Keeper finds the target but Pedlars lose

Swaffham goalkeeper Dean Mayes took on the role of free-kick specialist for his team on Saturday as the Pedlars tried in vain to salvage a draw at home to Brightlingsea Regent in the Ridgeons League First Division.

With Swaffham trailing 2-0 and down to 10 men after debutant Tom Grass was sent off, Mayes charged forward in injury time to take responsibilty as the hosts won a free-kick just outside the Brightlingsea area. His sweetly struck effort found its way into the net via a deflection to make it 2-1 and when Swaffham then won another free-kick in an identical position, up stepped Mayes again.

'He ran up as if he was going to pelt it,' said manager Paul Hunt, 'But then at the last moment I think he changed his mind and he tried to guide it into the top corner. He went for a bit of finesse – but he isn't really a finesse kind of person and it ended up a bit like a Jonny Wilkinson kick, high over the bar.'

Hunt was disappointed by a penalty decision which gave the visitors one of their goals and felt the red card against Grass was harsh. To add injury to insult, striker Aaron Clifford, who was making his comeback after a five-week absence, lasted just three minutes before suffering a broken metatarsal which is likely to keep him sidelined for another six weeks.

Elsewhere in the first division, Downham were beaten 2-0 at home by Cambridge University Press, while Fakenham lost 2-0 at March.