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Long Melford improve from 9-1 thrashing to Stanway Rovers but still bow out of Emirates FA Cup to Colney Heath

Long Melford produced a much improved display from their 9-1 thrashing to Stanway Rovers last time out, but it was still not enough to prevent them from bowing of the Emirates FA Cup at the preliminary round stage on Saturday.

Colney Heath, who beat Melford’s fellow Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side Haverhill Rovers in the previous round, were the visitors to Stoneylands and they recorded a 2-0 win thanks to a brace from Spencer Clarke-Mardell.

The away side started brightly and they broke the deadlock in the 37th minute when Melford goalkeeper Ben Devlin’s poor clearance resulted in a goalmouth scramble, from which Clarke-Mardell applied the finishing touch.

Jamie Bradbury’s Long Melford were knocked out of the FA Cup
Jamie Bradbury’s Long Melford were knocked out of the FA Cup

With Jamie Griffiths operating as a lone forward Melford found it hard to sustain attacks and the killer goal eventually arrived up the other end with 69 minutes on the clock.

The Melford defence stood and appealed for offside but a flag was not forthcoming and Clarke-Mardell strode through to double his and Colney Heath’s tally.

Next up for Melford on Saturday is a home Buildbase FA Vase first round qualifying tie against lower-league Little Oakley, who play in the First Division South (3pm).

That is followed on Tuesday by a trip to face Whitton United (7.45pm).

Halstead Town’s Emirates FA Cup dream died for another year after a crushing 5-0 defeat at London Colney on Saturday.

The higher-league hosts made their senior status count, with first-half goals from Camara Ibrara and George Brinkman putting the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division side in the ascendancy.

Tom Cook, Nick Miller and substitute Rocha Fosker came close to pulling the Humbugs back into the game, but Laurence Vaghan, Louis Octave and David Parkinson all struck to send Colney through to the first qualifying round.

On Tuesday night, Halstead bounced back from their FA Cup disappointment with a 2-0 win at home against Essex rivals Wivenhoe Town.

Goals from Callum Vincent and Jamie Baker sealed a first victory on home turf against the Dragons since 2014, and moved them back to the Thurlow Nunn League First Division South summit.

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