Bradbury rues missed chances but stresses positives in defeat

NEW ROLE: Melford captain Steve Adams has been converted into a striker and had an effort cleared off the line
NEW ROLE: Melford captain Steve Adams has been converted into a striker and had an effort cleared off the line

THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION

Long Melford 1

ON THE BALL: Ashley Slotts assesses his options against Coggeshall

ON THE BALL: Ashley Slotts assesses his options against Coggeshall

Coggeshall Town 3

Long Melford manager Jamie Bradbury looked at the positives after the Villagers’ recent little run of good results came to an end at the hands of title-chasing Coggeshall at Stoneylands on Saturday.

“We played well, and did a lot of things right. We competed well, but we just need to do one or two things a little better,” he said.

“If you get anything out of a side like Coggeshall, with all their resources, you are doing well.

“We know we are the underdogs, so we have to try to upset the better teams, and if we had taken our chances on Saturday, who knows?

“Our defence is pretty solid, with Ashley Sloots, Dan Smith, Ross and Anthony Waugh, and that has allowed us to move Steve Adams up front where he can be a threat.

“But we need to bring in another forward to play alongside him. ”

In an entertaining first half both teams produced some good football with action flowing from end to end.

After 14 minutes Coggeshall came close when star striker Nnamdi Nwachuku turned the Melford defence and shot only inches wide.

At the other end Adams saw his downward header hacked off the goal line.

Then for the visitors the tricky Josce Syrett got beyond the Melford back line, Darren Moyes saving his shot at full stretch.

After 24 minutes Melford went ahead. Hassan Ally out-paced Coggeshall defender Luke Wilson and was brought down in the box. Will Wingfield converted the penalty kick to score in his fourth consecutive league match.

Back came Coggeshall, and a cross shot from Syrett was cleared off the line by Ross Waugh to keep the Melford lead intact.

“But we gave the ball away cheaply just before half-time and that was a blow,” said Bradbury.

In the 39th minute a long ball forward produced hesitation in the Melford back line, and Nwachuku nipped in, racing through to fire past Moyes into the corner of the net.

This was followed by three corners taken by the much-travelled Daniel Cunningham which were dealt with by the Melford defence.

As anticipated Coggeshall upped their game over the second period, enjoyed a greater share of possession, and went ahead after 56 minutes.

The goal came from the Melford left flank when Syrett was given time and space, and his angled shot found the roof of the net.

This subdued Melford, and the third goal arrived nine minutes later, when Conor Hubble was allowed to run across the Melford box without challenge, and he neatly fired home from 20 yards out.

Melford kept battling, and Adams was only inches away with a header, but Coggeshall were relatively untroubled.

“There are two or three good sides in this division,” said Bradbury. “But there is not a lot between the rest. It’s a matter of taking chances.”