THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Long Melford 1
Stanway Rovers 2
Long Melford were left to rue their defensive frailties as errors resulted in a disappointing 2-1 defeat at home against Stanway Rovers on Tuesday.
Stanway almost broke the deadlock in the first minute when a miss-kick went straight to Ben Newson with only a great goal-line clearance from Ross Waugh saving blushes.
However, Melford found themselves behind after 15 minutes when a poor defensive header found a Stanway player in the penalty area, who was bundled to the ground with the referee awarding a penalty. Craig Hughes took responsibility and made no mistake giving Sam Mansfield no chance.
This sparked Melford into action and they got themselves level before the break as a neat move involving Ricky Cornish, Reece Clarke and Sam Bayliss resulted in a measured pass finding Jamie Griffiths who fired home from 20 yards.
It was a much more positive display from Melford in the second period, but it was Stanway who came close to scoring when Sam Cripps,brought a good save out of Mansfield.
And with the game looking like it would end in a draw, Melford gifted Rovers the winner as keeper Mansfeld raced 30 yards off his line and attempted to pass the a team-mate but instead presented the pass to ex AFC Sudbury striker Terry Rymer, who had little problem in firing into the unguarded net to seal the points.
n That disappointment on Tuesday evening was in stark contrast to the success of Saturday afternoon as Melford eased into the FA Cup preliminary round with a comfortable 3-0 home win over London Bari in the competition’s opening round.
Following a goalless first half, Melford made the perfect start after the interval as Josh Dalziel’s cross found Sam Bayliss to head home the opener.
On the hour mark, the hosts doubled their advantage as Griffiths picked up the ball before cutting into the area and firing past Bari goalkeeper Wilkinson Boateng.
Melford then put the result beyond doubt as Clarke’s pinpoint cross was powerfully headed home by Steve Adams.
Melford face a trip to Basildon United in the next round on Saturday, August 29.