Football: Long Melford 2, Stowmarket 5

Gifting three first-half goals was the main undermining ingredient for Melford and despite a spirited second half, when they almost got on level terms, they ended up again conceding late goals to exaggerate the difference between the two teams.

Long Melford 2, Stowmarket 5

Gifting three first-half goals was the main undermining ingredient for Melford and despite a spirited second half, when they almost got on level terms, they ended up again conceding late goals to exaggerate the difference between the two teams.

For Melford, new signing Benterman had an impressive debut and he was in early action, hooking away a goal-line clearance for the Villagers. Some sloppy defending led to the first goal on 18 minutes, when the ball was swung into the box, with no real clearing effort from the Melford defence, and there was DEASY unmarked on the far post to hook the ball past Hounsell in the Melford goal.

Gradually Melford came into the game and forced three corners in succession, with keeper Charters diving to push a Millar shot round the post, and then the keeper excelled blocking at point blank range a goal-bound effort from Benterman. The second goal was a real gift-wrapped affair for the visitors, as Skeggs, playing in the back four, passed back to keeper Hounsell and the young keeper miskicked - the ball ending up in his own net.


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For Melford the third goal was a matter of debate. The ball was hoisted goalwards and the imposing CRACKNELL launched himself towards it and the Melford keeper, the ball coming off the visiting player and going into the net. The home team were looking for a free kick for the contact with the keeper.

It was a different Melford approach in the second half, and on 51 minutes they clawed a goal back with BRIND firing home from six yards. With the introduction of Grindrod, it was now Melford who were creating problems for Stowmarket, with Charters making a fine diving save from a Grindrod shot. Then the visiting keeper did likewise with a header from Manser. Melford continued to threaten and on 62 minutes they got nearer to the Stowmarket lead, a Costello corner seeing 16-year-old MILLAR leaping high and heading with force into the net. Shortly after this it looked as though Melford had got the leveller as the pace of Daw took him through the Stowmarket defence, but his goalbound effort was blocked by the advancing Charters. Some of the composure went for Melford when Daw was carried to the dressing room on a stretcher. As in other games, Melford then seemed to lose concentration and KING bundled the ball home with 20 minutes still on the clock, and the damage was compounded with four minutes left, BERNARD heading home a left-wing cross. The scoreline flattered the visitors, but the home team will have been impressed by the debut performance of Benterman, and they will hope to find at least another three or so players of similar calibre, as points might then be collected. MELFORD: Hounsell, Benterman Brind, Millar(,85 )Skeggs, Grimster, Scott, (55) Statham, Manser, Daw,(68) Costello Subs Grindrod, (55) Clark,(68) Welch,(85) Dack

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