THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Long Melford 2
‘It’s all about belief,’ said Long Melford manager Jamie Bradbury on Saturday as his team picked up another point in their steady climb up the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division table.
After a difficult start to the season, with just two wins and two draws in their first 14 league games, Bradbury made a crucial change.
“We didn’t have a striker, so I decided to give our captain Steve Adams a go up top,” he said.
“He got a couple of goals in his first game there, and all of a sudden people were thinking ‘yes’. The belief came.”
Adams, a second-half substitute in Saturday’s 2-2 home draw with Gorleston, is currently joint top scorer with seven goals.
In 17 league games, starting with the 4-1 win at Wivenhoe Town in late October, where Adams scored twice, Melford have won eight and drawn four.
“There’s not a great deal of difference in this division. Two sides are really struggling, and two or three really buzzing because they’ve got investment,” said Bradbury.
“There are a lot of very similar sides in the middle that can beat each other, and we’ve proved that. We know that on our day we can mix it.”
He added: “We are a mid-table side. We need to get a few more points on the board to ensure our status. We are a learning team.
“We gave away a couple of goals today, but that’s not the fault of the defence as a single unit, it was the way we didn’t defend as a team.
“We need to tighten up little things where we are giving goals away.”
Saturday’s game was an all-too-familiar story.
Bradbury continued: “We’ve been really good in the first half in the past few games. Today we should have gone in with another goal.
“We come out in the second half and we back off a little bit, and we weren’t in their faces as much as we would like. Two completely different halves. And we often look a different side.
“Gorleston are a good side, similar to us. They battle and they’ve got good team spirit. And that’s what we’ve got. It was a disappointing end because it was two points dropped, but we would have taken a point to start with.”
• Melford travel to second-placed Brantham Athletic on Saturday (3pm).