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Framlingham Town manager Liam Abraham reflects on play-off semi-final exit to Harleston Town

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Framlingham Town boss Liam Abraham conceded his side did not have the legs in the end to wipe out Harleston Town’s lead in their 2-1 play-off semi-final defeat.

Max Willett’s cool 37th-minute finish from a rare breakaway had handed the Castlemen a lifeline going into the break, following goals for the hosts from Aedan Oliver and Nathan Russell.

But despite a promising start to the second half it was Harleston who were soon dominating once again.

Liam Abraham leads a debrief at the end of Saturday's play-off semi-final loss. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Liam Abraham leads a debrief at the end of Saturday's play-off semi-final loss. Picture: Mark Bullimore

“I thought we just ran out of a bit of steam in the second half,” said Abraham of his fifth-placed side’s promotion dream ending.

“We came out after half-time and gave it a real good go but the longer the match went on it was clear we were just running out of a bit of energy and didn’t quite get a second wind like I wanted us to towards the end.”

He also admitted their plans for the game had been blown apart with the way title-challengers Harleston imposed themselves on them early on, aided by a strong wind.

He said: “To be fair our game plan was we wanted to try and look after the ball and get on it.

“We probably didn’t have enough of what we wanted first half but the conditions were tough first half and I thought we did alright. The ‘keeper made a few saves. The second goal was a bit of a disappointing one to let in but I thought it was a good game of football.”

But once the dust has settled he said they would reflect with pride on the way they had handled all three games against a side that actually finished 24 points ahead of them in the table.

“They’re a top quality team and we know that,” he said.

“The league table doesn’t lie but we’ve played them three times now and beat them once and lost two here by just one goal.”

Reflecting on their season, he said it was definitely one that had to be viewed in two parts.

“I’d say the start of the season we started real slow, we had a lot of players in and out and a lot of inconsistency,” he said.

“Second half of the season has been brilliant. Look at the form table and we’re third in it all the way from about February onwards.

“I told the lads on the pitch at the end we’ve just got to crack on for next year now and put it right.”

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