Long Melford impress as they go through in FA Cup
- Credit: Archant
FA Cup Preliminary Round Long Melford 3 St Margaretsbury 1 With the largest crowd of the season behind them, Melford dug deep to record a well-earned victory, against Essex Senior League opposition, who had some very good players but did not perform as a team, writes Richard Kemp.
The Melford defence, as solid as Fort Knox, dealt with any threats, and behind them keeper Glenn Morrison made two crucial saves when the scoreline was still 0-0.
The opening ten minutes saw the Hertfordshire team on the offensive, and Melford found the pace and trickery of ex-Wycombe Wanderers trainee Ramone Cassidy Sinclair difficult to deal with.
On 24 minutes Melford keeper Morrison kept the score intact, as a corner from Dan Ferrigno found Taylor Wild and his first-time volley on the swivel was magnificently pushed over the bar.
At times this season Melford have proved slow starters and so it proved in his game but gradually the team effort started to knit together, and on 32 minutes they went ahead.
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A Nathan Rowe free kick wide on the left flank was parried by keeper Reece Grundy and Anthony Waugh slammed home the loose ball.
This inspired Melford to greater things and on 36 minutes they went further ahead as a Dan Swain corner found Steve Adams and his bullet like header again was parried, only for Hassan Ally to convert from close range.
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The Villagers started the second half with great determination with man of the match, Ben Judge, being involved in most moves.
On 56 minutes the visitors almost got back in the game when a piledriver from Tom Cowell was deflected for a corner by the strong Melford back line.
The game swung in favour of St Margaretsbury for ten minutes through the mid-period of the half, with them forcing three corners on the trot but Melford reigned supreme with their great defensive qualities.
On 82 minutes Melford put the game to bed when a bad pack pass was retrieved by Steve Adams and his first shot bounced off the keeper but he tucked in the rebound.
In the five added minutes Melford went into a slumber and Cowell fired home from 15 yards for a consolation goal.