THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Long Melford 5
Cornard United 1
Long Melford striker Will Wingfield admitted he couldn’t have dreamt of a better way to celebrate his 18th birthday than with a derby hat-trick.
The Ormiston Sudbury Academy pupil received the birthday bumps from his teammates after the final whistle before being dressed as a woman to enter the clubhouse.
But he was more than happy to accept the dressing room banter after registering his first senior hat-trick on his coming of age birthday.
“I couldn’t write it any better,” he said, having got the ball rolling after setting up the opener for his brother Tom Wingfield with a deft airborne backheel 23 minutes in after a shaky Melford opening.
“What has got me is I haven’t scored for a few weeks as well.”
It was only two minutes after Tom Wingfield’s volley from Paul Barnes’ cross, teed up by his brother, that the 16-year-old had another — and looked set to steal the limelight from his older sibling on his big day.
He cut in from the right wing with a mazy run before producing a fine finish for a 2-0 half-time lead which looked rough justice on sorry Cornard, who went into the game off the back of 42 consecutive league losses.
The visitors, who had been thumped 9-0 at home to Saffron Walden Town just two days earlier had enjoyed some promising spells, including three penalty appeals on tricky winger Stepney Thurgood, who also tested Sam Mansfield from the edge of the area with their best effort.
But Cornard’s challenge was killed off with some lethal finishing from the hosts just after the hour-mark.
Will Wingfield swept home a short free-kick from brother Tom, which appeared to be intended for Barnes, after 64 minutes and a minute later turned in a rebound after Magnus Weeks, the latest incumbent of the Cornard number one jersey, parried Jack Durey’s strong shot.
Sudbury resident and ex-Melford Under-15s player Will, who returned to the club after a spell at neighbours AFC Sudbury with his brother Tom, quickly snapped up the penalty-taking duties when 16-year-old senior debutant Ritchie Abbott was fouled after 82 minutes, putting his kick beyond the keeper into the right-hand corner.
“It is only really this season me and my brother have been playing together, but it has gone well,” added Will.
Long Melford: Mansfield, Bayliss, Toole, Statham (Clarke 83), Fryer, Owen, Durey (Abbott 71), Guyan (Durrell 21), W Wingfield, T Wingfield, Barnes. Unsed subs: Wescott, Hastie.
Cornard: Weeks, Tracey (c), Gregory, Whitwell, Newcombe (Callan 46), Bailey (Pilcher 65), Stephens, Wallace, Newlove, Smith, Thurgood. Unsed subs: Davis, Henderson.
Free Press man of the match: Will Wingfield.