THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Long Melford 1
Hadleigh United 1
A late penalty rescued a point for Long Melford in their Boxing Day derby with Hadleigh.
Melford had the better of the opening 20 minutes and created two good opportunities to take the lead, but from a pair of Ashley Sloots free-kicks Ross Waugh and brother Anthony both headed off target.
Against the run of play Hadleigh took the lead after 20 minutes from their first attack. A corner caused problems in the Melford defence and Kris Rose got in at the far post to score from close range.
After the goal Melford’s good start faded and Hadleigh improved, looking a more confident side.
In the second half Melford had plenty of possession and spells of pressure, but nowhere near enough end product.
A header from Will Wingfield forced ex-Melford keeper Sam Mansfield into a good save but that was Melford’s only effort on target.
At the other end Hadleigh had less of the ball but opened up the Melford defence twice, only to somehow miss both opportunities.
Soon after this Sam Sharp got through on goal and fired past Darren Moyes, but luckily for Melford the ball struck the post and bounced fortunately into Moyes’ hands.
Two big slices of luck for Melford and they made the most of their good fortune by equalising with just a few minutes left on the clock.
The lively Hassan Ally turned the Hadleigh defence inside out before being brought down in the box. From the resultant penalty Scott Sloots’ kick saw Mansfield get a good hand to it but the ball found the net.
In the end it was a decent point for Melford after being behind for so long, but with Saturday’s game having ended in a 3-1 defeat at Haverhill Borough (Ally) the fans will be hoping the excellent form of the last couple of months returns in the New Year.
n Long Melford (18th) travel to ninth place Wroxham on Saturday (3pm), while Hadleigh (21st), who lost 2-1 at Great Yarmouth Town last Saturday, host Saffron Walden Town (3pm).
n In the First Division, Cornard United bounced back from Saturday’s 6-0 home thrashing by Framlingham Town with a 1-0 (Ezra Drann 63’) victory to take the local bragging rights from their Boxing Day trip to Halstead Town.
Cornard travel to take on leaders Woodbridge Town on Saturday, while Halstead are at King’s Lynn Town Reserves (both 3pm).