Cornard fire up after secret friendly clash

CORNARD United’s acting manager Shaun Gascoyne hopes surprising his players with an impromptu friendly has finally sprung his side back into life ahead of Saturday’s home game with Godmanchester Rovers (3pm).

After a 5-0 home drubbing by Cambridge University Press two weeks ago, Gascoyne wanted to banish the demons as soon as possible, so accepted Sudbury Athletic’s offer of a friendly last Wednesday — but he didn’t tell his players until they arrived for training.

“I just wanted to get the Cambridge University Press debacle out of the system and get the players back on the pitch again and try them out in some new positions, and it was a good exercise,” he said of the 4-1 victory over the Essex Border League Premier Division side.

“Hopefully that and Saturday’s performance at FC Clacton have got us on the map again.”

Cornard went almost 120 minutes at higher-league opponents FC Clacton in the FA Vase on Saturday before losing to a sickening second-half extra-time strike, but Gascoyne believes they can use the performance to get their league form back on track after five games without a win.

The Cornard coach, who hopes to have another few additions to his team by the weekend, added: “I could not have asked for any more and on Saturday we will see if they can keep that level up.”

l LONG Melford, who are also having mixed success in the Ridgeons League, made an early exit from the Challenge Cup on Tuesday, going down 4-1 at Cambridge University Press. Overall this was not a bad performance from Melford, who were sunk by three goals in a six-minute spell in the second half.

Melford’s injury jinx struck again, with Cann going off in the opening minutes and Walker just before half-time, the home team taking the lead on 39 minutes through McDermott.

In the second half Melford were matching their opponents and created two good chances. A Grindrod cross found the impressive Ryan Swallow, but he hit the post from ten yards, and then Daw worked some space in the box, his shot rattling the post.

But three goals in six minutes ended Melford hopes. On 70 minutes Skeggs handled in the box, and ex-Cambridge United trainee Molloy converted from the spot.

Two minutes later Melford lost possession in the box and Watson took advantage, and on 76 minutes a long ball over the top found McDermott who ran through to slot past keeper Wood.

Three minutes later Melford’s efforts were rewarded when Grindrod crossed from the left flank for Yeo to fire home for his first goal for the Villagers.

Long Melford: Wood; L Simpson, Shipton, Williamson, Skeggs, Flack, Daw, Biscoe, Westcott (Grindrod 51), Cann (Yeo 8), Walker (Swallow 27). Not used: McSweeney, Thomas.