair for the Heacham management team of David Griggs, left, and Sean McQuaid as another chance goes begging at Station Road. Picture: Ian Burt. (58482198)

Flanagan dragged two efforts wide of the target in quick succession after Royce Rawlings had glanced a Shane Akers centre just wide minutes earlier.

Rawlings nodded another cross into the arms Edyn Cummings while substitute Fletcher Toll saw another effort miraculously scrambled off the line by a Framlingham defender.

Nathan Davies hit the post for the Magpies during a one-sided second half. Picture: Ian Burt. (58482200)
Nathan Davies hit the post for the Magpies during a one-sided second half. Picture: Ian Burt. (58482200)

Nathan Davies struck the post with a crisp half-volley and saw another effort from just outside the box charged down with what appeared to be the help of a hand – but the home side's penalty appeals were waved away by the referee.

Heacham continued the onslaught for the remainder of the 90 minutes and Ben Dear went close to finding a leveller in the dying minutes when his dipping shot flew over the wrong side of the woodwork.

Jofn Flanagan was a real handful for the Framlingham defence after coming off the bench in the second half. Picture: Ian Burt. (58482202)
Jofn Flanagan was a real handful for the Framlingham defence after coming off the bench in the second half. Picture: Ian Burt. (58482202)

The village side’s incredible rise up the divisions in English football means another journey into the unknown this campaign – but on this evidence they have nothing to fear after giving last season's play-off semi-finalists a real run for their money at Station Road.

All of Heacham's close-season arrivals showed promise for the month's ahead with former Linnet Kieran Shipp outstanding on his Magpies bow along with ex-Fakenham defender Shane Akers.

Action betwen Heacham and Framlingham at Station Road. Picture: Ian Burt. (58482204)
Action betwen Heacham and Framlingham at Station Road. Picture: Ian Burt. (58482204)

Heacham: Watson, Akers, Mitchell, Shipp, Clunan, Rawlings, Frohawk, Goss, Davey, Davies, Coe. Subs (all used): John Flanagan, Nathan Daw, Ben Dear and Fletcher Toll.

Framlingham: Cummings, Chapman, Shopov, Tysoe, Poacher, Seaber, Lucraft, Exworth, Willett, Wilson, Ling.

Attendance: 145.

Heacham's Ben Dear went close with a dipping effort late on. Picture: Ian Burt (58482206)
Heacham's Ben Dear went close with a dipping effort late on. Picture: Ian Burt (58482206)

Elsewhere this afternoon, Downham Town suffered a 2-1 defeat against Cornard United in their Division One North opener despite Matthew Blackford scoring on his first appearance for the club while Swaffham Town began their league campaign with a goalless draw at home to Leiston Reserves.

Meanwhile, Fakenham were successful in the FA Cup with a 2-1 victory over Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division rivals Kirkley and Pakefield, where Ricky Claxton and Lewis Sturman were on target for the Ghosts.



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