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Jamie Bradbury does not begrudge Reece Dobson's u-turn to join East Thurrock United instead of Long Melford

By Sport Sudbury

Jamie Bradbury says he does not begrudge Reece Dobson’s 11th-hour decision to join higher league East Thurrock United, rather than his Long Melford side, writes Alex Moss.

Pablo Chaves scored twice for Long Melford in last Friday’s win at Brantham Athletic Picture: Richard Marsham
Pablo Chaves scored twice for Long Melford in last Friday’s win at Brantham Athletic Picture: Richard Marsham

The former Needham Market and AFC Sudbury frontman was due to make his debut for the Villagers last week, having been included in Bradbury’s squad for Friday night’s trip to Brantham Athletic.

However, the Melford boss was informed on the morning of the game that Dobson had accepted an offer to play higher up the football pyramid, instead linking up with the Rocks, who ply their trade three leagues higher than Melford in the Vanarama National League South.

“Reece is obviously a player who was going to join us from a higher level,” Bradbury said.

“There was an agreement between us for him to come in and help us out.

“We were going to see how long that would be, whether that was until the end of the season or not.

“But we were never going to stand in his way if a club from a high level came in with an offer for him.

“On Friday morning he let me know that East Thurrock had asked him to join them.

“They’re a Conference South side, one of my former clubs as well, and you’ve got to take the opportunity, which is unfortunate for us, but I don’t begrudge him at all.”

Despite Dobson’s u-turn, the Villagers picked up an important three points on Friday night, beating Brantham 4-2 and climbing out of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division bottom two.

Goals either side of the break from Pablo Chaves and Emmanuel Machaya had given Bradbury’s men a 2-0 lead, before Lamell Howell and George Clarke both struck for the hosts to level.

Chaves then regained Melford’s lead, with Nathan Rowe finding the target for the visitors’ fourth goal to restore their two-goal advantage at Brantham Leisure Centre.

That victory at Brantham has put the Villagers (17th) three points and two places clear of the Premier Division drop zone, ahead of a home clash with 14th-placed Norwich United at Stoneylands this Saturday (3pm).

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