Griffiths still has gears to go into as Melford hit top

MORE TO COME: Jamie Griffiths outfoxes his marker with a bit of skill in Long Melford's 1-0 win over King's Lynn Town Reserves on Saturday
MORE TO COME: Jamie Griffiths outfoxes his marker with a bit of skill in Long Melford's 1-0 win over King's Lynn Town Reserves on Saturday

THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE FIRST DIVISION: Long Melford 1 King’s Lynn Town Reserves 0

After six goals in his first 12 games, Jamie Griffiths has warned he still has gears to find as he looks to steer Long Melford to promotion.

The former Ipswich Town midfielder scored the only goal of Saturday’s home game to put the Villagers back on top of the First Division table, on goal difference from Saffron Walden Town, following Debenham LC dropping points.

But ahead of a local derby at Halstead Town on Saturday (3pm), he is sure there is much more to come from his displays after an injury-hit start.

The 22-year-old, who signed a professional contract under Roy Keane before Paul Jewell released him following a loan spell at Plymouth Argyle, said: “I haven’t really been fully fit (here) so the fitter I get, I think the more goals I will get.”

Griffiths, having just recovered from a hamstring injury, felt they were worth the three points, despite being on the backfoot for long periods in windy conditions.

“In the first half we knew it was going to be a battle and we wouldn’t be able to get the ball down and play,” he said. “But in the second half we caused them a lot more problems and I think we deserved our win, definitely.”

He admitted he was surprised at just how much he is enjoying life at a lower level at Stoneylands.

“There are a good group of lads here and everyone wants the same thing — we all want promotion,” he said.

Chris McMahon came into the midfield for his first game of the season, with Griffiths coming back in a number 10 role.

It did not take long for the former AFC Sudbury player to unlock King’s Lynn’s defence, with a swift counter seeing his low cross catch out 
keeper Luke Pearson, who dived over it, but Dan Swain somehow steered Andy Fisher’s cut-back wide of a gaping goal.

Playing into the wind, Melford failed to build on early momentum, with their opponents going on to dominate possession until the break, but with nothing to show for it.

They missed a glaring chance of their own through Nelson Morier.

Experienced goalkeeper Darren Moyes, starting with Sam Mansfield suspended, parried Ben Coe’s angled drive away, while Jack Frohawk had been just inches away from converting his cross shortly before.

The second half was only eight minutes old when the home support was treated to another Griffiths goal.

From the right-hand channel, he smartly rolled his man before cutting in and hitting a left-foot shot which nestled low in the far corner, with the help of a deflection.

It came against the run of play, with Moyes having to push Morier’s quick riposte away for a corner, while substitute Jack Clitheroe could only head straight at the former Hadleigh United stopper.

Griffiths drilled just wide in a rare breakaway, but with the hosts coming under heavy pressure, there was an unexpected delay before they could celebrate, with the floodlights going out three minutes into five added on.

But after 15 minutes they were able to conclude things, a move described as ‘good commonsense’ on behalf of the referee by home manager Mumford, who also applauded his side’s workrate.

Midfielder Joe Harvey’s availability issues until 
Christmas (once a fortnight), means Mumford will be forced into at least one change for the trip to Rosemary Lane, but full-back Sam Bayliss will return.

“We beat Halstead comfortably in the home game, so they will be looking to get one back over on us,” said the Villagers’ boss.

MELFORD: Moyes, R Waugh, A Waugh, Harvey, Adams, Skeggs, Durey (Rowe 68), McMahon, Fisher, Griffiths (Twyman 78), Swain. Subs not used: Chisholm, Statham.

Attendance: 42.