Football: Long Melford 0 Godmanchester 3

Despite some glimpses of improvement Melford again fell to defeat at Stoneylands, in a poor footballing spectacle between two struggling teams.The Melford defence was under pressure for long periods of play, with the side losing possession far too quickly, and giving limited relief to the hard-working defence.

Richard Kemp

Despite some glimpses of improvement Melford again fell to defeat at Stoneylands, in a poor footballing spectacle between two struggling teams.

The Melford defence was under pressure for long periods of play, with the side losing possession far too quickly, and giving limited relief to the hard-working defence.

Making home debuts for Melford were keeper Paul Wood, and midfielders Justin Deeny and Simon Loft, with the other new signing Danny Stokes unavailable. It was Melford who created the first real chance with Statham inches wide with a hard drive. But it was the visitors who took the lead on 26 minutes when Thackeray whipped in a cross from the Melford right flank. The ball came to KING and without challenge he ran along the box and fired home from 12yards. The home team responded by forcing two corners to no avail, while at the other end after a defensive mis-kick, Thackeray had a golden chance to increase the Godmanchester score but fired into the side-netting. Again Melford turned up the pressure but failed to create from the last quarter of the pitch, with the ball being lost far too easily at the crucial times.


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And so the similar pattern of play continued in the second half with Melford posing little threat in the opposition box, and the visitors hitting Melford on the break with a long ball from defence. The lead was increased on 51 minutes when full-back HYAM ran some 30 yards without any Melford tackle, then cut in on goal and neatly fired the ball wide of Wood, giving the Melford keeper no chance.

On 70 minutes the visitors were awarded a controversial penalty, with Melford keeper Wood clearly diving to claim the ball at the feet of an opponent, although it transpired later that the penalty was the result of an earlier challenge by Brind, with the referee waving play on, then using the no advantage reason for awarding the penalty: confusing to say the least. After the protests had calmed down, Boon stepped up to take the kick, but Wood diving to his right brought off a great save and from the the rebound Grindrod headed off the Melford line. With just 30 seconds of injury time left substitute RODD forced the ball home at the far post. With the Melford defence constantly stretched there will have to some improvement on ball retention skills in midfield and in forward positions, if Melford are to find any solace from this difficult season.

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MELFORD: Wood, Benterman, Brind,(78) Loft, Skeggs, Deeny. Scott,(60) Statham, Manser,(78) Costello, Grindrod, Subs Millar,(60) Peel(78), Hyatt,(78) French.

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