REPORT BY COLIN ROGERS
It was a bitterly cold day at the Gwinell & Sons Royal Oak but despite the frost experienced elsewhere the pitch was in surprisingly soft condition.
The first half became a battle for midfield supremacy and with both defences looking solid, the goalkeepers were seldom troubled.
Harwich best attacking threat came from corner kicks, expertly taken by their skipper Gareth Heath, but the Castlemens defence did well to snuff out the danger.
For the Shrimpers Alfie Canning had a chance with a shot and Joe Knight, starting the match for the first time since injury, also had efforts on goal.
A goal less first half ended with Harwich having had marginally the better of things.
Early in the second half Harwich had what was to be the the closest that they came to scoring when Joe Knight's header landed on the roof of the net.
The Shrimpers approach work was good but with the Framlingham defence in excellent form, they were unable to create any clear cut opportunities.
Framlingham were shading this half but with the Harwich defence coping well it still looked odds on that the game would end in a goal lees draw.
Then in the closing stages Josh Lucraft gave Framlingham victory with a wonderful goal when his shot curled into the top corner of the net, giving Shrimpers goal keeper Brad Cook no chance of saving.
Jubilant Framlingham celebrated their victory which takes them to the top of the table with games in hand over the contending teams.
An indication of a close game was that the winners picked their Man of the Match as right back James Ross for a great defensive performance and being link up man for their attacks.
Harwich team: Brad Cook, Harry Tuck, Dan Keeble, Tyler Sullivan, Reece Harte, Brandon Rusby, Gareth Heath, Luke Mayhew, Alfie Canning, Jamie Beecham and Joe Knight. Substitutes: Alfie Smith, Leo Carty and Charlie Stoneley.