Title to add icing on promoted Melford’s cake

HIGH FIVES: Long Melford's players will be hoping to carry on the celebrations by capturing the title in front of a bumper home crowd on Saturday
HIGH FIVES: Long Melford's players will be hoping to carry on the celebrations by capturing the title in front of a bumper home crowd on Saturday

Long Melford manager Jules Mumford wants his side to ‘get the job done’ and cap an 
historic season by clinching the league title this weekend.

The Villagers secured promotion from the Thurlow Nunn League First Division for the first time on Saturday, and have all but won the title with a far superior goal difference, needing just one point on the final day to guarantee the championship.

Ahead of hosting Downham Town on Saturday (3pm) — which has been designated a ‘pay what you want’ fixture — Mumford heaped praise on his Premier Division-bound team.

“It feels really good (to get promoted),” he said.

“The boys are buzzing and the club are excited.

“We’ve got some really quality footballers here and their work-rate this season has been fantastic.

“We’ve got a lot of local lads and the team spirit at the club has been excellent.

“Even the lads who haven’t had many minutes, their attitude has been superb.”

Top goalscorer Jamie Griffiths fired in his third hat-trick of the season to help Melford win 4-1 at Dereham Town Reserves at the weekend, which confirmed the Stoneylands-based outfit’s promotion to the Premier Division.

“It’s a brilliant achievement, the lads have done a cracking job,” said Mumford. “It’s been a bit tense of late but that is natural trying to get over the line.”

There may have been some anxious moments in recent weeks as Melford pushed to book their place in the Thurlow Nunn League’s top flight for the first time, but their results have shown no signs of them.

Saturday’s promotion-clinching win was their eighth in a row, and since a 2-0 defeat at local rivals Halstead Town in November, Melford have gone on a blistering 19-game unbeaten run.

The top two sides in the form table do battle on Saturday when Mumford’s side take on Downham, who are one of just four teams to have beaten the Villagers this season.

“They beat us earlier in the season and will be coming down to try and spoil the party,” said the Melford boss about this weekend’s final game.

“We’ve got to get the job done and stick to what we’ve been doing all season.”

Even if Melford do not win, they would win the title if Swaffham Town fail to beat fourth bottom Woodbridge Town at home and overturn a 10-goal deficit in goal difference.