Ards show progress after home draw against Fram

HARDLY TROUBLED: Daniel Joyce (right) punches the ball away for Cornard United during their 0-0 draw against Framlingham Town on Saturday. The 19-year-old goalkeeper, who is a former AFC Sudbury Academy player, recently joined the Ards from league rivals Stowmarket Town
HARDLY TROUBLED: Daniel Joyce (right) punches the ball away for Cornard United during their 0-0 draw against Framlingham Town on Saturday. The 19-year-old goalkeeper, who is a former AFC Sudbury Academy player, recently joined the Ards from league rivals Stowmarket Town
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THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE

FIRST DIVISION

Cornard United 0

Framlingham Town 0

Cornard United boss Chris Tracey believes their battling performance on Saturday shows how far his side have progressed.

The Ards manager summed up Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Framlingham Town saying: “It wasn’t the most exciting game, but it’s the sort of game we would have lost last season without doubt.”

Tracey believes that Cornard are improving, and the Thurlow Nunn League First Division table shows that.

“We’ve played 12 and got 15 points. How long did that take us last year?” he said.

“I get a bit frustrated at times because we are not improving maybe as quickly as we would like.

“But we are improving, and that’s what we wanted at the start of the season.

“Any improvement on last year’s 15th is good, but we have better aspirations than that, and I think we are going in the right direction.

“We just need that bit of consistency, and to have our best players available.”

Saturday’s game was certainly not exciting, with precious few chances created by either side.

Too many poor final balls meant opportunities were squandered, and those few chances that might have been taken foundered on poor finishing.

Cornard came the closer of the two sides to scoring when Luke Edwards’ header, from Nathan Finnan’s 53rd-minute free-kick, was turned onto the crossbar by Framlingham goalkeeper Gary Rose, with the ball going behind for a corner.

The visitors almost got lucky in the 68th minute when a ball into the box took a deflection off Charlie Knight and hit Cornard goalkeeper Daniel Joyce, who knew nothing about it, before rebounding to safety.

Joyce, 19, a former AFC Sudbury Academy player, who spent last season on loan at Stowmarket Town, was hardly troubled all afternoon, and looked commanding in his area when he had to be.

“He’s had a season in this league already,” Tracey added. “He’s a good acquisition. The boys at the back trust him, which is what you need, and that’s a big plus for us.”

Tracey said he thought Framlingham would have come to Blackhouse Lane expecting to win, after the Ards’ disappointing 7-2 defeat at Stanton in the Suffolk Senior Cup a few weeks earlier.

“After that we could have rolled over and given up on the season,” he said. “But the boys, they’ve rolled their sleeves up and turned it round.”

Cornard United: Joyce, Melarkey, Newton, Knight, Edwards, Sloots, Payne, Stirling (Carvalho 45), Drann (Brown 57), Robinson (Holmes 76), Finnan. Sub not used: Roy. Booked: Sloots. Attendance: 44.