Ipswich Wanderers 1
Long Melford 3
AGAINST an Ipswich Wanderers side struggling for points this was a must-win game for Melford and despite an unconvincing first-half performance it proved to be a comfortable win.
Melford made a poor start to the match and were nearly punished after just four minutes, Laws rattling the bar.
Melford responded at the other end with Stokes curling a shot wide of the post.
The home side had the better of the opening exchanges but against the run of play Melford took the lead in the 19th minute. The goal was straight out of schoolboy football; Wood’s long clearance was allowed to bounce over the heads of the Wanderers’ centre-halves and Stokes simply lifted the ball over Foster and into the net.
Wood received a cut over his eye after the reliable Melford keeper had to smother the ball at the feet of Le Page.
A few minutes before half-time, Cann had a good chance to double Melford’s lead when he raced through on goal but shot high and wide.
Melford stepped up a gear in the second half and created chances throughout the 45 minutes.
The impressive Luke Simpson supplied a good cross to Stokes, who neatly chested the ball down into the path of Cann, whose first time shot was off target.
The chances continued to arrive for Melford and eventually the pressure told in the 70th minute.
Cann robbed a Wanderers defender with ease and did well to stay on his feet running through and firing the ball into the back of the net in confident fashion.
The home side tried to respond but Melford kept attacking and looked like scoring every time they entered Wanderers’ half.
Melford substitute Williams was a handful for the Wanderers defence, his pace and eagerness to run at defenders saw him constantly getting into dangerous positions and he deserved his goal in the 78th minute.
Stokes opened up a static home defence with a clever reverse pass and Williams’ pace took him through on goal and with great composure he slotted the ball into the net to complete the victory for Melford.
Three minutes later, Wanderers pulled a consolation goal back, Gordon ghosted in at the near post to convert a corner with his head.
Melford: Wood, L Simpson, Shipton, Skeggs, Durell, Crissell, Earl, Biscoe, Stokes, Cann, Walker Subs (all used): Williams, B Simpson, Williamson