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Sat 06 July 2019

1st Team


West Wratting

(Pre Season Friendly, 2pm)


Tue 09 July 2019

1st Team


Linton Granta

(Pre Season Friendly, 7pm)


Fri 12 July 2019

1st Team


Brightlingsea Regent

(Pre Season Friendly, 7.45pm)


 Fri 19 July 2019

1st Team


Bury Town

(Pre Season Friendly, 7.45pm)





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  1. Since I last updated this page of the website the first team have been in good form, picking up 12 points from 6 matches, scoring 14 goals and only conceding 8. The only defeats in that spell came away to Whitton and Saffron Walden who are both pushing for promotion.

    Under normal circumstances a 4-0 win against your local rivals would be cause for jubilation but Saturday's derby against AFC Reserves was in truth a damp squib. The visitors were missing nearly all of their regular players and took to the field with an outfield player in goal. So whatever Melford did they were never going to emerge from the contest with much credit. A win would be seen as a hollow victory. A draw or defeat would look disastrous.

    Sometimes in football the days when you're expected to win comfortably can end up being harder than the tough matches when you have nothing to lose. But it turned out to be a straightforward win for Melford who were never at their best but were had too much experience for a young and inexperienced AFC side.

    Supporters' Player of the Season voting took place at Saturday's match and we had a good turnout of around 30 regulars casting their vote, the winner will be announced on the website in the next few days and the trophy will be presented before kick off at the last home match of the season.

    The Reserves have seen their league form drop off as a result of rarely having full squads available and at any level once you're playing with 9 or 10 men it's always going to be an uphill struggle. Bigger clubs than Melford have endured the same problem this season, so it's not a big surprise to see it happening here. But by the sounds of it Saturday's match at league leaders Hadleigh went very well, with Addy Roy scoring twice in a 2-2 draw.

    A second half Harry Liskus equaliser earned the U18s a point at Clacton on Thursday, their next match is away to Wivenhoe tomorrow (Wednesday).

  2. Ashley SkeggsAs mentioned on the website earlier this week, Melford coach Nick Guyon picked up a nasty injury in training when a cut to the knee became infected. Melford chairman Alf Woodhouse paid him a visit in hospital yesterday and I'm told Nick was due to have a third operation, hopefully it was a success and we'll have some positive news in the next few days.

    Also announced on the website was news that Ashley Skeggs (pictured) has played his last game for the foreseeable future because he's gone travelling. He will be missed of course because he's been playing really well this season and has finally improved his disciplinary record (it only took about 7 years) but I'm sure Skeggo will have a great experience on his travels.

    Turning up at Saturday's home match against Team Bury, I wasn't too sure what sort of performance to expect after hearing all about the Downham debacle.

    But to their credit Melford bounced back with a good performance, playing some nice football in the first half.  The second half fizzled out but Melford defended well and picked up a useful point.

    Justin Crissell came back to haunt us with a goal on the stroke of half time. Jutty, Westy and Gareth average a goal a season (between them) yet they all scored on their return to Stoneylands this season. Players scoring against their old club is a phenomenon in football known scientifically as Sod's Law.

    Ironically the wet weather seems to have helped the Stoneylands pitch, as a lack of games over recent months has given it a chance to recover and for Ivan to work his magic. On Saturday it looked the best I've seen it since pre-season.

    Moving on to the Under 18's who last night played their first game since manager Craig Power moved on to AFC Sudbury. We thank Craig for his efforts over the past two seasons and wish him well at Sudbury. Greg Potter and Paul Abbott are in charge of the U18s for the rest of the season and their first match ended in a 1-0 win against Wivenhoe Town with Sam Bayliss on the scoresheet.

    Sunday's Suffolk U18 Youth Cup tie at Melford ended Cornard United 2 Witnesham Wasps 1 after extra time.

  3. Last season the highest placed team Melford's first team defeated was Swaffham Town who finished in 9th, and the majority of matches against the top sides were, in all honesty, damage limitation trying to keep the scoreline respectable.

    This season it's been a different story and the last 7 results against the promotion-chasing teams really show how much Melford are improving this term:

    -Won 1-0 v Halstead Town

    -Lost 1-2 v Ipswich Wanderers (losing to a late goal)

    -Lost 0-2 v Swaffham Town (losing to two late goals)

    -Won 4-1 v Saffron Walden

    -Lost 1-2 v Haverhill Borough (losing to a last minute goal)

    -Lost 0-2 to Fakenham Town (in the contest until the 2nd goal in 75th minute)

    -Drew 1-1 v Great Yarmouth (again conceding a last minute goal)

    Naturally you can look at the late goals conceded in those matches and be disappointed not to have picked up another 5 points or so. But the massive positive is that all 7 of those sides are good teams in the promotion hunt, and they've all either dropped points against Melford or been made to work very hard to beat Melford.

    That's a big step forward and to compete with the top sides over a 7-match period shows it's not a fluke. Manager Jules Mumford must be delighted with the progress made in under a year, bearing in mind we were regularly losing by cricket scores before he took over.

    The Reserves and Under 18s have endured a frustrating time recently due to the weather and still haven't played in 2014 yet. Hopefully they will finally get a game, weather permitting, this week when the Under 18s host Witham Town on Wednesday, followed by the Reserves at home to Hadleigh United on Saturday.

    The Ladies had a great start to 2014, winning 6-2 at Brantham Athletic in the cup on Sunday. Their reward for that victory is a trip to Brandon in the next round. The Ladies are without a fixture this weekend.

    Meanwhile you can keep up to date with all the Colts results and fixtures on their website....www.longmelfordcolts.co.uk

  4. With a week to go until Christmas, here is a look at how the 1st Team, Reserves and Under 18s are getting on so far this season...

     1st Team:

    Current league position: 13th (out of 19 teams)     Points: 21

    Progress Report: The improvement under manager Jules Mumford has continued this season, and as long as expectations remain realistic (bearing in mind the club's 1st Team haven’t finished in the top half since the 2002/03 season), things will keep moving in the right direction.

    This time last year the 1st Team were in the bottom three with only 9 points on the board, and over the whole 2012/13 season around a quarter of Melford’s matches were lost by 4 goals or more. This season we’ve seen a clear improvement; the majority of matches have been closely fought, and the recent wins against Halstead and Saffron Walden showed that Melford are capable of beating anyone in the division.

    It was disappointing to fall at the first hurdle in the cups, especially in the two most important competitions, namely the Suffolk Senior Cup and FA Vase. However, he fact that Achilles have made it through to the semi-final of the Senior Cup and Hullbridge Sports are still going strong in the FA Vase (4th round) shows Melford lost to two good teams, which is certainly no disgrace.


    Current league position: 3rd (out of 10 teams)       Points: 13

    Progress Report: With manager Tony French assisted by Craig Power, the Reserves are enjoying a good season. Melford have had a good combination of experience and youth so far this season, with 8 members of Craig's Under 18 squad featuring this season alongside several older experienced players.

    The combination has worked well and victories against Newmarket Town, Stowmarket Town, Diss Town and Woodbridge Town have helped Melford to joint second in the table with 11 matches still to be played.

    Under 18s

    Current league position: 6th (out of 11 teams)     Points: 12

    Progress Report: Under 18s manager Craig Power has always placed more emphasise on performances and player development than on results. Which is not to say results haven’t been good (only 2 defeats in 8 league matches this season) but it’s refreshing to see a Youth manager who looks at the bigger picture and wants players to enjoy playing good football without the pressure of needing to get results.

    The highlight of the season so far was the FA Youth Cup run, with Melford eventually losing on penalties to Bury Town in a really entertaining cup tie at Stoneylands in front of a 100+ crowd.

    So far this season three Melford players have been selected to play for their county; Tom Wingfield, Reece White and Bob Addision all received Suffolk call-ups.

    As mentioned previously, 8 of the squad have played for the Reserves this season, while 7 players have featured in the 1st Team.

    • Long Melford Colts website has been given a new look and is up to date with all the Colts news, fixtures, results etc. CLICK HERE
    • The club has two matches left to play in 2013: Reserves v Saffron Walden (home) on Saturday 21st December and 1st Team v Haverhill Borough (home) on Saturday 28th December.
    • Finally we would like to wish everybody Merry Christmas and thank you to supporters and sponsors for your support throughout 2013.
  5. As we move into November the pitch is still looking in excellent condition and has been receiving praise from lots of people including Dag & Red youth team coach Chris Perry the former Spurs and Wimbledon defender who attended the recent FA Youth Cup tie at Stoneylands. Within seconds of Saturday's match finishing, Melford groundsman Ivan Whitehart was out on the pitch working his magic and with that level of care there's every hope of keeping the pitch in good shape over the winter.

    On Saturday the 1st Team won 3-1 at home to Downham Town. Both sides have found points hard to come by recently and that probably made it a fixture both sides felt they needed to get something from. Melford recovered from a sloppy start to pick up a much-needed three points with man of the match Jack Durey in outstanding form scoring two great goals.

    Jack has endured such a frustrating season so far because of injury, so it's great to see him playing 90 minutes again and back to the form he showed last season when he was scoring goals against some of the best sides in the division.

    The Reserves' kept their 100% winning league record going at Diss Town with Tom Perry scoring a hat-trick in a 6-1 victory. 11 goals scored in three games and only a single goal conceded tell its own story. It's a young reserve team at the moment with a few experienced players in there as well and that's probably the ideal blend at reserve level (at Senior level you ideally want the opposite: mostly experienced players with a few youngsters). 

    This week we play our neighbours from across the border (Halstead Town) three times (see elsewhere on website for dates, kick off times etc.) The hardest game of the three will be our 1st team's fixture at Rosemary Lane, as Halstead's 1st Team have had an excellent start to the season taking 31 points from 12 matches and they're really flying at the moment. But the last three performances by Melford have been impressive, helped by the influence of several new signings and a few players returning to full fitness, so I'm sure Jules and the squad will go into Saturday's match with plenty of confidence.



  6. The main talking point at the club this week was the Under 18's FA Youth Cup tie on Thursday. Melford's opponents Bury Town play their league football at a higher level (the Eastern Junior Alliance) but Craig Power's side more than matched them on the night and it was a great game to watch, probably the most entertaining game at Stoneylands in recent years.

    For a match to be really entertaining to watch at this level you need several things to come together all at once: a sense of occasion, a large crowd around the 100 mark, good weather conditions for football, a nice pitch, and two evenly matched teams who both play good football. All of those factors don't come together very often at Melford but we had them all on Thursday and as a result it was a very memorable occasion.

    The only disappointment of course was the way the game ended, to lose on penalties is always tough but to lose because an injured player misses a penalty is especially cruel. It was unfortunate but nobody could have predicted that Tom would need to take a penalty, as how often do all 22 players take a penalty in a shootout? But credit to Tom for stepping up (or hobbling up) and giving it a go for the team.

    Perhaps the clearest sign that it wasn't going to be Melford's night was in the second half of normal time when the assistant referee (with an excellent view of the incident) flagged for a penalty but the referee ignored him, when that happens you know lady luck isn't on your side!

    In the end it was a bit like the conclusion of the first Rocky film, although Rocky has lost he has given absolutely everything and gone toe to toe with an opponent most people expected to beat him with ease, when you've done that in sport there should be immense pride and hopefully that's how all of the of the Under 18s will look back on Thursday evening.

    On Saturday the 1st Team put in a good performance at in-form Great Yarmouth Town but lost to two second half goals. It was the first time in over a year that our 1st Team have named a squad that didn't include any U18 players but after Thursday's exhausting FA Youth Cup encounter that was always to be expected. By all accounts Melford played well in difficult circumstances and will now look forward to two key matches this week starting on Wednesday at home to AFC Sudbury Reserves in the Red Insure Cup then another home match against Downham Town in the league on Saturday.

    Elsewhere, there were narrow defeats this weekend for the Reserves (2-3 at home to Halstead Town) and the Ladies (1-2 at home to Brantham Athletic). More details of both of those matches to follow shortly.



  7. The 2013/14 season is only a fortnight old and already we’ve seen plenty of ups and downs at Melford. Perhaps the key to football, especially at this level where no one’s livelihood depends on results, is to enjoy the good moments and not get too down when things don’t go well.

    Melford were leading in 4 of their 5 league matches so on that basis it is a little disappointing not to have more points on the board. On the other hand, we have played some very good sides at a difficult time when we’ve had so many players unavailable due to injuries and holidays etc (Sam Mansfield is the only player to have started all 5 matches this season), so to get 6 points on the board is a good start.

    The Melford defence took a bit of criticism after the defeat at Debenham but it’s important to give credit where its due as well. We defended well against Stowmarket and March and played over 100 consecutive minutes against Swaffham and Halstead without conceding, so we have defended well for long periods but mistakes have been punished and goals have arrived in clusters.

    Consequently it was very impressive that Melford held firm on Saturday when March pulled a goal back and alarm bells were ringing. The match really should have been put to bed in the first half when Melford were completely dominant and played some really incisive, entertaining football. But credit to March who came back strongly in the second half.

    Just like last season, it’s been good to see young, local players playing in the first team at Melford. Four 16-year-olds, four 18-year-olds and a 19-year-old all from the local area have played this season and done well.

    The Reserves have to wait until Saturday 7th September to get their season underway (away to Halstead Town in the Chell Trophy group stage) while  the Under 18s’ Thurlow Nunn Youth League campaign starts on Wednesday at home to Brantham Athletic.

    By the sounds of it, Under 18s Manager Craig Power will have a very young squad this season, hopefully the young lads will enjoy playing at a good standard and learn a lot along the way. Craig has a reputation for his teams playing attractive football on the deck, the improved pitch at Melford will help with this and it will be interesting to see how the team progresses.

  8. A month since I last updated this page of the website and how things have changed at Melford in that short space of time. New First Team manager Jules Mumford and his assistant Nick Guyon must be delighted with their first 4 matches in charge. 7 points on the board, 9 goals scored and only 3 goals conceded. Two of those games were against promotion contenders, so it has been a huge improvement and for the first time since the beginning of the season Melford move out of the bottom three. A new system on the pitch has worked perfectly in every game so far and the players individually and collectively have been outstanding, both in terms of effort and the football they’ve played.

    Yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Saffron Walden, the first point Melford have taken off a top 6 side all season, was another entertaining game and a very competitive performance by Melford against a Walden side who are unbeaten in the league since October and prior to yesterday had won 8 of their previous 10 league matches. There’s some more tough games coming up soon, starting with a trip to Senior Cup finalists Whitton United on Saturday, but certainly after competing well against CUP and Walden there is plenty of confidence in the Melford camp at the moment.

    On to the Reserves and there was disappointment in the semi-final of the Chell Trophy last week, losing on penalties after a 0-0 draw in extra time. A penalty shootout is always the worst way to lose a match but to keep a clean sheet against a high scoring team like Walsham was a very good effort and bodes well for the rest of the season.

    Clinton Hastie has taken on match report duty of reserve team matches so visitors to the website will now have a better idea of how the Reserves are progressing. The Reserves fielded a very young side at Diss Town yesterday with 7 teenagers in the squad and by all accounts should have won the match but nevertheless returned from Norfolk with a useful point.

    The U18s after finally ending local rivals Cornard United’s 100% winning record last week, came unstuck against Felixstowe & Walton Utd on Wednesday, clearly not having their full strength side made life hard for Melford but manager Craig Power was pleased with his side’s effort on a difficult night and they stay 3rd in the table with 6 matches still to be played this season.

    And last but not least the Ladies are also 3rd in their table after a 4-0 win at Waveney Wanderers (in Lowestoft) last weekend with goals scored by Amy Harrington, Lizzie Anderson, Immie Wyatt and an Own Goal.

  9. Looking back at recent matches, a fortnight ago the 1st Team put in a good performance at Team Bury and left Ram Meadow with a point for their efforts. The young Bury side were impressive going forward and put Melford under a lot of pressure. But Melford looked dangerous themselves on the counter attack and always carried a goal threat, two very different but equally good goals from Ashley Williams and Tom Wingfield earned a welcome point.

    Next up was the eagerly awaited Senior Cup quarter final against Crane Sports. It was a similar game to last year’s quarter final with Achilles: closely fought, scrappy, only a handful of genuine chances for either side. On the balance of play over the 90 minutes it’s hard to disagree that Cranes did just enough to shade it, but the key turning point was obviously the penalty. As the TV pundits would say, if that was a penalty then you’d need to give 10 penalties a match because there is holding and pushing at every free kick and corner.

    Up to that point Melford had looked comfortable after taking an early lead through an outstanding goal from Tom Wingfield after good work down the left by Ashley Williams. After the penalty Melford faded and in the second half apart from a few half chances couldn’t really work the Cranes keeper.

    The Reserves haven’t played since 5th January when goals from Lewis Cawtheray and Stuart Whitehart earned a 2-2 draw with Woodbridge Town at Stoneylands. The weather has disrupted their recent schedule, with tomorrow night’s match at Halstead Town the latest game to be called off, but hopefully the Reserves will return to action at Ipswich Wanderers on Saturday.

    The U18s’ have also been affected by the weather and haven’t played since the 3-3 draw on 9th January against Haverhill Rovers when Melford came back 3-1 down to earn a point, goals scored by Joff Anselmi (2) and Jake Boyton. Craig Power’s side are scheduled to visit Wivenhoe Town on Thursday, keep an eye on the website for updates on whether this match will survive the weather.

    The Ladies are still waiting to play their first match of 2013, weather permitting their rearranged Cup tie at Bury Town will take place on Sunday (2pm kick off at Ram Meadow).

  10. 2012 started with a 5-0 defeat and ended with a 6-0 defeat but thankfully in between there were some better times for Melford on the pitch. The highlight of course was a trip to Ipswich Town in May to contest the Suffolk Senior Cup Final, although a cruel way to lose the final it was a memorable occasion for all concerned.

    The best result of the year by some distance was the 3-2 win at Premier Division side Woodbridge Town in the FA Vase in October thanks to Will Wingfield’s late brace. The worst result was a close call between the 6-0 defeat at Halstead or 3-1 defeat at London APSA in the FA Cup.

    Melford’s best player of 2012 was in most people’s eyes Martin Westcott, who scored 14 goals in the calendar year and hardly missed a match. He’s played as a winger, centre back and defensive midfielder, always giving 100%. A great example to the younger players at the club, unless they want advice on how to take penalties…

    In the Summer the club said goodbye to Jason Maher who left with a more than respectable record as Melford manager and is now back in the game at Diss Town where he brought in Ashley Skeggs, who by all accounts has made a very bright start at Diss. Other long-serving players to move on during 2012 were Dan Grindrod, Paul Wood and Dan Cann (all to Saffron Walden), they've had bad luck with injuries recently but will hopefully be in the Walden squad that visits Stoneylands in March.

    It was always going to be tough this season and long term injuries to Sam Mansfield, Justin Crissell, Dan Gammage, Ashley Williams and Jack Durey made it even harder. However a combination of players stepping up from the U18s, Reserves and local football plus a few seasoned campaigners have battled against the odds to record 7 wins and 3 draws (in all competitions). Not bad considering the circumstances and in all honesty much better than I expected back in August.

    Certainly the influx of U18s from September onwards made a big difference to the quality of the squad. It’s been great to see players who I remember reading about in their LMFC Colts’ days end up making their Senior debuts with Melford.

    The way the U18s have played in Senior football this season suggests they’ve had very good coaching over the years: they all have good technique, composure on the ball and play without any dissent or bad attitude. The only downside is that with four 17-year-olds and a 16-year-old in the squad at the moment I’m starting to feel very old all of a sudden.

    Hopefully now that a few of the older players are starting to return from injury it will be a more balanced squad in the second half of the season, a mixture of youth and experience. And off the field, lets hope 2013 is a less turbulent year for the club. Happy New Year. Andy

  11. Hope that you all had an enjoyable Christmas Day and that you have a healthy and peaceful 2013. What of Long Melford Football Club?. Well we have survived when many predicted our funeral date a year ago. A team effort has prevailed to overcome the off the field problems, and thanks to the efforts of ALL we are now starting to stabilize what was a difficult situation. Naming individuals is fraught with consequences, so the effort as recorded has to be down to all the Board members, our new Commercial Manager, and dear Dora Marchment who has all our accounting figures on a computerised system. And in addition all the people who week in and week out stand by the cause, Long Melford Football Club.  Thanks must go also to the Managers of all teams, and all the players who have remained loyal over the most difficult period since the Club moved to Stoneylands. To you all please keep up the hard work. And to the lads on the field of play keep trying your hardest and eventually team effort will ensure success, if the lads keep together next season could prove to be the best of recent times. CHENOBERET

  12. Stowmarket Town were the visitors to Stoneylands on Saturday. Jack Durey’s hat-trick was the difference between the two sides in October, with Jack currently sidelined through injury it was a closer game on Saturday.

    Two sides struggling at the moment were never likely to produce a great game of football and so it proved. The match was constantly interrupted by some reckless challenges by both teams in innocuous areas of the pitch, when staying on their feet would have been a better option. Both sides picked up a handful of yellow cards and on another day might have received a few reds.

    It wasn’t a great spectacle for the small group of spectators, with very little football being played. But just when I was moaning about parting with £5 to watch such a scrappy game, a moment of class arrived in the closing stages. Ben Simpson’s excellent pass was met with instant control by Will Wingfield, who then finished in emphatic fashion.

    Stowmarket after leading for nearly 40 minutes will probably feel they should have won the game. On the other hand Melford did miss a penalty, the third spot kick Melford have been awarded this season and they’ve all been missed. Danny Twyman is usually a reliable penalty taker but shot wide on this occasion.

    Helping the team out on Saturday was experienced defender Jamie Howe who last played for Melford about 10 years ago and is a well-known defender in the area having also played for AFC Sudbury and Sudbury Athletic. He currently plays for Wormingford in the Border League but as they didn’t have a game on Saturday and Melford were short at the back with Michael Owen unavailable, Jamie signed on a dual registration basis and had a solid game for Melford on Saturday.

    It’s difficult to work out who would have partnered Chris Toole in the centre of Melford’s defence on Saturday had Jamie not come in at the last minute…Westy? (probably best not to dwell on that thought too long…!)

    The Reserves proved too strong for their Stowmarket counterparts and came away from Greens Meadow with a 5-1 win, goals scored by Myles Clark (2), Errol Durell (2) and one for Justin Crissell on his return from injury who was playing his first full 90 minutes since September.

    Next up for the Reserves is a home fixture against Ipswich Wanderers (22nd December) in what will be the Reserves’ last match in 2012.  Then follows a short break for Christmas before returning to action on 5th January at home to Woodbridge Town.

    The U18s have endured a frustrating time recently due to the weather, they haven’t played since early November but hopefully will get a game tomorrow (Wednesday 19th December) away at Brantham Athletic.

    The U18s’ first season in the Thurlow Nunn Youth League has gone better than anyone could have expected. They currently sit 3rd in the table, two of their players have represented Suffolk and six members of their squad have made Senior debuts for the 1st Team.

    The Ladies’ match on Sunday was postponed so they now have a break over Christmas before returning to action at Bury Town on Sunday 13th January in the cup. John Harrington’s side currently sit 3rd in the table, a very good foundation to build on in the New Year.

    And finally, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone and hopefully we’ll see a bumper crowd at Cornard United on 27th December (3pm kick off) for a local derby that both sides will feel they need to win. With ex-Melford trio Paul Grainger, Richard Grimster and Jamie Gregory all at Cornard now it will make for a more interesting derby than we’ve seen in recent years.

  13. img_3274-gm

    Pictured above is action from the 1st Team's match at Halstead yesterday, there are more pictures on their website HERE

    In my last column a fortnight ago I wrote about how competitive the 1st Team were this season despite having such an inexperienced squad; Melford then went and conceded 14 goals in 2 matches!

    Losing heavily to a Braintree side that included 4 of their Conference squad was certainly no disgrace. Players of that quality, used to playing one division below the Football League, are obviously going to make a huge difference at Step 6 level. Maybe next year Melford could draft in 4 Luton Town regulars and it might make for a more even contest.

    In contrast, losing 6-0 at an under-strength Halstead Town is a bad result in anyone’s book. The only real positives on an otherwise disappointing afternoon were some eye-catching performances by the club’s Under 18 players, who were Melford’s best players throughout.

    However it would be unfair to criticise any of yesterday’s squad, because with a few exceptions they are very new to this level of football. It’s not realistic to expect players to step up to a higher level and never have a bad game or never make a mistake.

    You don’t need to be Jose Mourinho to work out the club needs to bring in some players who have played regurlarly in the First Division (or an equivalent standard), to help the young and inexperienced players, but in the club’s current situation that is easier said than done!

    But as always after a bad defeat it’s important to keep things in perspective. After last season’s financial crisis it’s a miracle the club is still surviving at all, so it will take a long time to recover and re-build. But we are lucky to have good people at the club who genuinely care about Long Melford FC, which gives us a fighting chance.

    At Stoneylands the Reserves were 2-0 up against their Halstead counterparts thanks to Stuart Whitehart’s first half double, before the visitors fought back to win 3-2.

    Well done to the Ladies who won 8-1 at Witnesham Wasps today and move up to 3rd in the table. John Harrington’s match report will be on the website soon.

    Next up is the U18s’ home match against Felixstowe & Walton Utd on Wednesday night, followed by the 1st Team’s bottom of the table clash against Stowmarket Town on Saturday. On the same day the Reserves travel to Stowmarket. All these fixtures could be under threat from the weather so please keep an eye on the website for updates during the week.

  14. Last week there was good progress made in the Cup competitions as the 1st Team reached the quarter finals of the Suffolk Senior Cup and the Reserves qualified for the semi-finals of the Chell Trophy, which sets up two big games to look forward to in early 2013…the 1st Team are at home to Crane Sports (12th January) and Reserves home v Walsham-le-Willows (5th February).

    On Saturday the 1st Team lost 2-1 at Saffron Walden Town, a good game to watch considering the difficult conditions but the injury to Walden keeper Paul Wood (who made 118 appearances for Melford) overshadowed the match and we all wish Woodsie well for his recovery.

    It was a deserved win for Walden who had the better of the play and chances. But nevertheless another good battling display by Melford who were solid defensively and dealt well with a lot of aerial balls in the box from corners and Joe Rudkin’s unbelievable long throws, probably the best long throw I’ve ever seen; not just long but flat and fast too.

    It’s not a very experienced 1st Team at the moment, using Saturday’s squad as an example I’d say 11 of the 14 players have played most of their football at a lower level. But although Melford are in the bottom three, the majority of matches this season have been closely fought with only CUP, Newmarket and Braintree beating Melford by more than one goal in the league this season. Which suggests the players who have stepped up from the Reserves, U18s and local leagues have done very well and are holding their own against most sides in the division.

    Making an impressive debut for Melford on Saturday was Luke Cresswell, who stood for election as a Labour candidate last year in Sudbury, so it was appropriate that he played on the left wing!

    The Reserves came from behind to draw 1-1 at home to Saffron Walden’s second string and now have a two-week break from action before playing Halstead Town at Stoneylands on Saturday 8th December.

    The Ladies’ match against Bacton United was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, their next fixture is away to Ransomes Sports on Sunday 2nd December.

    The next match at Stoneylands is the U18’s home game against Hadleigh United on Wednesday, followed by the 1st Team at home to Braintree Town Reserves on Saturday.

  15. Firstly well done to Tony West and everyone else involved in yesterday’s charity match at Stoneylands. The match raised over £400 for Macmillan Cancer Support and Success After Stroke, thanks to a 100+ crowd; the final score was Macmillan All Stars 3 Long Melford XI 5.

    Since my last update a fortnight ago a lot has happened at Melford on and off the pitch, the combination of ups and downs that every club encounters; defeats for the 1st Team and Reserves, victories for the U18s and Ladies, injuries and departures, a successful Fireworks night, a scathing comment on the club’s website forum, 3 more Senior debuts for the club’s youngsters and a cheque for over £500 from the Suffolk FA (last season’s Senior Cup prize money).

    It won’t be the same watching Melford play without Ashley Skeggs in the team, after 5 years at the club. Also his family who were regular supporters at Stoneylands will be missed. But Skeggo’s move to Diss Town is a great chance to step up a level and play in the Premier Division. So best wishes to Skeggo and I’m sure he’ll help Diss climb out of the relegation zone soon.

    For several years the club’s 1st Team had one of the worst disciplinary records in the League, which not only cost a small fortune in fines but also reflected badly on the club. Thankfully we have turned the corner this season; Melford are currently joint 6thout of 38 clubs in the Thurlow Nunn League Fair Play Award.  In league and cup matches this season, Melford are averaging exactly 1 yellow card per game (17 yellows in 17 matches) with 0 red cards. A huge improvement so well done to all involved in improving this aspect of the 1st Team.

    A big week ahead for the club, starting with the U18s’ local derby/top of the table clash with Cornard United on Wednesday night at Stoneylands. Then on Saturday in the Senior Cup the 1st Team travel to Ipswich to face SIL side Achilles, who were unlucky to be knocked out on penalties by Melford last season and will be tough opposition again this year. Meanwhile the Reserves make the short trip to AFC Sudbury hoping to avenge two defeats against Sudbury earlier in the season. The Ladies, who moved up to 3rd after their 4-1 win at Ipswich Valley Rangers yesterday, play at home to Brandon on Sunday.

    Finally good luck to former Melford manager Paul Grainger who has joined Cornard United to run their 1st Team alongside Chris Symes. With PG on board it won't be long before they they pick up their first league win in over a year and his arrival will liven up the Boxing Day derby. ANDY CUSSANS

  16. It was second v third (from bottom) at Stowmarket yesterday, two sides who had only won once in the League this season. Both sides went for the much-needed 3 points and attacked in numbers, as a result it was a very open match at times. Melford found themselves two goals down early on but fought back well to win 5-2 in a good team performance with all 14 players contributing.

    It’s fair to say that in recent years Melford haven’t had a reputation for being free-scoring, but it still came as a surprise to discover the last time Melford scored 5 goals in a league match was as long ago as October 2006!

    Melford’s squad on Saturday included 5 players under the age of 18, and again the youngsters gave a good account of themselves. What has impressed me most about the U18 players so far this season is that they all want to get on the ball and play attractive football, a good example being Will Wingfield’s pass of the season which led to Jack Durey completing his hat-trick on Saturday.

    There were impressive performances all over the pitch on Saturday with Chris Toole continuing his excellent form at centre half, alongside captain Michael Owen (who has been a much better signing than his namesake at Stoke City!). And of course Jack Durey was a constant threat and deserved his hat-trick.

    The Reserves beat their Stowmarket counterparts 5-3 at Stoneylands and they are back in action on Thursday night at neighbours Halstead Town Reserves (7.45pm) while on Saturday the 1st Team face Halstead at Stoneylands in the First Division Cup (3pm) followed by the Fireworks Night (see front page of website for more details).

    The U18s lost 5-1 at high-flying Stanway Rovers on Thursday but remain in a healthy league position (5th), Craig Power's side return to action at home to FC Clacton on Wednesday. ANDY CUSSANS

    • Results Forecast Update: One winner this week, who collects prize money of £50.
  17. Melford keeper Sam Mansfield underwent a major operation on Monday night to re-attach the collapsed lung to the chest wall. The operation was successful but Sam is obviously exhausted and in pain. Sam will hopefully be out of Papworth hospital by the weekend.

    Richie Partridge's short spell at the club (11 appearances/0 goals) has come to an end, he's left the club and last night was on the scoresheet for Team Bury in their win against Braintree Town Reserves. Another ex Melford player Danny Shipton played for AFC Sudbury's first team in the Ryman League on Saturday.

    Good luck to Brantham Athletic for the rest of this season's FA Vase, their reward for beating Melford on Saturday is a home tie against Cambridge University Press.

    On Saturday at Stoneylands the Reserves host neighbours AFC Sudbury in the Suffolk Senior Reserve Cup (3pm kick off and not 2.15pm as originally stated) while the 1st Team travel to Ipswich Wanderers in the league.

  18. Sam Mansfield’s car accident last week has obviously overshadowed Friday’s local derby. Several Melford players have visited Sam in hospital where he is making progress, but his collapsed lung is still not staying inflated.

    The club was fortunate to have talented former Team Bury keeper Liam Hastie ready to step up to the First Team at short notice on Friday, to replace Sam. After impressing in the Reserves this season, Liam’s home debut for the 1st Team against ended in a comfortable 3-0 win against Cornard United, in a match not helped by the wet conditions.

    Cornard are enduring another tough season but they worked hard throughout Friday’s match and in a local derby/Senior Cup tie were never going to be pushovers. However, Melford created plenty of chances despite not being at their best and were unlucky to hit the woodwork twice. The draw for the next round takes place live on Friday on BBC Radio Suffolk (between 6pm and 7pm).

    It was an entirely local Melford team that played on Friday, with two 17 year-olds in the starting line up, which is good to see. And the decision to play the game on Friday proved successful with the gate of 88 about double what it would have been on Saturday.

    Next up is the FA Vase tie with Premier Division side Brantham Athletic, which is a completely different type of challenge; instead of being favourites Melford will be the underdogs. Melford have already surpassed expectations by reaching the 1st Round Proper and winning £1200 prize money (the club’s best Vase run since 2004/05). 31 places separate the two sides in the League, so Brantham rightly start as heavy favourites but Melford have nothing to lose. And as always under Robbie and Jules, the players will give 100% whatever the scoreline.

    Good luck to Dan Cann who has moved on to Saffron Walden Town, where he will link up with his former Melford team-mate Paul Wood. Canno had a ‘one in two’ scoring record at Melford, which takes some doing especially as Melford were in the bottom half of the table for much of that period.

    Most of the Cup Final squad at Portman Road in May have now left the club, which is a shame but its also part and parcel of football at all levels. Clubs go through different eras, managers and players leave which means clubs have to rebuild. At the moment Melford are at the start of a new era and in a short space of time Robbie and Jules have worked miracles to build a competitive squad since taking over in July in difficult circumstances. There will be setbacks at times, which is inevitable for what is basically a completely new team, but things are progressing nicely.

    Off the pitch, the Co-Op have come on board in an exciting new sponsorship development and the new kit sponsored by Pizza Town in Sudbury has smartened Melford’s image up, as the old shirts were slowly falling apart.

    The Reserves travel to Newmarket Town in their last Chell Trophy group match on Wednesday, ideally needing a win to put the pressure on group leaders AFC Sudbury. Then on Thursday the U18s also visit Newmarket (in the Thurlow Nunn Youth League Cup) where Craig Power’s Melford team will want to build on last week’s impressive 4-1 win at Witham Town.

    Finally well done to the Ladies who won their opening two matches of the season, 2-1 at Bury Town and 4-0 at home to Brantham Athletic. ANDY CUSSANS

  19. The 1st Team made it 3 wins in a row on Saturday, with a 2-1 win against Swaffham Town in the league [read Chenoberet's match report HERE]. Although behind for about 50 minutes, Melford created more clear-cut chances than their Norfolk visitors, so it was a well deserved 3 points. The Melford defence had another good day and restricted Swaffham's dangerous forwards Joe Jackson and Alex Vincent (12 goals between them already this season) to very few genuine chances. Melford again showed great character to stage another late fightback, improved fitness levels also seemed to play a big part in Melford's strong finish to the match, and both goals were expertly taken by Luke Simpson and Ashley Skeggs.

    As great as the two FA Vase wins were (and of course the £1200 prize money) it was important Melford got their first League win of the season sooner rather than later and to get it against a team 5th in the table must have been very pleasing for Robbie, Jules and the players.

    At Walsham-le-Willows there was a narrow defeat for the Reserves, losing 1-0, from what I hear it was a good Melford performance that warranted at least a point. Next Saturday at Stoneylands the Reserves host Diss Town, while the 1st Team travel to the Amlin Stadium to face Braintree Town Reserves. ANDY CUSSANS

  20. Melford got the monkey off their back today with their first win of the 2012/13 season, also a first win for manager Robbie Benson. After the early FA Cup exit, Melford looked determined not to fall at the first hurdle of the FA Vase and despite a few anxious moments they got the job done to secure £500 in prize money and an away tie at Woodbridge Town on Saturday 15th September. The win was a nice reward for the players' efforts during a tough opening month for the club.

    After racing into a 2-0 lead through Errol Durell and then Jack Durey's wonder strike, this looked like being a comfortable win for Melford. However, the visitors improved as the half progressed and pulled a goal back before half-time following a well worked move. Bowers & Pitsea had a confidence boosting win against their local rivals Basildon United on Wednesday and looked increasingly dangerous going forward with prolific goalscorer Calvin Poku catching the eye.

    Melford lost Durey and skipper Justin Crissell to injury in the second half and were under pressure for long periods with keeper Sam Mansfield making a couple of crucial saves. It was hard work for Melford who didn't have the attacking outlet they'd had in the first half. There was the bizarre sight of Martin Westcott playing as a makeshift centre half, which actually worked better than you might think, but with no Westy up front Melford had no one to hold the ball in Bowers & Pitsea's half.

    Melford hoped to contain Bowers & Pitsea and pinch a goal at the other end from a counter attack or set piece and that's how the crucial third goal was scored. Paul Barnes gambled on the visitors' keeper spilling Dan Cann's free kick, which is exactly what happened, and Barnes netted the rebound to effectively send Melford through to the next round.

    I'd imagine the two very different halves will have pleased Robbie and Jules in different ways: Melford played good attacking football in the first half whereas the second half (with several players in unfamiliar positions) was more a case of high work-rate and determination not to let the win slip away. ANDY CUSSANS

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