THURLUW NUNN LEAGUE
Long Melford 2
Newmarket Town 4
Prior to Friday evening’s home defeat at the hands of high-flying Newmarket, Long Melford had been enjoying somewhat of a renaissance.
After dropping into the relegation zone, Jules Mumford’s side embarked on a run of four victories and a draw, moving themselves six points clear of the bottom three.
But The Villagers have played more games than any other side in the division and crucially many of the teams around them have multiple fixtures in hand.
As a result, Mumford has warned his 16th-placed charges they are not safe yet, with at least three more wins required before they can relax.
“We have played a lot of games and if the teams below us win their fixtures in hand, we will get dragged back down very easily,” he said.
“Our lads have been made very aware of that. The job is not done yet.
“We still have to play some of the teams around us.
“There are seven games left and we have to be winning at least three of them, that is basically it. That puts us on 43 points, which should be enough.”
The fact that Mumford and his men were disappointed to have trudged off with nothing to show for their efforts against Newmarket shows how far they have come in recent weeks.
Much of Melford’s frustration centred around a three-minute period in the second half, started by Michael Runicles when scored at the near post in the 64th minute to cancel out Jamie Thurlbourne’s first-half volley.
But, before the home team had the chance to properly savour Runicle’s third goal in as many matches, they were 3-1 down.
First Lewis Whitehead beat Darren Moyes with a deflected effort, before Thurlbourne squeezed a shot inside the experienced goalkeeper’s near post.
Thurlbourne completed his hat-trick in the 81st minute with a powerful shot that flew into the top corner, although Melford did have the final say on proceedings.
Substitute Nathan Rowe was hauled down by Newmarket goalkeeper Ben Nower and Will Wingfield — making his 100th appearance in a black and white shirt — converted the resultant penalty.
Melford: Moyes, Smith, Dewey, Sloots, Adams, Walsh, Ally, Clarke, Runicles, Skeggs (Rowe 72), Wingfield
Free Press Man of the Match: Hassan Ally
n Melford, who were due in action at Godmanchester Rovers last night, do not have a game this weekend.
Their next game is away to title-chasing Gorleston on Saturday, March 18 (3pm).