Swaffham and Downham share the Friday night derby spoils
Swaffham Town 2
Downham Town 2
A spirited and workmanlike performance from Downham Town ensured the Memorial Field outfit secured a hard-earned point from their trip to Swaffham Town on Friday evening.
Despite going ahead early in the game, Downham had to come from behind to secure their first point of the new season in their first game since the departure of former boss Pav Guziejko last week.
Reserve team chief Neil Gotsell and Craig Dickson were in caretaker charge for the 2-2 draw at Shoemakers Lane and club officials told the Lynn News they hope to make a statement early this week about a successor for Guziejko.
Despite losing their opening three league matches of the season, Downham looked strong in the opening stages.
In the tenth minute, Swaffham’s back-four were caught out by a long ball over the top, which Matthew Bussens latched on to before slotting past Sam Pishorn to give Downham an early lead.
Downham’s resilient defending continued to frustrated Swaffham as they pressed to get back on level terms.
But ten minutes before the break, Swaffham got their rewards when Nick Castellan set up Blake Strangroome to net after the striker was left unmarked at the far post.
Just before half-time Downham felt they should have been awarded a penalty when Bussens collided with Swaffham keeper Pishorn but the referee waved away the protests.
Two minutes after the re-start and the Pedlars were ahead thanks to Alex Vincent.
The Swaffham fans’ favourite fired a powerful free kick-past Joe Clements in the Downham net from 30 yards out, leaving Downham with an uphill task against an in-form home outfit.
The visitors rose to the challenge and were deservedly back on level terms just after the hour mark, when Karl Tansley headed home from close range.
Both sides upped the ante in the final third of the game, with neither side prepared to settle for a point, leading to a high-tempo end-to-end finish to the game.
The best chance of the closing stages fell to the hosts in stoppage time at the end of night, Vincent was denied a late winner after his free-kick, ffrom an almost identical position to the one he had already scored from, deflected off the cross bar.
Had Vincent managed to bag the winning goal, it would have been a bitter pill for Downham to swallow, as just 10 minutes earlier the visitors felt the striker should have seen red for a second bookable offence after a he was penalised for handling the ball in the Downham area.
Downham are without a game this weekend while Swaffham are next in action on Saturday when Paul Hunt’s side welcome Division One leaders Woodbridge Town to Shoemakers Lane.