Long Melford 1
Debenham LC 2
NOT the pre-Christmas gift Melford wanted, with a fairly even game ending with all the points heading to Debenham.
Hit by injuries and two suspensions, and thus minus five regulars, Melford fielded three new signings in their line-up.
One of them, Daniel Twyman, could have put Melford ahead in the first minute, but miskicked when close in on goal.
The usual pattern developed for Melford: Plenty of possession, creative play and the chances attached, but no end result.
The pattern of recent games continued when Debenham went ahead on 24 minutes. Some passing between Ben Wake and Kevin Barker saw the ball squared to James Heathcote who, unchallenged, picked his spot to fire past Paul Wood in the Melford goal.
Minutes later, the same player jinked through the Melford defence and his shot rattled the post and went out of play.
On 36 minutes, Melford levelled. Paul Walker got down the right wing and his perfect cross found Martin Westcott in the box, and he expertly planted the ball wide of keeper Laim Jones, a deserved leveller for the home team.
Twelve minutes into the second half, Debenham went ahead. A free-kick routine left Melford static and ball watching and Ed Cussons fired home from an angle.
After 68 minutes, Debenham were reduced to 10 men when Lee Bloom was red carded for bringing down Twyman, when the Melford debutant had got through on goal.
The Villagers strived hard to level but keeper Jones was in fine form, saving point blank two efforts from Smith and pushing round the post another effort from Ryan Swallow.
There was just time at the other end for Errol Durell to clear off the line from Nathan Vincent with Melford keeper Wood well beaten.
With no further game until December 27 - when Melford take on Cornard at Stoneylands with a 1pm kick-off - there is plenty of time for thought and recovery for the Melford players.
Melford: Wood, Wilson, Shipton (Smith 72) Attwood (Durey 72) Durell, Gregory, Williamson, McMahon (Swallow 62) Westcott, Twyman, Walker. Unused sub: Thomas.