Early goal sets Villagers on way to comfortable victory

GAME ON:  Dan Smith, who scored Melford's second goal, tries to take the ball around  Thetford keeper Nick Parr
GAME ON: Dan Smith, who scored Melford's second goal, tries to take the ball around Thetford keeper Nick Parr

THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
PREMIER DIVISION

Long Melford 4

Thetford Town 1

Two goals late in the second half saw the Villagers to a comfortable and deserved victory over their Norfolk rivals on Saturday.

Inside the first minute Steve Adams had a golden opportunity when he got on the end of a dangerous Reece Clarke corner, but the Melford captain headed wide.

A minute later Melford were ahead when Jamie Griffiths latched on to a through-ball and outpaced the defence before firing into the net via the fingertips of Thetford keeper Nick Parr.

Melford were well on top and it was no surprise when the lead was doubled in the 10th minute. Dan Swain advanced down the left and his delicate pass was met with sublime control and a cool finish by Griffiths.

Swain then had a goal chalked off for offside and Dan Smith forced Parr into a good save. Gradually the visitors then came into the game, enjoying more possession without really troubling the Melford defence.

The closest Thetford came to pulling a goal back was Ryan Skipp’s shot on the stroke of half-time, but Sam Mansfield made a routine save.

Early in the second half Thetford were back in the match when a cross in the box struck a Melford defender at close range and, despite the home side’s protests, a penalty was awarded for handball.

Up stepped Shaun Hunsdon to finish clinically from the spot, hard and low into the bottom left corner, giving Mansfield no chance.

The two-goal cushion was soon restored however as the impressive Smith got the goal his overall performance deserved in the 54th minute. Smith burst through on goal after dispossessing a defender and showed great composure to lob the advancing keeper.

Scott Yearling then came close to extending the lead on two occasions before opening his account for the club in the 73rd minute.

It was another high quality goal. Griffiths’ excellent corner was met by Yearling at the near post ,and his glancing header gave Thetford keeper Parr no chance.

Melford finished strongly with their substitutes all making a positive impact, and the scoreline could have been greater with Griffiths denied a hat-trick by a good save from Parr and a strong penalty appeal turned down when Yearling appeared to be pushed in the box.

Long Melford: Mansfield, Dalziel, R Waugh, Clark, Adams, A Waugh, Smith, Swain, Yearling, Griffiths, Clarke Subs: Finch (for Smith), Hubbard (for Clarke), Chisholm (for Clark). Subs not used: Drew, Bayliss

Attendance: 92