Last week was another testing one for Long Melford, as The Villagers completed their double of games against the top two teams in the league.
HAVERHILL BOROUGH 2 LONG MELFORD 1
Wednesday saw them visit second spot, Haverhill Borough. Although Haverhill started well and dominated early, Melford missed an opportunity when Ashley Skeggs was put through on goal only to see his effort smothered by the home ‘keeper.
As is often the way, in reply, Haverhill went up the field and almost immediately took the lead, converting from a corner, after a close range shot was pushed aside. Ironically, it was Ryan Weaver, a former Melford youth player that netted. Despite this, and severe pressure from the home team, The Villagers’ defence stood firm until the break.
After the break, the tussle became much more of an even contest, with Melford having a goalbound header cleared off the line. It was therefore no big surprise when Melford equalised after 68 minutes. A cross came in from the left, and this time Skeggs made no mistake, cooly controlling the ball, before lashing it into the top of the Haverhill net.
As the game an towards its conclusion however, Melford were dealt a cruel blow, as a Haverhill cross was inadvertently deflected into the Melford net by defender McMahoin. It was a hard lesson for the Melford team that had completed on even terms against their higher ranked aopponents for much of the game.
MELFORD: Sam Mansfield, Sam Bayliss, Ross Waugh, Sam Turner, Jamie Howe, Chris McMahon, Jack Durey (63), Pete Whitwell (76), Ashley Skeggs, Joe Harvey (89), Tom Wingfield Subs: Alessandro Zarrelli (76), Sam Newton (89), Richie Abbott (63) not used: Chris Toole
LONG MELFORD 1 BRAINTREE TOWN RESERVES 3
Following the stirring performance against Haverhill, this was a poor game for Long Melford. Althoguh the game produced a number of chances at each end, it was always a scrappy affair, and defensive lapses were apparent on both sides.
The opening goal fdor the visitors illustrated this when a Braintree player was allowed to run unchallnged to within 15 yards of goal, before netting efficienlty. Melford weren’t behind for long however, and on 27 mniutes, a tom Wingfield free kick avoided the wall, and Sam Newton slipped the ball under the ‘keeper and into the net. The rest of the first half was largely uneventful as both teams struggled to establish a pattern.
The second half started brightly, and Melford nearly scored immediately,but Simpson’s strong shot, cannoned off the bar. Soon after, a late lunge by a Braintree player dsaw the visitors down to ten men, and Meflord’s chance to push for the win. Although they applied pressure, the goal would not come. And on 73v minutes, a quick Braintree break saw the visitors reinstate their lead.
Denied what seemed a blatant penalty in the 80th mniute, Melford probably saw the writing on the wall, but the defeat was confirmed in the last minute when Braintree added a third.
MELFORD: Sam Mansfield, Luke Simpson, Dan Gammage (71), Addy Roy (25 injured), Ross Waugh, Chris McMahon, Jack Durey (71), Alessandro Zarrelli, Sam Turner, Tom Wingfield, Sam Newton Subs: Harry Fryer (71), Jack Hubbard (25), Richie Abbott (71)
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