Downham defeat to leaders is a measure of how far the club has come

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The disappointment of losing to the league leaders is a measure of how far Downham Town have come this season, says joint boss Dale Stokes.Two goals in four second-half minutes condemned the Memorial Field outfit to their first away defeat of the season on Saturday with a 2-0 reverse as the club continues its pursuit of a play-off place.It was a tough one to take for Downham, who had a James Moore effort disallowed for an alleged foul in the build-up a few minutes before their Suffolk hosts opened the scoring.Speaking after the game, Stokes said: “The fact that we’ve come away annoyed at losing 2-0 to the runaway league leaders shows how far we’ve come in a short space of time and the standards that we’ve set this season.”Overall it was a frustrating day. We were far too passive and didn’t do anywhere enough in the second half. It was a lacklustre 45 minutes where we just kept getting deeper and deeper for no real reason.“It was an out-of-character performance but I’ve done it for long enough now to accept that it’s going to happen sometimes.”We changed our shape today and it’s one of those where you think had we stuck with what we have been doing would the result have been different?”The disallowed goal has killed us, it was never a foul, and it could have swung the momentum in our favour had it been allowed.”They scored twice in four minutes and the second goal was a really poor one to give away.“It wasn’t until the 75th minute that we realised that we could play football again and from that moment on we looked dangerous but couldn’t find a way past their goalkeeper.”The defeat leaves Downham Town sixth in the league standings – one point and one place off the play-off spots.They will get a chance to bounce back quickly when they travel to Fakenham for a big Thurlow Nunn Premier Division derby on Tuesday night.But they will need to be quicker out of the blocks against the Ghosts – a fact Stokes acknowledged after the Mildenhall loss.”We started both halves so slowly and were very passive,” he said.”The first ten minutes weren’t good enough, which has been the case for the last few games now and it is something that we need to address.”

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