Downham out to maintain unbeaten start in first home game

Downham Town will be looking to maintain their fine start to the new season when they host their first home game in the Premier Division on Saturday.

The high-flying West Norfolk outfit welcome Ely City to the SCL Memorial Field on the back of winning four of their opening five games of the new campaign.

Downham’s only dropped points came in a 1-1 draw against the Robins earlier this month.

Matt Blackford heading for goal against Swaffham Town. Picture: Ian Burt
Matt Blackford heading for goal against Swaffham Town. Picture: Ian Burt

Reflecting on the club’s fine start, joint boss Dale Stokes said: “We played Ely a couple of weeks ago and should have beaten them with ten men.

“We’ve made a great start, but we know there are no easy games at this level. Our start has exceeded all our expectations but we’ve got some really tough fixtures coming up and I think we’ll know more about where we are as a squad after those games.”

Downham are currently without injured striker Joe Jackson, who is expected to be sidelined until October, but his absence has been softened by the return of frontman Matty Blackford.

Teenagers James Moore and Magic Smalls have given the team extra energy going forward while Artur Visocanskis has been a breath of fresh air since his arrival from Thetford Town in the summer.

“Last season we had quite a few old heads in the squad but now we’ve got a really good mix of youth and experience which is what we needed,” said Stokes.

Sunday’s FA Vase demolition of Swaffham’s once again showed Downham’s attacking talents.

The winning margin could easily have been a lot more and Stokes admitted: “In terms of the result I was pleased with it, but going 3-0 up so early killed the game really.

“I thought we could have managed the game a bit better and been a little bit more ruthless, but we scored two goals late on to win 5-1 so I can’t complain.”