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Free scoring Long Melford will not be caught under-estimating the threat posed by Haverhill Rovers at Stoneylands




Despite scoring nine unanswered goals in their last two games, Jamie Bradbury will not be allowing his Long Melford players to under-estimate the challenge of gaining a victory over Haverhill Rovers at Stoneylands tomorrow night (7.45pm).

The Villagers would go into the top six with a game in hand on Mildenhall Town if they were to collect any points from their Friday evening encounter.

They go into the contest in rude form, having returned from a free weekend following their 4-0 win at Hadleigh United to run up a 5-0 scoreline against Walsham-le-Willows on their own turf on Saturday.

HADLEIGH: Football - Hadleigh United v Long Melford.Hadleigh United Football Club, Tinker's Lane Ipswich,, Hadleigh, Ipswich Long Melford boss Jamie Bradbury Picture by Mark Westley. (27592943)
HADLEIGH: Football - Hadleigh United v Long Melford.Hadleigh United Football Club, Tinker's Lane Ipswich,, Hadleigh, Ipswich Long Melford boss Jamie Bradbury Picture by Mark Westley. (27592943)

But manager Bradbury is not getting carried away as they look to deliver a club record top eight finish between now and the end of the campaign, having fought relegation until the last day of last season.

“It is going to be a tricky game as they have turned a bit of a corner (under returning manager Marc Abbott) and got a few old heads in,” he said.

“They are turning defeats into draws, which is always a good sign.

FOOTBALL - Long Melford v Hadleigh United..Pictured: James Ross (H) and Ashley Skeggs (L)....PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (6245808)
FOOTBALL - Long Melford v Hadleigh United..Pictured: James Ross (H) and Ashley Skeggs (L)....PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (6245808)

“It is always a tough one against Haverhill. They won one and we won one last season and it is a bit of a local derby.”

The plan will be simply to carry on from where they left off though, with a turbo-charged second half seeing them fire in five unanswered goals.

After a goalless first half that failed to spark the imagination, Ashley Skeggs scored two quickfire goals, the first a header and the second a sweeping finish, to put Melford firmly in control.

Callum Hemson headed home in the 49th minute for 3-0 but Bradbury’s side showed the hunger to add two more, Ben Judge scoring in the 76th minute before Kieran Michaels fired in from close range three minutes later to complete the rout.

Family and friends scatter the ashes of ex-Melford players, John Ford and Arthur Kemp in the goal mouth at Long Melford FC..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (28773854)
Family and friends scatter the ashes of ex-Melford players, John Ford and Arthur Kemp in the goal mouth at Long Melford FC..Pic - Richard Marsham/RMG Photography. (28773854)

Bradbury reflected: “It was a good display, considering we had just come back off a break which can sometimes be good and sometimes not good.

“To be honest we looked a big leggy and lethargic in the first half and let Walsham have a bit too much of it in our half. They did not create much but they hit the post and the bar in quick succession and if one of those went in it could have been a different game.

“At half-time we said we needed to liven up a little bit and we came out of the traps flying and got two goals in quick succession. And at 3-0 it was a comfortable afternoon.

“Maybe 5-0 flattered us a little bit as they are not a bad side and it was just a case of mistakes and that is what happens if you are down there struggling like we were, you just get punished.”

Bradbury said he is hoping to have ‘one or two’ players back for tomorrow night’s visit of Haverhill Rovers (15th) but reiterated Elliott Walker, on his way back from an ACL knee injury, will not be rushed and is likely to have another month with the reserves.


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