THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Halstead Town 2
Framlingham Town 2
After breaking the 30-goal barrier at Halstead, Danny Smith still harbours hopes of overhauling the division’s top scorers to claim the golden boot on the way to securing Framlingham promotion.
The striker had been down in fifth place in the league’s goal-charts heading into the mid-week clash in Essex. But another brace, adding to his two goals in the 7-2 demolition of bottom side Needham Market Reserves last Friday, moved him up a place, and with 31 from 39 games, he is now five behind Swaffham’s Joseph Jackson at the summit.
“Last season I got 24 but I was not always played up top,” he said, having scored two great opportunistic strikes after ninth-place Halstead had taken an early lead on Tuesday, before they went on to equalise on the stroke of half-time.
“My target at the start of the season was 30, but now I have got to re-evaluate and go higher.
“It would be nice to catch the guys at the top of the charts and hopefully I can help us to get another promotion.”
Halstead had beaten one of Framlingham’s main contenders for the third automatic promotion place, Swaffham, 2-1 on Saturday, meaning anything they took from the game would see them increase the gap, which stood at seven points.
Both teams had gone into the game looking for their third straight win, with Danny Smith (2), Mayhew, Thorpe, Ling (2) and Taylor having all been on target in a confidence-boosting 7-2 victory at Needham Market on Friday.
But it was Halstead who raced into the lead with Joe Morris heading home a Jamie in the ninth minute.
It took less than three minutes for the Greens to respond though, with Danny Smith swivelling on Anthony Johnson’s low pass and firing into the bottom left corner in a breathtaking move.
He showed similar great vision and finishing ability in the 21st minute after running onto brother Charlie’s pass and finding a gap to the far post from an angle.
The visitors did not heed the warnings before Chris Harris headed a deep cross over Sam Chilvers.
The second half saw Framlingham mainly on the backfoot but they still had chances to win the game, with Johnny Kerridge’s late strike rightly ruled out for offside, while Matt Aldis’ header was well held by Matt Walker.
“I think everyone knows it is two points dropped but I think we have got to look at how the game went. We didn’t deserve much more from it,” reflected Danny Smith.
Framlingham travel to the last side to beat them, Downham Town on December 2 (1-0), on Saturday before hosting Leiston Reserves on Monday (both 3pm).
Framlingham: Chilvers, Poacher, Thorpe, Aldis, Johnson, Mayhew (c), C Smith (Rodriguez 74’), Ling, D Smith, Kerridge, Willett (Boardley 64’).
Express Man of The Match: Danny Smith. Two moments of real quality for his goals.