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» Listings for 2015

  1. I was shocked and saddened earlier this month to hear that Geoff Cleal had passed away after illness. Geoff was at Melford between 2008 and 2011, initially as coach and later as manager. He put a lot of time and effort into the club, not just the playing side but also bringing in sponsorship money and helping around the ground to improve the club's facilities.  Condolences to Geoff's family, which of course includes his son-in-law Dean Costello who played for Melford and Dean's brother Dechlan, who also played for the club.

    Not a lot of football was played this month because of the weather. The 1st Team played three matches, starting with a trip to Saffron Walden in the League Cup. Despite a good performance Melford found themselves 2-0 down after conceding two penalties (one soft and one blatant). Although Jamie Griffiths' dramatic equaliser came very late, a draw after 90 minutes felt like a fair outcome, as it was a very close match. All of the penalties in the shootout by both sides were well taken and in the end it took a great save by Sam Mansfield to separate the two sides.

    In the quarter finals Melford were drawn at home to King's Lynn Res or Mildenhall Town, either of those opponents will be tough to beat but it's nice to finally receive a home draw after 6 consecutive away ties this season in various cup competiions.

    After the Walden match it was back to league action and another 2-2 draw away to Walsham. After leading twice it was obviously a little disappointing not to win but it's another point on the board and every away point in the Premier has to be seen as a good one.

    This was followed by a fortnight break before finally playing at home again when FC Clacton were the visitors to Stoneylands on Saturday. It was a cold and windy day, far from ideal conditions for football but the pitch played very well, which helped both sides and stopped the game becoming scrappy. Melford were well on top in the first half and probably deserved more than a two goal lead at half time but after the break Clacton came into the match a lot more. It's true that Clacton were missing a few regulars but their front three on Saturday have scored a lot of goals at this level so it's a good effort to keep a clean sheet against them, although admittedly they did come very close to scoring on a few occasions including another fine penalty save by Sam.

    Overall it was another impressive performance by Melford with everyone performing well. This is a very entertaining side to watch and I'm sure the fans all agree we get good value for our £6! There have been days when things haven't clicked on the pitch, on other occasions the opponents have simply been too good, but when Melford are on song they play high quality football.

    The Reserves sit in mid-table after a 4-3 win against Cornard United at the beginning of the month was followed by defeats to Hadleigh United and Brightlingsea Regent. The Under 18s only played once in November because of the weather, that was a 2-1 home win against Halstead Town (scorers Robert Addison and Tom Emerick).

    On Sunday the Ladies moved off the bottom of the Eastern Region Women's League thanks to a 1-1 draw with Bury Town. Megan Partridge scored Melford's goal and the player of the match was Deben Faiers. AC

     

  2. The 1st Team have a fortnight break (next match is home to FC Clacton on Saturday 28th November) so it's a good time to take a look at their progress.

    The current league position of 5th has to be taken with a pinch of salt because most of the teams below have games in hand, it's the points tally of 22 that is more relevant and that's obviously a great start when you're playing at the highest level in the club's 147 year history!

    To sum up the season so far, when Melford have played well they look capable of beating anyone in the Premier and have achieved some outstanding results. However, if the team have a bad day then it's also possible to lose heavily, as was the case against Godmanchester and to a lesser extent Stanway, Brantham and Walden.

    Incidentally for those who like a stat; in 119 matches with Jules Mumford as manager, the defeat to Godmanchester is the only game the team have conceded more than 4 goals in.

    In general this season it's been a bit up and down but it's a difficult league and you've got to do what Melford have done well, which is to bounce back quickly from bad days.

    For all the success the side has enjoyed under Jules in the league, it's never quite happened in the cups in recent years and the club's last cup run of note ended at Portman Road back in 2012. So it's nice to be through to the quarter finals of the League Cup. The league is always the priority for every side but everyone enjoys a cup run and it's good to have the quarter finals to look forward to in early 2016.

  3. lmfc

    1st Team: 

    September was another good month, winning three Premier Division matches and also making progress in the FA Vase and League Cup. A few tough defeats as well but overall it's a great start to have 15 points on the board, especially after playing all of the teams in the top 10 except Norwich United.

    On Saturday it's a break from League action with a visit to FC Broxbourne Borough in the FA Vase. Broxbourne are 9th in the Spartan South Midlands League which is the same level as the Thurlow Nunn Premier (Step 5). Another tough match but it should be a cracking game to watch; the coach leaves the George & Dragon at 11.30am, supporters are very welcome on board (£5 per seat),please let somebody at the club know if you'd like to book a seat.

    Reserves

    Apart from the Suffolk Senior Reserve Cup defeat on Saturday, September was a good month for the Reserves who are currently 8th out of 18 teams with 10 points from 5 matches. The 10-1 win against Halstead Town was an obvious highlight but there have also been good victories against Lowestoft Town (3-1) and local rivals Cornard United (1-0).

    Under 18s

    The Under 18s also had an impressive September. There was a narrow 1-0 defeat to high-flying Wroxham in the FA Youth Cup and also a 4-0 win at Sporting 87 and a 1-1 draw at Hadleigh United.

    Ladies

    The Ladies just like the 1st Team have the tough assignment this season of playing at a higher level for the first time. The team is still looking for their first win of the season but it's very early days having only played three matches so far. Their first match in October is at home to Writtle on Sunday (4th October), 2pm kick off at Stoneylands.

  4. aug2015Overall the club's first month at Step 5 went well with 6 Premier Division points on the board and a first FA Cup victory since 2004.

    The step up from the First Division has so far looked big without being overwhelming, the players don't look out of place at a higher level and all of the matches have been close.

    The wins against Whitton Utd and Gorleston were well-deserved and the single goal defeats to high-flying Felixstowe and Stanway could easily have ended up as draws. That leaves the defeat at Clacton as the only league game where Melford couldn't make a case for deserving something.

    On Saturday we all had high hopes at Basildon in the FA Cup Preliminary Round but it was a below par performance. Unfortunately it was one of those days when only a handful of players really played even close to their best. It's probably not a game to analyse too much, as the 20 or so away fans on Saturday all know the team is a lot better than that performance.

    However it's always important to give credit to the opposition because as disappointing as the Melford display was there's no doubt Basildon played well in the first half particularly and deserved the win. Good luck to Basildon in the next round where they will host Hullbridge Sports.

    We also should give credit to the Melford squad for a) qualifying for the FA Cup in the first place (something of a rarity!) and b) winning the club's first FA Cup tie for 11 years when they beat London Bari a fortnight ago.

    Looking ahead to the next match on Saturday it should be a cracking FA Vase tie when neighbours Cornard United visit Stoneylands (3pm). Every match we've played against Cornard recently has been a close game so we can expect another tough one on Saturday. They have picked up some good results lately; new manager Chris Tracey inherited a good squad from Paul Grainger, who recently left Cornard and is now in charge of SIL side Ipswich Valley Rangers. Good luck to Lurch and Paul, both ex-Melford managers of course, at their new clubs.

    New signing Matt Hayden is an exciting addition to the squad and I'm sure the fans are looking forward to seeing his debut. And with a few players about to leave for University it's a good time to bring a player a player of that quality into the club.

    Hopefully there will be another large crowd at Stoneylands on Saturday: including the friendlies we've already had well over 700 people at 1st Team home matches this season which is a great effort considering it's still August.

    Just in case the players want to apply extra hair gel or whatever it is youngsters do these days, please note the squad photo will be taken on Saturday before kick-off. There's also an award for captain Steve Adams to receive for passing 100 senior appearances for the club earlier this month. ANDY

    FIXTURES

  5. joshdalziel

    Josh Dalziel pictured in action against AFC Sudbury last month.

    NEW SIGNING:  Good news on Saturday after the 4-2 friendly win against Bacton United [MATCH REPORT] was confirmation that Josh Dalziel has signed for the club. The former West Bergholt defender has impressed in pre-season since making his debut in the 3-1 win against Brightlingsea Regent, so manager Jules Mumford was understandably delighted to secure his signature. A warm welcome to Josh who joins Trevor Vinyard, Ashley Drew, Glen Harris, Will Finch and Reece Clarke as new arrivals this summer.

    FRIENDLIES:  Apart from picking up a few injuries the friendlies went well with 3 wins, 2 defeats and a draw against a wide variety of opposition from the Conference down to the SIL. As always with friendlies the results will be forgotten the moment the season starts on Saturday but hopefully the friendlies have given the players match fitness and the sharpness needed to start well. The new players all did well against some very good oppostion which bodes well for the big kick-off on Saturday. It's a much bigger squad than we usually have at Melford but looking at the fixture list (9 matches in September for example) everybody has their part to play and will undoubtedly get plenty of minutes on the pitch.

    SEASON OPENER: On Saturday Melford travel to Felixstowe & Walton Utd for the club's first ever Premier Division match. It's an exciting time for the club, the start of a new chapter in our long history. It will be a really tough start as Felixstowe are a very good side but Melford are unbeaten in competitive matches since November and now have a bigger and better squad than last season so there's plenty of reasons to be optimistic. If you're not making the trip to Felixstowe on Saturday then there's two home matches coming up in quick succession next week:

    Long Melford v Whitton United (Wednesday 12 August, TN Premier, 7.45pm)

    Long Melford v London Bari (Saturday 15 August, FA Cup, 3pm)

    COMMERCIAL: Off the pitch things have been going really well over the summer, bringing in the funds that every club needs to thrive. The Melford Valley have renewed their shirt sponsorship for 2015/16 and you'll notice a lot of new programme adverts and pitchside banners when the season starts. Player sponsorship has also been a great success with 14 already sponsored. 11 squad members are still available so if you'd like to sponsor someone please get in touch (this costs £30 for the season) [CLICK HERE]

    We're looking for a new away shirt sponsor and a tracksuit sponsor, for more information please contact us [CLICK HERE]

    RESERVES: In their first friendly of the summer on Saturday the Reserves won 2-0 at Bacton United, scorers were Harry Fryer and Myles Clark. The Reserves League season starts on 8th September (away to Halstead Town).

    UNDER 18s: The Under 18s start their season on Thursday 13 August, away to Halstead Town.

    LADIES FRIENDLIES:

     

     

     

  6. Another month goes by and the end of the season is now just around the corner. For the club's first team February was another good month with 7 points picked up in 3 matches. It started with a 6-0 win against a March Town team in good form at the moment. It was one of Melford's best performances of the season, 4-0 up after 20 minutes it's not an exaggeration to say there were enough chances created to score double figures. 

    Next up was a solid 3-0 win against Woodbridge Town. It was a game Melford were expected to win on paper, which will be the case in most of the remaining fixtures this season. All of the goals came in the first half before Woodbridge came into the contest more in the second half and nearly pulled a goal back late on.

    The last match of the month was a big one away to in-form Great Yarmouth Town who are pushing hard for a top three spot. The conditions were never going to allow for a great game of football but both sides battled hard, most of the game's clear-cut chances were created by Melford but up against a Yarmouth team unbeaten at home since September it has to go down as a good away point.

    It was good to see three of Melford's injured players Cobi Guyon, Dan Smith and Sam Bayliss make the long journey to Yarmouth to support their team-mates. And on the subject of support it's nice to see home attendances are up by about 60% this season compared to 2013/14. Admittedly the 200+ crowd for the Saffron Walden match has inflated the average quite a bit but even still to be 3rd in the attendance table (behind Walden and Kings Lynn) is a big improvement on last season.

    There was disappointment for the Reserves going out of the Chell Trophy at the quarter final stage, losing 2-0 to Hadleigh United with ex-Melford player Luke Simpson one of Hadleigh's scorers. The previous week there was a good 3-0 win at Stowmarket for the Reserves with goals scored by Harry Liskus (2) and Addy Roy. Yesterday the Reserves lost 3-1 at home to Diss Town, Melford's goal was scored by Addy Roy.

    The Under 18s had a mixed month with defeats to the top three teams in the league (Brightlingsea, Brantham and Clacton) but also a confidence-boosting 1-0 win at local rivals Cornard United thanks to George Day's winner.

    Last but not least the Ladies are currently 2nd in their league, 4 points behind league leaders Brantham with two games in hand. Today's match at Felixstowe & Walton was postponed. The recent match against East Bergholt United was featured on the Supporting Women's Football Blog.

    • The club is involved in two local derbies this week: the Under 18s are at home to Halstead Town on Tuesday (3rd March) then the 1st Team make the short trip to Cornard United on Saturday (7th March).
  7. With 4 consecutive matches against promotion rivals, January was always going to be a key month for the club's 1st Team. If the month had gone badly it wouldn't have ended Melford's promotion hopes, but obviously it would have been a big setback to lose points to so many rivals in such a short space of time. As it was, Melford picked up 6 points and remained unbeaten throughout the month, which keeps them right up there in the mix.

    The month was every bit as tough as it looked on paper beforehand; Swaffham Town, Saffron Walden Town, Debenham and Haverhill Borough are all good sides pushing for promotion. 6 points from those 4 matches has to go down as a decent month and it's probably what Melford's performances deserved overall. The three draws were all games of two halves really, so a point apiece was fair enough, while Melford were good value for the 5-1 win at Debenham.

    Unfortunately the last match of the month, at home to Downham Town on Saturday, was postponed by the match officials about half an hour before kick off. It was frustrating for both sides, particularly tough on Downham's players and officials who made a 100-mile round journey. Sadly that is the British weather for you, there were no problems with the pitch around 1pm but persistent snow/sleet/rain (which needless to say wasn't in the weather forecast) over the next couple of hours left the pitch waterlogged.

    Fingers crossed if the weather is a little kinder this week Melford host March Town on Saturday (7th February). That will be another tough one against a team in the promotion race, both sides are in good form so it should be another cracking match.

    Because of the weather there's not been a lot to report on from the Reserves and Under 18s lately, neither side has played since Christmas. Hopefully they will finally return to action this week: Tuesday (3rd February) the Under 18s are at home to Brantham Athletic, and on Wednesday (4th February) the Reserves travel to Wivenhoe Town.

    Whether tomorrow's U18 match against Brantham can go ahead will depend on the overnight frost and whether we get anymore snow/rain, at the moment the pitch is playable, so as always keep an eye on Facebook/Twitter tomorrow for updates.

    The Ladies' start to 2015 has also been affected by the weather, they have only played one match since Christmas, that was a 7-2 away win at Bacton United last weekend. The Ladies are currently 2nd in the table with 22 points from 9 matches.

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