High-flying Long Melford soar to fifth

GOAL HERO:  Sott Yearling (right)
GOAL HERO: Sott Yearling (right)

Jules Mumford has admitted his Long Melford side have exceeded his own expectations, following their 2-1 win away at Mildenhall Town on Saturday.

Promoted last season, Mumford’s main target was for Melford to retain their Thurlow Nunn Premier Division status. However, the victory over Mildenhall, which extended their unbeaten run to four matches, lifted the Villagers up to fifth.

“When the season started it was all about not getting relegated, but it’s gone more than all right,” he said.

“We’ve played a few games more than some teams, but if we stay grounded and cut out the errors, there is no reason why we can’t stay in and around the top eight. There are 15 games left and there’s no pressure on us. If we can upset a few more of the big sides like Mildenhall along the way, then great.”

After a goalless first half, the deadlock was broken in the 48th minute when Scott Yearling scored following a mistake by Mildenhall’s Rob Ruddy. The visitors were then forced to rely on the acrobatics of goalkeeper Scott Mansfield, as the hosts searched for an equaliser.

Nevertheless, Melford claimed the game’s second goal when Yearling struck again 10 minutes from the end. On this occasion, he sent a swerving shot from 30 yards out flying into the top corner of Josh Pope’s net.

Dan Brown pulled one back with a drilled effort in the 84th minute, but Melford held out to claim all three points.

n Melford were due to face Mildenhall again last night, this time in the quarter-final of the Thurlow Nunn League Cup (log on to www.suffolkfreepress.co.uk today).

n Mumford’s men return to league duties on Saturday when they host Kirkley & Pakefield at Stoneylands (3pm).