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  1. Christmas

    Just past the half-way stage (19 league games played, 17 to play), the club's First Team sit 2nd in the table with 43 points. Melford have been in the top three since the first week of the season and now the challenge is obviously to maintain that level until the end of April.

    It's been a real squad effort so far, which is reflected in the fact that 13 different players have contributed goals. Melford have played entertaining attacking football all season, 52 goals scored in 19 league matches speaks for itself. At times they've leaked a few too many goals at the other end, but overall the balance between attack and defence has been spot on.

    The positive way Melford have responded to setbacks is another reason why they've been able to maintain the good start. There have been some tough defeats, but after every disappointment Melford have bounced back quickly.

    The Reserves are also going well this season, currently mid-table in the league and also through to the knockout phase of the Chell Trophy after winning their group in style.

    The Under 18s after a slow start to the season are improving all the time, only losing once in their last five matches and that was a narrow 3-2 defeat at AFC Sudbury who have won all of their matches this season.

    Last but not least the Ladies are currently 2nd in the table with a very impressive 16 points from 7 games, scoring 35 goals in the process.

    Finally on behalf of everybody at the club Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to our sponsors, supporters and everyone else involved in the local football community. AC

  2. The 1st Team picked up 6 points from 3 matches in November to keep the momentum going and stay in the top 3. The month started with a home match against King's Lynn Reserves, a game that was ruined as a spectacle by a strong wind but Melford showed good character to defend well and grind out a 1-0 win.

    Next up was a local derby and top of the table clash at Halstead Town, which ended in a 2-0 defeat. It was one of those matches where you had to accept the better team on the day won. A lot of Melford players who have done very well this season had off days, when that happens it's best to just put it down to a bad day at the office, instead of trying to over-analyse the performance.

    The following Saturday Dereham Town Reserves visited Stoneylands. It was a match Melford were favourites to win on paper but as always after a setback everyone wants to see a positive reaction and sometimes it's easier said than done. Melford started very well, racing into a 4-0 lead early in the second half, before appearing to take the foot off the pedal a little with the points in the bag and Dereham came more into the match, scoring a consolation goal. But overall it was an impressive performance and a good reaction to the Halstead match.

    As you may have read on the website the next 1st Team match (Home v Needham Market Res. on Saturday 13th December) will be Ashley Skeggs' 200th appearance. 200 games for one club is a good achievement at any level of the game. It's fair to say Skeggo has mostly played in struggling sides at Melford but his loyalty has been rewarded over the years, winning the Supporters' Player award and captaining the team at Portman Road in 2012. I'm sure he's enjoying this season being in the top half of the table for a change!

    The Reserves are going along nicely, sitting mid-table in the league and going well in the Chell Trophy (needing one more win to guarantee a place in the knockout stage). There is also a Suffolk Senior Reserve Cup quarter final tie at Walsham-le-Willows to look forward to this Saturday (6th December, 3pm kick off).

    The Under 18s had a quiet November because of the weather but will be happy to have picked up 4 points from their 2 matches during the month. A 2-1 win at Halstead Town (scorers Sam Bayliss and Harry Fryer) was followed by an entertaining 4-4 draw with Cornard United (scorers Sam Bayliss, George Day, Harry Liskus, Bob Addison).

    The Under 18s' next match is at home to local rivals AFC Sudbury tomorrow night (Wednesday 3rd December, 7.45pm kick off at Stoneylands).

    The Ladies are up to 2nd in the table after Sunday's 5-0 win against Copleston Ladies. To read the match report from Sunday and look at their revised fixture list CLICK HERE

  3. As October draws to a close, for the 1st Team the month couldn't have gone any better in the league (9 points from a possible 9) and it couldn't have gone any worse in the cups (4 defeats out of 4). A real mixed bag of a month and it summed up the highs and lows of football.

    After the cup exits Melford quickly got back to winning ways in the league at Woodbridge Town on Saturday with a comfortable 3-0 win. Woodbridge are in the bottom four but they won at Halstead recently and they've had impressive results in the Vase and Senior Cup, so it was a good test to see how Melford would react to a disappointing week. After a goalless first half Melford secured the points in a 15-minute spell early in the second half with three goals arriving in quick succession.

    The win took Melford back to the top of the league, with 31 points from 14 matches. It's been a remarkable turnaround when you consider it was only February 2013 that manager Jules Mumford took over, when the team were at the wrong end of the table and the club was struggling to survive.

    After playing 5 matches in the last fortnight, hopefully the squad can enjoy a decent rest now over the next few weeks before another tough run of fixtures starts at home to Kings Lynn on Saturday 8th November.

    The Reserves are also going along nicely, they are currently 3rd in their league and top of the Chell Trophy West Group. Their next match is on Wednesday (29th October) at home to Halstead Town, in the Chell Trophy.

    Similarly the Ladies are flying at the moment. John Harrington's side moved up to 2nd in the table after winning both league matches in October, scoring a combined total of 21 goals in the process, as well as making good progress in the County Cup.

    It's been a tough start to the season for the Under 18s but with most of the squad playing at Thurlow Nunn Youth League level for the first time it would be unfair to criticise results. It's all useful experience for the Melford players playing against good opposition and last week's 1-1 draw at Stanway Rovers showed that they're improving and learning along the way.

    As always you can keep up to date with all the Long Melford Colts news, results and fixtures on their website

    Finally a reminder that the Fireworks Night (a joint event this year with the Colts) takes place at the club on Saturday 1st November, with live music from Route 66. There is more information about the evening elsewhere on the website.

  4. September has been a mixed month for the club's 1st Team. There were good wins against Halstead Town and Leiston Reserves and a hard fought 0-0 at Saffron Walden, but also defeats to Swaffham Town and Downham Town.

    It's been a great effort to get 22 points on the board from 11 games but it's testing time at the moment due to a growing injury list and the departure of Will Wingfield and Jake Jackson to University, who we thank for their efforts over the past few months.  So hopefully the club's supporters will come out in force on Wednesday and get behind the team for another big league match against local rivals AFC Sudbury Reserves (7.45pm kick off at Melford).

    On the subject of support, it was great to see so many of the Colts players and parents at the last home match. The attendance was 110, whereas usually we'd be lucky to get a crowd of 50 for a home match against Swaffham. The players did their best to put on a good show for the Colts but, football being football, it didn't go according to plan.

    There are still a few seats available on the coach to Hitchin on Saturday in the FA Vase when Melford face Baldock Town. The coach leaves the George & Dragon at 11am. If supporters would like to book a seat (£5) please let a club official know ASAP.

    Finally a big thank you to two new programme advertisers; Ruse & Son Family Butchers in Melford and The Jewellery Studio in Sudbury.

  5. COLTS INVITED TO NEXT MATCH: A reminder that on Saturday the Colts players and their parents will be our guests at the First Team match against Swaffham Town (3pm kick off). Entry is free for everyone from the Colts, just bring along your letter, which have been distributed to Colts managers.

    It promises to be another entertaining match at Stoneylands. Melford will start the game in 1st or 2nd position in the table (depending on results of other games during midweek), while visitors Swaffham Town have also had an excellent start to the season and are well known as a good footballing side.

    TWO AWAY WINS: It was a good day all round for the club yesterday with the First Team and Reserves both winning 3-2 away from home, against Leiston Reserves and Whitton United Reserves respectively. Both Melford sides moved to the top of their table after those wins.

    GOOD AWAY SUPPORT AT LEISTON: It was nice to see a large travelling contingent of Melford supporters at Leiston. It was also good to see two players who couldn’t play in the game, Nathan Rowe (suspended) and Ashley Skeggs (injured), make the trip on the mini-bus.

    BRAINTREE RESERVES GROUNDSHARE: It was nice to receive the following comments on the Braintree forum recently about the groundshare at Melford:

    “A quick message to thank the good people of Long Melford, from the girl in the tea room, the girl behind the bar & the two girls on the turnstile plus the groundsman they have all made us very welcome.  Thanks lovely Sausage & Chips again. “

    RESERVES UPDATE: The Reserves have a game this Saturday away to Stowmarket Town in the Chell Trophy. Thanks to Tim Jackson for organising Reserves player photos which can be can seen on the website CLICK HERE.

    Reserve team players can now be sponsored in the same way as First Team players, for £25, which gets the sponsor’s name in the programme and on the website.

    LADIES WIN AWAY: Well done to the Ladies who won 2-1 in their first league match of the season, away to Copleston. Megan Partridge scored both the goals. To read the match report CLICK HERE.

    NEXT MATCH: Next up at Melford is the Under 18’s Thurlow Nunn Youth Cup tie against Stanway Rovers on Tuesday (16th September), 7.45pm kick off at Stoneylands.

    LONG MELFORD COLTS: The Colts' 2014/15 season has started. To keep an eye on their fixtures and results visit the Colts' website CLICK HERE

    MAPLE BUILDING SERVICES: Finally, thank you to a new sponsor Maple Building Services who will be appearing in the club’s matchday programme for the rest of the season.




  6. It's fair to say that expectations going into the new season were higher than usual at Melford, partly due to finishing last season so well (7 wins out of the last 9 matches) but also due to the calibre of new signings Jules was able to bring to the club during pre-season.

    The matches have come thick and fast in August with 6 games in the space of 21 days. In general Melford's performances have been very good, with the exception of the first half v Cornard and second half v Stowmarket which weren't up to the high standard shown in the other matches.

    The key ingredients to Melford's positive start have been a lot of hard work, good fitness levels and plenty of entertaining attacking football which has culminated in 17 goals scored. 8 players have got themselves on the scoresheet which is very encouraging as too often in the past at Melford we've relied on just one or two players to score all the goals.

    Jules has never really been close to having a full squad available but I'm sure every club in the league is saying the same thing. Injuries, suspensions, holidays, work commitments etc are part and parcel for all teams at this level so you need a big squad with strength in depth, which Melford have this season.

    It's still very early in the season though, so I'm sure nobody at the club will be getting too carried away. It looks like the division has got stronger compared to last season, so as much as Melford's squad has improved, plenty of other teams have improved as well.

    But Melford will rightly take a lot of confidence from their performances during the opening month of the season.

    Another tough match awaits on Wednesday evening, when in-form Halstead Town visit Stoneylands (7.45pm kick off). It's 2nd v 3rd in the table, so it should be another entertaining match, and midweek games at Stoneylands always have a better atmosphere under the lights in front of bigger crowds than we get on Saturdays. ANDY

  7. It was an unfortunate end to the Reserves' season last night as the match at Wivenhoe ended after 64 minutes, following the injury to 18-year-old Melford player Jordan Bailey who suffered a suspected broken ankle. A speedy recovery to Jordan.

    At Stoneylands the Under 18s' run of four consecutive 1-1 draws came to an end as Stanway Rovers ran out 4-1 winners.

    Looking back at the club's Easter, it started with mixed results on the Saturday. The first team couldn't reproduce their excellent recent form, losing to a young Dereham reserve side who knocked the ball around nicely and deservedly won 3-1. Over at Halstead the Reserves had a good day, fighting back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with their high-flying opponents. Melford's goals were scored by Deklyn Roy, Harry Liskus and Sam Newton.

    Next up was a trip to neighbours Cornard United on Easter Monday for the first team local derby. Melford have done well in local derbies this season and that trend continued on Monday as goals scored by Jack Durey, Sam Newton, Will Wingfield and Nathan Rowe secured a 4-1 win.

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. 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



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