THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Haverhill Rovers 3
Long Melford 1
It has been an up and down week for Long Melford, who were unable to build upon Saturday’s FA Cup triumph when they returned to league duties on Tuesday night.
Josh Hodgson scored the only goal of the game at Hackney Wick at the weekend, sending The Villagers through to the Preliminary Round in the process.
However, while Hodgson was on target again at Haverhill, it was merely a consolation strike, coming after the hosts had fired in three goals of their own.
After the final whistle, assistant boss Josh Shepherd — in charge of the team while manager Jamie Bradbury is on holiday — conceded his side were second best at The New Croft.
“It is fine margins that win and lose you football games,” he said.
“We were missing some key players and that does not help.
“We were slow to start for whatever reason — not picking up the second and third balls.
“After going 2-0 down we responded well and created some good chances, but we did not do enough overall.”
Melford were indebted to Darren Moyes during the first half, with the experienced goalkeeper pulling off smart stops to thwart Rafa Wozniak and Jordan Palmer.
However, with 45 minutes on the clock, Moyes’ resistance was crucially broken.
The ball fell to Haverhill defender Cameron Watson outside of the box and he drove a powerful shot beyond Moyes’ reach.
And within 32 seconds of the restart, the visiting goalkeeper was picking the ball out of his net again.
Jonathan Milne was afforded a clear run inside the Melford area and he duly planted his header from Ben Bradley’s corner inside the near post.
A smart finish from Rovers’ Luke Haines made it 3-0 nine minutes from time, though the final say on proceedings came from Melford and Hodgson as he turned the ball in from a corner late on.
Melford: Moyes, Hemson, Collins, Le Page, Waugh, Jackson, Ally, Swain, Hodgson, Wingfield, Scofield
Free Press Man of the Match — Callum Hemson: Good performance from the youngster, who despite being only 18, looked comfortable at this level
n On Saturday, Melford will look to bounce back in their home encounter at Stoneylands against Thetford Town (3pm).