Melford boss is hoping to avenge defeat

BIG WEEKEND: Jules Mumford
BIG WEEKEND: Jules Mumford

Jules Mumford is hoping to avenge the defeat which provided him with one of his ‘darkest days in football’ when his Long Melford side host Hadleigh United at Stoneylands on Easter Monday (3pm), writes Alex Moss.

The Villagers were thrashed 6-1 by their local rivals when the two teams met in the reverse fixture at the Millfield on December 27.

A run of five wins from their next seven games helped Melford give their survival hopes a timely boost, but as they head into a pivotal Easter weekend they find themselves now without a win in five games, and only two places and five points above the bottom three.

“(The 6-1 defeat) was one of my darkest days in football,” confessed Mumford, who first takes his side to Fakenham Town (16th) on Saturday (3pm).

“It was the heaviest defeat I’ve had as a manager and it hurt. It’s been a tough season and a tough fight to pull away from relegation.

“We’ve got four games to go and we’ll keep going until it’s mathematically done.”

While Mumford is not putting all his eggs in one basket, his Hadleigh counterpart Stuart Alston admits he is pinpointing Monday’s game and the trip to Ipswich Wanderers on April 21 as his side’s best chances to pick up the six points he hopes will be enough to keep them up.

“The target for us is six points,” said the Hadleigh boss, whose side host Gorleston (4th) on Saturday (3pm).

“I’ve told the boys that the past 36 games, whatever the results have been, are gone.

“The Melford game was our best performance of the season and we were very good that day, but we can’t rock up and expect to win.”

Hadleigh (18th) are one place and three points above Wivenhoe Town, who occupy the final relegation spot in the table.