THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Newmarket Town 2
Long Melford 3
The Jockeys, who seemed to have won the race after the first minute of the second half, failed thereafter at every hurdle as the magnificent Melford team overcame the odds to battle to a great and well-earned victory.
It was a morale-sapping start for the visitors when they conceded the first goal after only five minutes on Saturday.
A ball swung into the Melford box saw the defence seemingly disarmed by the 3G bounce, with the ball going through to star signing Steve Spriggs on the right flank and the ex-AFC Sudbury man made no mistake from five yards out.
Straight away Melford went to the other end and a crossed ball from Dan Swain found Nathan Rowe, but his header was safely saved.
While Jamie Bradbury’s side tried to build with short passing, the home team relied on sweeping passes to the flanks where Spriggs and Scott Paterson were able to torment the Melford defence.
After 24 minutes Melford were lucky not to concede further when a series of shots were blocked near the goal-line, with the best chance falling to Jack Watson, but his header went over the bar when it looked easier to score.
Spriggs again got free but Darren Moyes made two decent saves to keep the scoreline intact.
Straight from the second half kick-off Newmarket increased their lead when a long ball found Spriggs free and he fired home from 10 yards.
Despite these setbacks Melford were far from finished, and the golden chance to get a goal back arrived after 51 minutes when Rowe got in on goal behind goalkeeper Alex Archer, who pulled at his boots and brought him down.
The kick taken by Will Wingfield was parried out by Archer and despite two attempts on the rebound, The Villagers failed to find the net.
This disappointment acted as a spur to Melford and after 58 minutes they pulled one back when good work by Hassan Ally saw his pass find Steve Adams and his shot hit the back of the net.
It was the visitors who now started to look like championship contenders, with Newmarket in a state of panic.
The next goal came after 65 minutes when a pinpoint cross from the impressive Smith found defender-turned-striker Adams, who headed powerfully home.
The killer blow for Newmarket came after 86 minutes when a Wingfield cross found Adams and his headed effort hit the bar with the loose ball finding the net via a home defender, under pressure from Adams.
The match official somehow found six minutes added time, which added to the agony of underdogs Melford, but somehow they survived.
n Long Melford (19th) host 9th-placed Stanway Rovers on Saturday (3pm).
Melford: Moyes, Smith, Collins, Walker, R Waugh, A Waugh, Ally (Donavan Perry 90), Swain, Adams, Rowe (Hemson 61), Wingfield (Judge 87).
Free Press Man of The Match: Dan Smith.