Mumford: cup can be our tonic

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Long Melford stand just two wins away from returning to Ipswich Town’s Portman Road in the LB Group Suffolk FA Senior Cup.

But, if they are to erase last year’s final heartbreak at the hands of Whitton United, they will have to arrest a worrying run of form when hosting Cranes Sports on Saturday (3pm).

The Villagers take on the 10th-placed Suffolk and Ipswich League Senior Division side, having only won just one of their last seven games in all competitions.

But manager Robbie Benson’s young side showed plenty of character to hold on for a 2-2 draw at Team Bury on Saturday and his assistant has welcomed the distraction of the cup.

“It would be nice to get back to Portman Road,” said Jules Mumford. “I went and watched Cranes on Saturday and we will be ready for them, though if we play well it is down to us to get in the semi-final.”

Veteran striker Martin Westcott (calf) didn’t train with the squad Tuesday but goalkeeper Sam Mansfield took part in his first session since a car accident left him with a punctured lung and rib injuries requiring surgery in October.

Cornard United travel to third-placed Saffron Walden Town in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division (3pm) still looking for their first league win since October 29, 2011 — the 14-month run a league record.

Mid-table Halstead Town host March Town United (3pm), while Stuart Crawford’s seventh-placed Premier Division side Hadleigh United were in action at home to Ryman League Premier side Lowestoft Town in the Suffolk Premier Cup quarter final last night (see www.suffolkfreepress.co.uk for result) and host third-bottom Wivenhoe Town in the league on Saturday (3pm).