THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION
Long Melford 0
Thetford Town 4
This crucial game for Long Melford turned into a bit of a drubbing against an industrious Thetford Town, who in Cameron King had the best player by far on the pitch.
The ex-Norwich City and Scottish Under-21 international’s vision, movement and passing had Melford flummoxed for most of the first half in particular.
The bugbear for Melford is their habitual capacity to over complicate play in the wrong areas, thus eventually surrendering the ball to the opposition, with too many gift goals emerging as a result.
Some excellent keeping from Fred Howe saved Melford in the opening minutes, making two rapid saves from King, followed by a diving save from Ben Anderson, who also presented problems for the home defence.
After 22 minutes the Thetford pressure paid off when a good cross from Jonny Conroy found Robbie Priddle at the back post to force the ball home, and it was all the result of a sloppy Melford pass.
The Villagers’ defence was sliced open time and time again and after TJ LePage had cleared off the Melford goal line, the ball was lost down the Melford left flank and from the cross Ryan Sanders headed home.
The hosts had to thank keeper Howe for making two further diving saves during the ensuing minutes, before Melford had a lifeline after 36 minutes when a two-footed tackle took out Will Wingfield on his way into the Thetford penalty area.
Melford were awarded the obvious penalty, but Wingfield’s well-struck effort was well-saved by Thetford custodian Kingsley Barnes.
With players being booked later in the game for minor trips, it still remains a mystery how such a challenge with that ultimate result went unpunished by the official.
After this torrid first period, Melford improved in the second half and, in truth, had several golden opportunities to get back in the game.
A header from Wingfield hit the post, and later both Nathan Rowe and Hassan Ally got in to one-on-one positions with keeper Barnes, but it was the visiting keeper who excelled by making two fine point-blank diving saves.
The third goal came after 75 minutes, yet again another poor Melford pass picked up by Thetford with the ball finding substitute Ryan Fuller, who scored from 10 yards.
The slight exaggeration to the scoreline came when Max Melanson fired in a speculative effort in added time.
Long Melford: Howe, Rowe, R Waugh, Elkins (Anselmi 56), Adams, A Waugh, LePage, Clarke (Smith 77), Yearling, Wingfield (Ally 64), Swain. Subs not used: Collins, Moyes. Attendance: 52.