Long Melford fight back proves in vain

ON TARGET. Ross Waugh scored early in the second half for Melford
ON TARGET. Ross Waugh scored early in the second half for Melford

THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION

Norwich United 3

Long Melford 1

With the Champions Norwich United taking the league honours midweek, they chose to give several youngsters a run out, while Melford were minus three regular players due to work duties and injury.

The game was an end of season affair, and with a stiff breeze across the pitch, both teams failed to serve up much in the way of cohesive football.

The home team went into the lead after two minutes. A corner was swung into the box which Melford cleared twice, but the third attempt fell to league leading scorer Matt Blake, who bundled the ball into the net.

Another blow came for Melford after 12 minutes when their leading scorer Jamie Griffiths received treatment for a leg injury for some five minutes, resumed play, but then had to hobble off a few minutes later.

The home side continued to have more of the ball, Damon Cooper heading over the bar, and Melford keeper Sam Mansfield saving at the feet of Blake when he was again through on goal. Mansfield did well to hold a shot from Angus Mackie that looked goal bound. On 36 minutes Emmanuel Machaya fired in from 25 yards for United’s second.

The second half saw Melford improve and they deservedly got a goal back after 55 minutes, when a free kick from Reece Clarke saw the unmarked Ross Waugh head powerfully home at the far post.

Melford defended well, with Anthony Waugh heading off the line and Mansfield making a good save to deny substitute Adam Bennett.

Melford were unlucky in the 90th minute when what looked like a harmless cross from James Spellar ran along the goal line, but was deflected in.