Goal boost for resolute Villagers
THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION
Swaffham Town 0
Long Melford 4
This scintillating performance was just the tonic for Melford before the trip to Broxbourne in the second qualifying round of the FA Vase on Saturday.
Kicking up the pronounced slope and into the fresh wind, Melford were under some early pressure. In the opening 11 minutes they forced nine corners, but the Melford defence were in a resolute mood, keeper Sam Mansfield making two fine saves, pushing an Alex Vincent shot round the post and somehow blocking a Matthew Prudence blockbuster.
Soaking up the pressure Melford showed their bite when Jamie Griffiths shot and brought out a diving save from Luke Holt in the home goal at the other end.
Still Swaffham attacked, with their best player Vincent involved in most of the moves, aided and abetted by the burly Jack Defty the former AFC Sudbury striker. There was little change from the Melford defence, with the Villagers midfield stifling out a lot of the Swaffham effort.
As the half wore on Melford started to show their attacking flair and after 27 minutes they went ahead. A ball from defence found Matt Hayden free wide right, and the big striker took on the Swaffham defence, cutting inside he blasted home a fine individual goal.
Vincent blasted wide for The Pedlars, and after good work by Nathan Rowe, the final effort from Hayden went over the bar. Just on half time Melford almost increased their when lead a rasping drive from Dan Swain was well taken by keeper Holt before Griffiths hit the bar.
Melford played some nice passing football and took a grip on the game in the second half. The second goal arrived on 63 minutes, Reece Clarke found Dan Swain and his flick put Jamie Griffiths free, Hayden hammering home the cross.
Melford were well in control, and on 82 minutes Griffiths bustled his way through to score from five yards. In added time, from a Reece Clarke corner, Dan Smith slammed the ball in the net to complete the Melford victory.