Cornard hope derby date switch will be a big attraction

Cornard United have switched their Boxing Day game, at home to Long Melford, to Thursday, December 27 (3pm), the only Thurlow Nunn League game scheduled for that day, which the club hopes will pay dividends with a bumper crowd.

Melford sit two places above Cornard, having won just two Thurlow Nunn League games this season.

Cornard went down to their 16th straight First Division defeat on Saturday, losing 2-0 to local rivals Halstead Town, but joint managers Chris Symes and Paul Grainger are optimistic the corner could soon be turned.

Symes pointed to the club’s need for a striker. At times on Saturday Cornard strung together some neat football, but were rarely able to produce a threat in the box. That it was 75 minutes before their first real effort, inches wide, told its own story.

Halstead keeper Colin Athey, formerley at Cornard, had an easy afternoon.

In contrast, his opposite number Aaron Reid, signed from Ipswich Wanderers, made a couple of superb saves on his debut and could not be faulted for either of the goals, both quality strikes.

Reid was constantly talking to and organising his defence, which looked far more effective than it has in recent weeks.

Grainger said he saw signs of improvement in defence and midfield ‘but it will take time to turn things around,’ he added.