THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Long Melford 1
Braintree Town Reserves 8
With no first team game, Braintree had four players in their team who featured in the recent televised FA Cup game against Tranmere Rovers.
The young and inexperienced Melford team held well until the last quarter of the game, when they buckled under the combined fitness, strength and experience of their opponents.
It was a good start for Melford when, after two minutes, they could have been in the lead when Danny Twyman took the ball around keeper Charlie Crowley, but his mishit effort was cleared by the stretching boot of defender Simon Eastaugh.
Melford did go ahead after 12 minutes.
Danny Twyman released Carl Daw down the left flank and he cut in to rifle past Crowley into the corner of the net.
Again it was Melford who went close with Ben Simpson firing high over the Braintree bar.
Play swung to the other end with Adam Hampson testing out home keeper Danny Lynn, who was equal to his effort.
After 18 minutes, Braintree levelled when Adam Hampson found space down the right and his whipped cross deflected in off Melford midfielder Chaise Guyon, wrong-footing keeper Lynn to find the net.
Some great build-up play saw Braintree take the lead with Luke Daley firing home.
Ten minutes before half-time, Braintree added another while the Melford defence were ball watching.
There was just time for Jack Hubbard to fire wide for Melford, and for Daw to head inches wide.
Although trailing, Melford started the second half in attacking mode and almost pulled a goal back with Daw outpacing the defence to be denied another goal by a great last-ditch tackle by Naysibu Manunga, who put the ball into touch.
Halfway through the second period, Melford were starting to wilt under some strong Braintree running and it came as a severe blow when, to the surprise of most people, the referee awarded a penalty against Lynn when he was attempting to clear from the box.
The kick was converted by Andy Hughes to strengthen the Braintree grip on the game.
This deflated Melford’s spirit and the visitors started to dominate the game.
Two more goals followed before Melford went down to 10 men through injury to Chaise Guyon.
Further goals came from Nick Symons with a tap-in and in the final minute Adam Hampson completed a well-deserved hat-trick from close range.
Not a good spirit builder for Melford, but with the addition of three or four players they could be at the other end of the table
Melford: Lynn, Hubbard, Cresswell, Guyon, Toole, Owen, Prince (Fryer 67), Simpson, Westcott, Twyman (Wingfield 45), Daw (Irwin 67). Unused sub: Whitehart.