Basement battle ends in a stalemate

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Long Melford 2

Stowmarket Town 2

This clash between fellow strugglers never reached great footballing heights and,although Stowmarket always looked slightly more polished than Melford, a draw was probably the right result.

The Villagers could have scored an early goal, Danny Twyman wasting a good chance by trying to chip keeper Carl Pearson when a shot might have given more reward.

After 11 minutes and slightly against the flow of play, Melford took the lead.

A good through-ball from Chaise Guyon picked out the experienced Martin Westcott who ran some 20 yards at goal to coolly place the ball past keeper Pearson.

A just reward for the Melford striker who has set his younger teammates a fine example this season with his non-stop running.

The visitors hit back and Liam Hastie in the Melford goal excelled with two fine saves, the second effort at the feet of Ben Licence, who looked almost certain to level for the Gold and Blacks.

After 26 minutes of play the leveller came in a slightly bizarre fashion. Reece Golding flashed in a cross from the left flank, which took a diversion off the head of James Fisher and, with the Melford defence ball-watching, the ball spun hit the post and dribbled into the net, with keeper Hastie totally wrong-footed.

Stowmarket wasted two good chances before the interval, Chris Gray heading a Yani Duka free kick over the bar when it looked easier to score, and in another attack Sam Licence headed back across the goal only to watch his effort hit the Melford bar and come back into play.

Just five minutes into the second half and Stowmarket went ahead when, in the heavy rain, a cross-shot from Sam Licence took a deflection and flew into the Melford net.

The home team responded with Danny Twyman lobbing keeper Carl Pearson, only to see Paul Seward hook the ball off the line.

At this stage Stowmarket started to play with much more assurance and were gradually taking control of the game.

But soon a lifeline arrived for battling Melford when Will Wingfield forced his way into the box and was scythed to the ground.

Up stepped Twyman to take the spot kick, but his effort 
went some two yards wide of the goal.

This did not deflate Melford and the equaliser arrived after 79 minutes. Ben Simpson released a good pass to Wingfield and the teenager, with great aplomb, brought the ball down via his chest, and volleyed an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.

Although the visitors had more of the play, Melford created chances and a draw was probably a fair relection.

Long Melford: Hastie, Bayliss, Cresswell, Guyon (Hubbard 62), Toole, Howe, Attwood, Simpson, Wingfield, Westcott, Twyman (Irwin 89). Subs: Prince, Ames.