HARWICH and Parkeston's hopes of a third-place finish and a home tie in the play-offs were dented by main rivals Framlingham Town, writes TERRY FRANCIS.

The Shrimpers lost 3-1 in their Thurlow Nunn League first division north match, at the Gwinnell & Sons Royal Oak on Tuesday night.

Harwich got off to the worse possible start, going two goals behind in the first ten minutes.

The first goal came when a speculative 45-yard shot went over goalkeeper Brad Cook's head and into the roof of the net.

The Shrimpers defence was caught square and from a cross, an alert attacker was able to side-foot in the visitors' second goal.

Harwich tried to work their way back and Joe Knight had a shot that went just over the crossbar.

However Framlingham continued to have the best of the first half and five minutes from the break, increased their lead with a close-range shot.

Harwich came out for the second half with a mountain to climb and they did put up a much better second-half showing.

The Shrimpers' pressure was rewarded the 70th minute with a wonderful 20-yard volley from Alfie Smith that nestled in the corner of the net.

Harwich now had their best attacking moments of the game.

Within a few minutes, Luke Mayhew burst through the visitors defence and was faced with a one-on-one chance with the visitors goalkeeper, who then made an excellent stop to divert the shot for a corner.

Harwich tails were up, as they saw the opportunity to rescue a point but they just could not find the back of the net, with Mayhew and Ben Hammond both going close with headers.

Harwich are without a match on Saturday, because their home fixture against Holbeach United has been postponed.

However, they will be looking to get back to winning ways when they entertain sixth-placed AFC Sudbury Reserves next Tuesday (April 4) at the Gwinnell & Sons Royal Oak, kick-off 7.45pm.