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Christian Appleford sees both sides of the coin at Hadleigh United as he runs the rule over his new side

By Sport Sudbury

Christian Appleford ran the rule over Hadleigh United as the Brettsiders picked up three valuable points in a deserved 2-0 Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division victory over Long Melford, writes Ken Watkins.

SHARP SHOOTER: Kieran Turner (right) scored Hadleigh’s first goal
SHARP SHOOTER: Kieran Turner (right) scored Hadleigh’s first goal

Appleford resigned as assistant manager at Bury Town in December, and was appointed to the vacant Hadleigh post last Saturday, taking over from Shane Wardley, who resigned earlier this month.

“It was an interesting game, and showed me two things,” said former Stowmarket and Mildenhall manager Appleford. “One half of very good attacking football, and a half where they’re sitting back, too deep under pressure, which is potentially why the team is in the position of the league it has been.

“I’ve been able to see both sides of the coin. If I’d come today and everything was perfect, a resounding win, it wouldn’t show me a true reflection. It’s showed me the areas to work on. A lot of good points have come out of the game. We can work on that, improve the players.”

Two quality first half goals clinched the victory at the Millfield in Saturday’s Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division match.

Kyle Cassell chested down a cross from James Ross in the 14th minute, volleying powerfully home.

Melford’s best chance, in a game of few clear-cut chances, came in the 23rd minute, Steve Adams heading narrowly over from a corner.

Hadleigh responded immediately, Kieran Turner taking advantage of a retreating defence to drive a fierce shot into the top corner. Hadleigh were much the better in the first half, using the width of the field intelligently, with Melford not allowing them so much space in a more even second half.

Back-to-back wins under caretaker managers Andy Lambert and Andy Crisp has seen Hadleigh take advantage of Great Yarmouth Town not playing at the weekend to go out of the relegation zone.

Long Melford (16th) have dropped to within four points of the drop zone following just one win in their last 16 matches.

Hadleigh United: Punter, Elliott, Ross, Barwick (Lambert 84), Howlett, Rose, Cassell, Driscoll, Dunne (Murphy 85), Crisp, Turner (Vardon-Barber 86).

Long Melford: Bett, Michaels, Collins (Wingfield 57), Roy, Adams, A Waugh, Ally, Brown, S Sloots, Rowe, Chaves (Howe 75). Att: 121

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