THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Long Melford 2
Cornard United 1
Long Melford were almost made to pay the price for not converting a glut of first-half chances against neighbours Cornard United.
But despite trailing 1-0 to Charlie Knight’s strike at half-time, their only foray into their opponent’s box, a brace from Joe Harvey, the second albeit fortuitous, saved their blushes.
In the opening 20 minutes Melford created many chances without converting, Tom Wingfield saw his shot deflect for a corner and Ashley Skeggs, from the edge of the box, put a free-kick well wide.
The nearest the Villagers came to breaking the deadlock came when Chris McMahon picked up a short free-kick and his thundering effort grazed the Cornard bar.
But, as often happens in football, Cornard broke from the grip of Melford’s pressure to score against the run of play.
A long throw-in from the left found the Melford box and no defender seemed to be able to clear from the area with Charlie Knight eventually crashing the ball into the net from six yards.
Stung into greater effort, Melford again had chances but failed to convert.
From a Joe Harvey corner Tom Wingfield flashed a header wide, followed by Luke Simpson shooting well over from the edge of the box when with more composure a goal looked far more likely.
Four minutes into the second half, Melford did level, almost replicating the Cornard goal when a long throw for Luke Simpson was poorly defended and Harvey converted from three yards.
Ten minutes later, Melford scored their winner.
A speculative shot from 15 yards from Harvey seemed to have been saved by visiting keeper Colin Athey, but the ball squirmed from the keeper’s grasp and trickled into the net.
This seemed to have a real effect upon the whole Cornard team and they started to outplay Melford with Knight twice unlucky not to level, a fierce shot just cleared the bar and then another effort from was cleared off the Melford goalline.
There was just time in six minutes of added time for both Skeggs and Will Wingfield to get through on the Cornard goal and shoot wide of the target.
For Cornard this was an improved result and for Melford, with a number of players now available, a badly-needed victory.
The result moves Melford into a mid-table position while Cornard are left stranded at the foot of the table.
Melford: Mansfield, L Simpson, McMahon, S Barnes (Whitwell 86), Waugh, Owen, Durey ( W Wingfield 77), Harvey, Skeggs, T Wingfield (Turner 92) Prince. Unused subs: Zarrelli, Gamage.
Cornard: Athey, Dix, Laird, Dowding, Bryant, Willis, Beckett, M Knight, Chesney, C Knight, Newlove. Subs: Briggs, Pilcher, Davis, New, K Smith.