Report – Debenham LC 1 Long Melford 5. Five-star Villagers sting the hapless Hornets.
- Credit: James Ager
Thurlow Nunn First Division league-leaders Long Melford stormed to a convincing 5-1 away win over Debenham LC on Saturday.
Jules Mumford’s high-flying side turned in a five-star performance against third-placed opposition, who had not lost a home league game all season before kick-off.
That record was well and truly erased come Saturday evening however as goals from Jamie Clark, Dan Swain, Jack Durey, Jamie Griffiths and substitute Dan Statham ensured Melford kept their memorable season going with another three points.
Melford have never experienced the top tier of the Eastern Counties Leagues, but if they continue to perform like they did in this game in their remaining 13 fixtures of the season, they will surely rewrite their history books come May.
A side that have desire, togetherness, and quality too, they had to come from behind against Debenham, but did so in style.
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In virtually the first attack of the game, a fantastic header from Ben Golding, following Rob Kemp’s accurate cross, gave Debenham – a side also enjoying a fantastic season – the lead.
Melford kept going though and equalised in the 26th minute through their excellent captain Swain, who made the most of some suspect Debenham defending, from a set piece, to fire through the crowd into the net.
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Mumford’s side didn’t hold back, and two minutes later, they took the lead as new signing Jamie Clark slid home at the far post following former Ipswich Town youngster Jamie Griffith’s excellent free-kick.
Griffiths, who was offered a professional contract by then-Ipswich manager Roy Keane in April 2010, then added a killer third right on the stroke of half-time, curling in a free-kick from the edge of the box after Gavin Flurrie was adjudged to have fouled Wesley Doyle.
Flurrie, who was booked for his troubles, will have perhaps felt hard done by as he appeared to have won the ball before Doyle stumbled over his other leg.
And Melford will feel that as the foul was given, a red card should have been shown as Flurrie was the last Debenham defender.
Nevertheless, Griffiths did the honours from 20 yards, his last action before withdrawing at half-time with a tight hamstring.
Melford came out in the second half in determined fashion, adding to their lead in the 52nd minute to ensure the points were heading in their direction.
Tireless striker Jack Durey got the goal he deserved as he gobbled up a rebound after Sam Chilvers had parried man-of-the-match Swain’s free-kick into his path.
The goal was Melford’s fourth with all four coming courtesy of a direct or indirect free-kick!
Debenham introduced debutant Luke Austin in the second period, and one of his first touches was a telling one – a cutting through ball that left Golding a sight of goal, but for a great block from the superb Anthony Waugh.
Austin later dragged wide on a frustrating day for the home side, but Melford added one last goal in the 71st minute as substitute Statham aptly finished Ashley Sloots’ precise through ball with a composed strike.
Debenham will have better days, but Melford will hope to keep the momentum going in what could be a famous season for the Villagers.
Debenham: Chilvers, Goddard, R.Kemp (c), T. Fenner, Flurrie, Green, Barker, Thorrold, Seccombe, Titlow (Austin 52), Golding (Diaper 70).
Subs unused: Hardwick, L.Kemp.
Long Melford: Mansfield, R.Waugh, A.Sloots, A.Waugh, Owen, Clark (Smith 60), Swain (c), Rowe, Doyle, Durey (S.Sloots 66), Griffiths (Statham 45).
Subs unused: Chilsholm.
Referee: Mr L.Kendrick