Thurlow Nunn round-up: Melford boss eyes Cann replacement

LONG Melford manager Robbie Benson has revealed he is waiting to speak to a pair of forwards as possible replacements for departing star striker Dan Cann.

Cann, who scored 25 goals in 49 appearances for the Villagers, has sealed a move to fellow Thurlow Nunn League First Division rivals Saffron Walden Town.

Boss Benson said: “Strikers like that are hard to come by. He has a great goal scoring record with one every two games.

“I wish him all the best with his future life and football career - but I have told him not to score against us!”

Long Melford begin life without top scorer Cann with a derby clash in the Suffolk Senior Cup first round when Cornard United visit Stoneylands tomorrow (7.45pm).

“We are going for a win,” he said. “Cornard are not having the best of times and we really want to take advantage at home and progress in the cup.”

Long Melford welcome back Errol Durell, but Justin Crissell (achilles) is out, while Michael Owen (fitness) remains doubtful.

Cornard United chief Chris Symes is suffering a striker shortage of his own as they prepare for the cup contest.

Frontman Eddy Butcher’s departure to Premier Division outfit Wivenhoe Town and James Ford’s unavailability means the Ards go into the tie without any recognised strikers.

“We are always trying to bring players in,” he said. “But no-one wants to come to a team that is bottom of the league.

“I always look forward to going to Melford. We will put up a battle and fight and if we get a result that will be a bonus.”

Elsewhere, Hadleigh United will be looking to maintain their fantastic form when they host Mildenhall Town in the Thurlow Nunn Premier on Saturday (3pm), ahead of the visit of Needham Market in round one of the Suffolk Premier Cup on Tuesday (7.45).

Brettsiders boss Stuart Crawford, who has overseen five straight league victories and four consecutive four goal hauls, says he is looking forward to testing his side against quality opposition over the coming days.

“Mildenhall will be a tough one as they have started well,” he said. “But it is one that we will be looking to keep our run going.

Speaking of their tie with the Marketmen, Crawford added: “I think the lads will look forward to that game.

“It gives us a good chance to try and beat someone from a higher level, and it gives us the chance to make some changes and give some of the lads who have not had much game to get involved.”

Crawford revealed Ashley Sloots and Paul Donnelly could come into the side for the Needham tie, while Liam Jennings (knee) and Danny Allen (broken metatarsal) remain out.

Meanwhile, Halstead Town will be hoping to get back to winning ways with a Thurlow Nunn First Division match at home to Swaffham Town on Saturday (3pm).

Holder, who saw his side get knocked out of the Essex Senior Cup second round away to Great Wakering Rovers in a 5-2 defeat on Tuesday, says he was pleased despite the exit.

“The first half was excellent and they were a good strong side,” he said. “For an hour we did really well and I was very pleased.

“It seems strange coming out of a 5-2 defeat being satisfied.”