Villagers can help roar Long Melford to Ipswich Town final

LOOKING FOR A HERO: Paul Wood, Melford's goalkeeper, who after saving a penalty on Saturday, could have a vital role to play in the semi-final. Picture: Mecha Morton. MSFP-27-12-11 MM 032
LOOKING FOR A HERO: Paul Wood, Melford's goalkeeper, who after saving a penalty on Saturday, could have a vital role to play in the semi-final. Picture: Mecha Morton. MSFP-27-12-11 MM 032
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LONG Melford manager Jason Maher has issued a call to arms for villagers to roar them all the way to Ipswich Town’s Portman Road.

The Stoneylands outfit face their biggest game of the season, and the biggest in Maher’s managerial career, when they take on Felixstowe United at Hadleigh’s Millfield (2.15pm) on Saturday in the Suffolk FA Senior Cup semi-final.

The Villagers go into the match knowing they stand just 90 minutes away from gracing the hallowed turf of Portman Road in the final, something Maher has told his players is a once-in-a-career opportunity to grasp. And he hopes the 4,000 strong population can turn up to play their part.

“I just implore anyone locally to come along and support the lads,” he said. “It is a massive day for the whole village and it would be great if there was a massive turnout for them.

“They do not play for money, they play for pride and it would be a fitting reward for them and could make all the difference.”

Long Melford will be wearing their traditional black-and-white shirts against Suffolk and Ipswich League Senior side Felistowe, who also play in the same colours, courtesy of being drawn as the home side at the neutral venue — after the majority of clubs voted for the move.

•FOR full match preview, see this week’s Suffolk Free Press and follow the live match updates from 1.30pm on Saturday by following @russclaydon on Twitter.