Leaders march on

ON TARGET: Jamie Griffiths laid on the first goal and scored the third for Long Melford
ON TARGET: Jamie Griffiths laid on the first goal and scored the third for Long Melford

Leaders Long Melford were 4-0 up after only 19 minutes as they produced an impressive display against in-form March Town United, eventually going on to win this Thurlow Nunn League First Division encounter 6-0.

They took the lead in the second minute when Jack Durey drove the ball in for Sean Bartlett to finish clinically on his Melford debut.

A minute later Bartlett, on a month’s loan from Brightlingsea Regent, latched on to Jamie Griffiths’ through ball and finished with great composure.

Bartlett hit the bar, but Melford did not have to wait long to extend their lead, Durey firing into the bottom corner for his 12th goal of the season.

Melford were attacking with pace and quality, and they went 4-0 up when the impressive Dan Smith’s sweet strike from the edge of the area whistled into the bottom corner.

Melford continued to create chances, with Bartlett twice denied by keeper David Beeny. The Melford defence was in outstanding form and kept the division’s top scorer Dan Woods quiet.

Early in the second half Melford keeper Sam Mansfield tipped Tom Flatters’ corner away under pressure, but after that Melford were mainly on the attack.

Nathan Rowe released Griffiths, but Melford’s top scorer saw his powerful shot brilliantly tipped around the post. Then Griffiths’ free kick presented a chance to Rowe who had a shot comfortably saved.

Rowe was a constant threat, and got the goal he deserved in the 55th minute. Griffiths’ deep free kick was cleared to Rowe, who took a touch before lashing the ball into the roof of the net.

Bartlett had another couple of good chances, but could not beat Beeny with two close-range headers. Anthony Waugh also shot wide when well placed.

In the 72nd minute Melford made it 6-0 when substitute Dan Statham tucked the ball in following another goalmouth scramble.

Late on March forced a few corners, and subsitute Adam Conyard beat his man before shooting narrowly wide.

Long Melford: Mansfield, Ross Waugh, Ashley Sloots, Smith (Chisholm 66), Adams, Anthony Waugh, Durey, Swain, Griffiths (Statham 70), Bartlett, Rowe (Scott Sloots 75).

Sub not used: Owen.

n Long Melford Reserves have been deducted three points after fielding an ineligible player in their 1-0 home Thurlow Nunn Reserve League victory over Woodbridge Town. Their opponents have elected not to replay the fixture.

But Long Melford have to replay their match at Whitton United, where they won 3-2 but fielded an ineligible player.