Melford banish Beccles to make progress



Beccles Town 1

Long Melford 2

IN AN easily forgettable game, Melford ground out a deserved, if at times laborious, win against Anglian Combination opponents.

The home team started with a bang and took the lead after two minutes.

Some shoddy defending allowed Remblance room to cross to the far post and there was Damon Bensley, who bundled the ball home from close range.

At this point Melford must have been having flashbacks to 2009 when Beccles put Melford out and went on to win at Portman Road in the final.

This dream for the home team lasted only five minutes until Melford ace striker Dan Cann found space some 30 yards out and lashed in a fierce drive, which rocketed into the top corner, giving home keeper Cable no chance.

While Melford tried to pass through their midfield, the home team seemed fairly reliant on pumping the ball forward to find the heads of either Martin or Remblance for the goalward flick.

The home tactics were causing some unease in the Melford defence, visiting centre-half Thomas clearing off the line from Waterman with keeper Wood well off his line.

After 21 minutes, Melford took the lead. Westcott held the ball well, keeping off three defenders. His pass found Carl Daw who fired home a low shot from 20 yards, the ball eluding the fingertips of the diving keeper Cable to nestle just inside the goalpost and into the net.

At the other end, McMorran headed into the net but the effort was disallowed for offside.

In another promising Beccles foray, Bensley got through on goal but keeper Wood dived to save at the feet of the attacker.

The second half belonged to Melford and they strove to make the game safe, both Cann and Skeggs forcing saves out of Cable.

After 72 minutes, Melford looked to have scored the killer goal.

Again Cann got behind the home defence, his precise lob went over the advancing keeper Cable, but fell agonisingly inches wide.

Action at the other end saw Wilson head out from the danger area for Melford, and the ever-dangerous Martin plant his header straight into the arms of keeper Wood.

Just before the end, Melford skipper Ashley Skeggs ran through the home defence, chesting the ball down before slotting into the corner of the net. The assistant referee deemed he had used his arm, and for his protests the Melford skipper received his second yellow card and was sent off.

Not easy for Melford in an uninspiring game, but they deserved to progress against an uncompromising home team.

In January they will face Achilles at Melford in the quarter-final.

Melford: Wood, Wilson, Shipton, McMahon, Durell, Thomas, Swallow (Walker 81) Skeggs, Westcott, Cann, Daw (Williamson 81). Unused subs: Auter, Miles Clark.