MATCH REPORT: Fram close in on promotion
THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE FIRST DIVISION: Debenham LC 0 Framlingham Town 5
Framlingham Town are now just two points from securing a historic promotion after they routed neighbours Debenham LC 5-0 on Saturday.
Danny Smith was the star of the show for the visitors, helping himself to a hat-trick in the last 15 minutes, taking his goal tally for the season to 35 in the process.
The early exchanges belonged to the home side as Craig Jennings and Lamell Howell brought keeper Sam Chilvers into play with shots.
With the ball difficult to control on a hard pitch, Fram had a couple of chances on seven and 12 minutes when an Alex Ling free-kick was headed wide by Johnny Kerridge, before Anthony Johnson scooped his shot over from close range.
Play at this point was end-to-end with several free-kicks before Danny Smith twice forced saves from Debenham goalkeeper Steve Fenner. The referee halted proceedings on 20 minutes for a drinks break and at the restart Fram had a shout for a penalty as Kerridge was sent tumbling but the appeals were rejected.
Debenham had a chance to open the scoring on 36 minutes when Jennings laid the ball to Jack Severy, who shot across goal and wide of the post.
Soon after — in the 41st minutes — Fram were in front as Kerridge powered a low shot into the back of the net.
And it got better just 46 seconds into the second half when the Castlemen doubled their lead.
Danny Smith raced down the right and his deep cross was met by brother Charlie to slot past the ‘keeper.
The pace of the Fram breaks were causing concern for the home defence as Ling saw his volley parried and Kerridge had two shots that went over the crossbar.
Debenham then had a good spell of play with substitute Tanner Call having an influence.
However, any hope the hosts had of mounting a comeback were dashed in the closing stages by Fram’s top scorer.
Danny Smith’s first goal came from a penalty he had won, the second ten minutes later when he battled his way past three defenders before slotting past Fenner and he completed the hat-trick in the first minute of stoppage time.
Fram will be promoted to the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division for the first time in their history this week if either fourth-placed Swaffham Town fail to beat Whitton United on Tuesday night or they themselves win at Wisbech St Mary 24 hours later.
* For reaction, see this week’s Express print edition.