Skipper marks his birthday with crucial brace for Fram

BIRTHDAY DELIGHT: James Mayhew scored two crucial goals for Framlingham at Swaffham
BIRTHDAY DELIGHT: James Mayhew scored two crucial goals for Framlingham at Swaffham

THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE

FIRST DIVISION

Swaffham Town 1

Framlingham Town 2

Weekends do not get much better than the one James Mayhew has just experienced, writes Liam Apicella.

Ahead of his 30th birthday, captain Mayhew and his team-mates had planned to have a little celebration, regardless of the result against fellow promotion candidates Swaffham Town.

However, there was extra reason to celebrate come the final whistle at Pedlars Lane after two late goals from the birthday boy sealed a comeback victory, sending the Castlemen level on points with leaders Whitton United.

“We were going to have a little celebration for my birthday win, lose or draw, but the game could not have worked out any better,” said the defender.

“It was a massive result against a team that was on a really good run.

“A win was really important for both sides and to do it in the manner we did makes it extra special.

“The management and supporters probably would have preferred us to do it more simply, but we kept pushing and showed our never-say-die attitude.

“That is why you play sport — for moments and victories likes this one. To score both of the goals is the stuff of dreams.”

Framlingham started the better of the two sides and went close to breaking the deadlock in the second minute as Charlie Smith fired just wide of the target.

But despite that positive start, the visitors fell behind with 17 minutes on the clock.

Matt Prudence slotted a pass through to Joe Jackson and the division’s leading goalscorer duly fired across Framlingham goalkeeper Sam Chilvers and in off the far post.

The remainder of the half was a fairly even affair with neither goalkeeper called into any meaningful action.

Early in the second half an opportunity opened up for Framlingham’s main marksman Danny Smith, but from an acute angle he shot into the side netting.

Meanwhile, up the other end, Mayhew and his fellow defenders — along with Chilvers in goal — had to be at their best to keep the scoreline at 1-0.

It seemed Swaffham were going to hold out and inflict a third defeat of the season on Framlingham, but with two minutes of normal time remaining, parity was restored.

Chilvers sent in a free-kick from deep and Mayhew rose highest to dispatch a header beyond the reach of Sam Pishorn in the Swaffham goal.

Not content with a point, Mel Aldis’ men continued to push forward and after winning a disputed corner kick deep into stoppage-time, Mayhew was again on hand to turn in Max Willett’s delivery.

There was one final piece of defending for Framlingham to do and once Alex Vincent’s effort had been cleared, the referee sounded the final whistle, much to the delight of those that had made the trip over the Norfolk border.

Framlingham host March Town United tomorrow (3pm).