In-form Castlemen are ‘outside bet’ for the title

PROMOTION HUNTING: Framlingham are battling for the top three
PROMOTION HUNTING: Framlingham are battling for the top three

Mel Aldis has conceded that while the Thurlow Nunn League First Division title has crept into his thinking over recent weeks, he still believes his Framlingham Town side are an ‘outside bet’ to capture the main prize.

Six straight wins have propelled the Castlemen up to third, just three points behind league-leading Whitton United and with a game in hand.

Three sides are set to be promoted to the Premier Division this season and Framlingham have looked a good bet to claim one of those spots for much of the season.

However, the summit has also now come firmly into focus, though Aldis believes their fellow challengers should be regarded favourites in that particular race.

“(The title) is not something I even considered until a couple of weeks ago,” said the Framlingham boss.

“Results have gone well for us recently, especially the win at (then leaders) Swaffham.

“All of a sudden, we have come into contention and you never know what might happen.

“The likes of Whitton and Woodbridge (second) have some big games left and they also play each other twice — they cannot both win those games.

“Even so, I would say we are still the outside bet. Maybe it is because I am a glass half empty kind of person, but I just think others are the favourites right now.”

Next on the agenda for Aldis and his men is a tough-looking visit to sixth-placed Braintree Town Reserves tomorrow (3pm).

Braintree’s second string have not tasted defeat since November 4 — a run that spans nine games and includes a 5-2 victory over Whitton.

As such, Aldis has admitted he would not be too despondent were his team to return with a share of the spoils.

“At the moment Braintree is one of those games where if you gain anything, it is a little bit of a bonus,” he added.

“Of course we will go there and try to get the three points, just as we did at Swaffham recently.

“But if you come away from a trip like that with a draw it would not be a disaster.

“I would be delighted with three points, but at the same time reasonably pleased with one.

“There are going to be plenty of points dropped by teams up there with us between now and the end of the season, it is all about how you react.”

Josh Sprague and Chris Boardley, who have scored four goals between this term, are both set to return to the Framlingham squad for the trip to Essex.