It proved a post Christmas heartbreak for Long Melford as former player and late substitute Martin Westcott gifted Haverhill Borough a 2-1 victory in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division.
In a scrappy encounter, Aaron Forshaw came close to opening the scoring for the visitors from long range, while at the other end Ashley Sloots also came close at the other end.
After 29 minutes, the deadlock was finally broken as Jack Durey beat his marker on the left before picking out Nathan Rowe, who coolly slotted past Liam Cutts to put Melford ahead.
The lead was almost doubled just a minute later, but Tom Wingfield’s effort was hacked off the goal-line as the visitors held a narrow lead at the interval.
Haverhill started the second half brightly with Ben Bradbury volleying over, while at the other end both Stuart Whitehart and Richie Abbott went close, the former seeing a header cleared off the line.
Whitehart then cleared from his own line before Haverhill finally got themselves level after 78 minutes.
Following a series of corners, the referee adjudged there had been a handball in the Melford area and, although Harry O’Connor saw his penalty saved, Forshaw was on hand to fire home through a crowd of bodies.
Melford immediately responded and, from a corner, Whitehart seemed to have scored with a header via the crossbar.
The referee rejected the claims and, as an ultimate conclusion, Melford midfielder Chris McMahon received a second yellow card and was sent off.
With time all but up, a late corner saw the ball ping pong round the Melford box, where Westcott was on hand to give the visitors victory.
Long Melford: Mansfield, Fryer, Sloots, Barnes, Skeggs, Whitehart, Durey, Low, Rowe, Wingfield, McMahon.
n Melford will be hoping to bounce back to winning ways when they travel to AFC Sudbury Reserves on Saturday (3pm).