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Looking back at Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Team Bury, its hard to believe Melford finished the match with only one player from the Cup Final squad in May, namely Justin Crissell. The other 15 players involved at Portman Road have either left the club or were injured/unavailable on Saturday (or in Martin Westcott and Dan Cann’s case were substituted in the second half).

Incredibly Justin has already played with 8 different players in the Melford defence this season (plus two keepers) and we’re only in August!

It highlights what a challenging start it has been for new manager Robbie Benson. At this time of year the unavailability of players was to be expected due to holidays/weddings/etc but the bad luck with injuries has made it particularly tough.

Saturday’s match saw Melford create plenty of chances in the opening 60 minutes but, apart from Dan Cann’s clinical strike, they weren’t converted. Team Bury pushed hard for a winner late on, but Melford held on to take a point.

Its early days but what we can learn from Melford’s opening matches is that its going to be a largely local group of players this year, plus a few from further afield, and it will be a team that battles for every point. We’ve also seen Melford play some good flowing football in the last two home matches, particularly in the first half against Whitton.

The Reserves’ league campaign starts on Saturday under the new management team of Tony French and Mark Dack, away to Hadleigh United Reserves. Several players from last season’s team have left the club including Stu Alston (to Hadleigh Utd) and Dan Manser (to Saffron Walden), hopefully we’ll have an update from the Reserves’ when the season gets underway on Saturday.

The Premier League has started again so Forecast Sheets are on sale at the club for £1. For anybody not aware of how this works, you are asked to predict the exact results of two Premier League fixtures (Sunday matches). Half of the cash raised then goes to the winner(s) and the other goes to the club. The club really needs all players/officials/supporters to buy at least one sheet a week either at training or matchdays. ANDY CUSSANS


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