Long Melford knock out Stowmarket Town 3-1 to reach semi-finals of Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup
Long Melford produced a sparkling performance to defeat Stowmarket Town 3-1 in the Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup quarter-finals at Stoneylands last night.
After only six minutes, the Villagers went ahead as a long free kick released Emmanuel Machaya, who ran 25 yards through the Stow defence and placed the ball wide of Craig Brand, in the Stow goal.
The livewire Machaya was foiled by the Stow back line twice after that, as an inspirational display from the home side saw them continue to threaten the Stow goal.
At the other end, young Melford goalkeeper Michael Bett made two great saves from Remi Garrett and Max Melanson to preserve the home team's lead.
Things got no better for Stow in the second half, with Melford always looking sharper going forward and backed by their resolute defence.
The Villagers' second goal came after 48 minutes when Machaya was brought down in the box, and Melford skipper Nathan Rowe converted from the penalty spot.
It was no surprise on 53 minutes when Melford went further ahead, some great work by Machaya and Hassan Ally saw the ball go wide on the left to Pablo Chaves, who fired home from the angle.
Gradually Stow started to get into the game, with two goal line clearances by Melford and a goal disallowed for offside, before at last on 69 minutes Josh Mayhew pulled one back for the visitors.
But despite more pressure, the Melford defence was in fine form. Another great save by goalkeeper Brett from Melanson, and a Robbie Sweeney shot cleared off the line, were as close as Stow would come to a second, as Melford ran out worthy winners.
Jamie Bradbury's men (17th) now prepare for a pivotal match at the bottom end of the Premier Division at home against bottom side Framlingham Town on Saturday (3pm).