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  1. The main talking point at the club this month was news that the wheels are in motion to secure funding for new facilities.

    It's obviously not something that will happen overnight, it's a long process ahead of raising money and applying for grants, but it's an exciting goal to be working towards.

    The club has made the best it can of the current setup for a long time. But there's no denying we need modern facilities, to ensure football in the local community at both Senior and Youth level has a long term future.

    On the pitch the First Team had another good month. All 5 league matches were against sides higher in the table, so to pick up 9 points was a great effort.

    There were outstanding wins against Newmarket, Stanway and Haverhill. Promotion contenders Coggeshall were given a good run for their money (no pun intended) but in the end they were too strong in the second half, while at Gorleston it was a bit of an off day but to get back to 2-1 with 10 men was encouraging.

    For the Reserves an impressive 4-1 win against Woodbridge was followed by two heavy defeats against Halstead and Hadleigh. It's stating the obvious to say we need to tighten up at the back, but the Woodbridge match showed some promise of what could be achieved when a full squad is available. AC

  2. lmfc blog

    A round-up of the First Team's matches this month from a supporter's point of view...

    October started with an away match at Saffron Walden Town, one of the league's in-form sides at the moment. Although it was a 2-0 defeat for Melford, it was an improved display compared to the home match at Walden in the the previous month, where really we were played off the park.

    Next it was the Suffolk Premier Cup tie at home to a young Ipswich Town side. We had an excellent gate of 200+, with a little help from Facebook, where our online poster was seen by thousands of people. Facebook is not everyone's cup of tea but for clubs like Melford it is a very effective way of spreading the word.

    The match itself saw the team do the club proud and go toe-to-toe with the talented Ipswich side. The key turning point was a strong Melford penalty appeal turned down at 0-0, Ipswich then went down the other end of the pitch and scored two quick goals to win 2-0.

    Ipswich's best player was Monty Patterson, a full New Zealand international who scored for the Kiwis against USA last year - a bit of a contrast to playing at Stoneylands on a wet October night!

    It was then back to league action and another good Melford performance against promotion contenders Stowmarket Town. After getting back to 1-1 with not too long left, it was frustrating to then concede what was a very avoidable goal, but nevertheless there were plenty of positives.

    Next up was a home match against Haverhill Borough in a bottom of the table six pointer. In front of our lowest attendance of the season by some distance, not helped by the murky weather, it was a disappointing 2-0 defeat.

    However there was a very positive response in the next two matches, wins at Wivenhoe Town (4-1) and Ipswich Wanderers (1-0). After losing a few matches earlier in the season to late goals, it was a nice to score a last minute winner ourselves at Wanderers. 

    The last match in October was the long journey to Great Yarmouth Town on Saturday, which ended in a 2-2 draw. A very good away point but it felt more like a win given the circumstances, with six players missing, a goal down after 58 seconds, then two goals down with 10 men. Great spirit shown by the team to dig in and fight back for a point when it appeared to be game over at 2-0.

    So overall apart from the Haverhill defeat it's been a very positive month and 7 points from the last 3 matches have kept us in touch with the sides above. Several new signings have improved the squad and added more strength in depth. 

    November looks another tough month on paper but hopefully we can keep putting in good performances and maybe surprise a few of the sides at the top of the table. AC

  3. September started with heavy defeats for the First Team against Godmanchester and Saffron Walden.

    There was a significant improvement in the next two games against Halstead and Clacton - losing both of those close matches in the last few minutes was very harsh but at least there were some positives in the performances.

    Four points from the next two matches against Ipswich Wanderers and Fakenham Town were much needed – although the league table still doesn’t exactly look great, it's better than a few weeks ago.

    Overall it’s not a huge surprise to see the team finding it tough again this season, we expected it to be a real battle and similar to last season scoring enough goals is always going to be the challenge.

    It looks a strong squad defensively, apart from a bad week against Godmanchester and Walden, and the creativity is there with the likes of Hass, Will, Callum etc but we’ve obviously got to produce more cutting edge to find the goals to keep us in the Premier.

    It’s not been the best of starts for the Reserves – the 2-2 draw at Felixstowe earlier this month is the only positive to speak of so far, although it’s been a tough run of fixtures and we’ll hope for better against fellow bottom half sides in the next couple of games.

    Coming up next Wednesday (11th October) it’s the Suffolk Premier Cup tie at home to Ipswich Town. Whatever the result it will be a memorable evening as we very rarely get to play clubs of that stature. Obviously it will be a youthful Ipswich side rather than Championship regulars, but even still they are very talented players and hopefully some will end up in being first team regulars in the near future. AC

  4. Starting with off the pitch matters, it is a big boost to the club having the main clubhouse/bar back in action. The club's directors did a great job with the redecorating and we also have to thank everyone who made a donation towards the cost of the repairs.

    Player sponsorship has been really well supported with a current total of 19 sponsors. There's only a handful of players still available, so please get in touch soon if you wish to sponsor someone.

    Moving on to the football, it was nice to get the first league win on Tuesday - it looked like it might come at Histon the previous week when we were 1-0 up after 70 minutes but in the end we had to wait a little longer.

    It seems like the overall standard of the Thurlow Nunn Premier is better than the last couple of seasons, with several strong new sides joining the league. Every match is a tough challenge but Melford have looked solid and well-organised throughout August, and in the last few matches we've started to create more chances going forward.

    In the FA Cup, the objective every season is to win the first match, anything after that is a bonus. A hard fought 1-0 win at Hackney Wick was followed by a 2-1 defeat to FC Romania. It was a good performance, the team gave it everything and were always positive, creating plenty of chances. But it wasn't our day and credit to FC Romania who played some very nice passing football, we wish them luck for the next round.

    There's another two big cup ties coming up at Stoneylands soon - a local derby and FA Vase tie at against Halstead Town (September 9th) and in the Suffolk Premier Cup we host Ipswich Town (11th October).

    It's likely to be a youthful Ipswich side that visits Stoneylands, but whatever squad they send it will obviously have plenty of talent. Hopefully lots of Ipswich supporters will come along to see their club's future stars in action.

    It's early days for the Reserves this season, it hasn't been the best of starts in the League but there were some good performances in the friendlies, which suggest things will improve soon. On paper it looks a squad capable of climbing the table, hopefully starting on Saturday when the Reserves host Witham Town at Stoneylands (3pm kick off).

    Earlier this month we were sorry to see Ray Manser leave the club. Ray played a big part in getting the Reserves back on track last season but has stepped down due to work commitments. Thanks again to Ray who will always be very welcome at Stoneylands. AC

  5. A shorter pre-season than usual for the First Team with just the 4 friendlies, but with a minimum 50+ league and cup games coming up this season, it would not be very wise to play lots of warm-up games.

    Overall we've got a lot out of the friendlies against a good mix of opposition from Step 6 up to Step 2, with useful match fitness and the management looking at a lot of players (around 25 to 30). 

    The performances have been better than the results look on paper, which is always better than the other way round in pre-season. 

    On the signings front, the majority of last season's regulars have re-signed and 4 new players have joined; Callum Hemson looks a very good technical player as you would expect from an ex Academy student at AFC Sudbury, Michael Schofield has experience at this level with Wivenhoe, while Luke Payne had a good scoring record last season. Elliot Walker has not played at this level before but is a player Jamie feels is capable of stepping up from the Border League.

    The new season starts on Saturday at home to Brantham Athletic. It looks like it's going to be a really strong Premier Division this season and as always we'll be punching above our weight at Melford, but I'm sure we'll give it 100% again and enjoy the challenge. 

    Off the pitch, there's lots to report; the clubhouse roof is currently being repaired (a big thank you to everyone who made a donation towards the cost). The new home kit sponsored by Nethergate looks very professional, the pitch as always thanks to Ivan is in great shape and preparations are being made for our 150th anniversary celebrations in 2018.

    And finally, all the best to Jamie and his new look coaching team for Saturday and the rest of the season. AC

  6. blog

    I think it was Roy Evans, the then Liverpool manager who said; "I love the summer, you can't lose a game!"

    It's always a bit like that for every club in pre-season, with no defeats to get in the way everyone feels optimistic at this time of year. The slate is wiped clean, we all go back to 0 points and hope to do better than last season.

    At Melford the players are back in training, which has been well attended. The 1st Team and Reserves are training together which is good to see, the two sides worked really together last year so hopefully that can continue this season.

    We will be updating the website soon when it's confirmed who has signed for the new season.

    The first friendly is at home to Braintree next Saturday 8th July, a tough game to start with but hopefully we'll learn a lot from playing a side three divisions higher.

    Earlier this month Jamie Bradbury was appointed 1st Team Manager. I know Jamie was always the club's first choice and I'm sure supporters will also be happy with the appointment and the continuity this brings.

    Speaking to players last season they've always been full of praise for Jamie's coaching style, and although it's his first management role at this level, there's every reason to believe he will make a success of it.

    It's going to be tough replacing such a legendary manager as Jules but I'm sure Jamie will be given a fair crack of the whip to shape the team in his own style.

    At the moment we only have one league fixture confirmed (29th July at home to Brantham Athletic).

    With the expanded league programme this season it's going to be a long campaign. 46 league matches is probably more than Melford have ever played before. It will be a bit of a marathon but it's good that we won't have the big gaps in the fixture list we had last season.

    Also this month the club said goodbye to Jamie Griffiths, a really popular player at Stoneylands over the past three seasons. There's always mixed emotions when a player moves up to a higher level, of course you are sorry to see them go, but ultimately that's trumped by being pleased to see them progress.

    In Jamie's case he is stepping up two levels with Needham Market, after a year out with injury lets hope he's back playing again soon and banging in the goals again! AC

  7. lmfc blog

    For obvious reasons there's not a lot of football to report on this month, although the Reserves did belatedly end their season in positive fashion by beating Bury Rams and Mildenhall Town U18s to win the Mizkan Charity Cup (Hospice Cup).

    The big news this month was the departure of First Team manager Jules Mumford after the best part of 5 seasons at the club - I'm sure everyone is sad to see Jules go after the success we've had during his time at the club.

    As well as the good times we've had on the pitch getting promoted, winning the First Division and then staying in the Premier for two seasons, Jules has also been a credit to the club in the way he's conducted himself during his time at the club.

    Jules has never gloated when things have gone well and equally he hasn't made excuses when things haven't gone so well. He's also not the type of manager to square up to referees or opposition benches. He's been a great representive of the club over the past 5 seasons.

    It's nice that the club and Jules have parted on good terms as unfortunately that rarely happens in football  - but he will be nevetherless sorely missed.

    Jules will be a very tough act to follow but  I'm sure whoever becomes the new manager will be given a fair crack of the whip to take the team forward in their own style.

    It's a good job for someone to take over - admittedly we are one of the smallest clubs in the Premier but we're always striving hard to improve  and the underdog status has probably worked in our favour in recent years.  Nobody expected us to win the First Divsion title then avoid relegation for two seasons, so hopefully we can keep proving people wrong.

    The first pre-season friendly is on Saturday 8th July, which will be a very tough opener against Braintree Town  - all of the friendlies can be found on the website home page.

    On a more serious note we had some very sad news this month as Mrs Mills passed away. Mrs Mills was for many years a supporter and helper (on the admission gate) at Melford and although it's a cliche the news did really put 22 men kicking a ball around well and truly into perspective. Our condolences to Mrs Mills' family and friends. AC



  8. After 9 months of trying to fend off relegation, it was a nice moment when Ashley Skeggs made it 2-0 against Swaffham and we could all finally relax.

    The month had started with a 2-0 defeat at Fakenham - a fair result overall as Darren Moyes was always the busier of the two keepers.

    Two days later it was a much improved performance against local rivals Hadleigh United. There was a good atmosphere at Stoneylands with another 100+ crowd and both sides really needing the points.

    Although nobody wants to be in a relegation battle, there's no denying it does make the end of season more exciting when you have something to play for.

    The players seemed to enjoy the pressure of needing to win and really rose to the occasion to pick up 6 points against Hadleigh and Swaffham to get the club over the line.

    The Reserves had another good month in April picking up 7 points from 4 tough away matches - very encouraging for next season if we can keep the squad together and add a few new faces.

    With our clubhouse somewhat out of action the end of season awards night took place at the Bull Hotel. It was an enjoyable way to end the season (a report of the evening can be found elsewhere on the website).

    Congratulations to the all the players who won awards and also of course Rob Edwards who won the Clubman trophy - Rob has been a great addition behind the scenes, he's made a big impact since joining earlier in the season so it was nice to see him receive the Clubman award.

    To sum up the club's 2016/17 campaign, for the First Team it was that "difficult second season" that so many clubs have after performing above expectations the previous season.

    In the end it was a good effort picking up 40 points (exactly a point a game). The run of wins after Christmas against top half opponents like Kirkley, Yarmouth and Gorleston ended up proving to be a crucial stage of the season.

    The Reserves really turned their season around after a tough start and similar to the 1st Team have had to bounce back from some bad days to end up finishing the season with a lot more optimism.

    So overall it was a challenging but enjoyable season and after a short break we all start on 0 points again and get back on the rollercoaster for another 9 months! AC


  9. action photo

    PICTURED: Action from last week's match against Walsham, photo with thanks to Mark Westley @WestleyMJ

    Disaster struck at the club this month with the clubhouse roof collapsing due to storm damage - at least we are fortunate to have a back-up bar so it hasn't affected matchdays too much.

    However, the club has had to cancel private bookings for obvious reasons and we need the main bar/function room up and running again as soon as possible.

    To that end the club is trying to raise funds to go towards the substantial cost of a new roof - a big thank you to everyone who has made a donation whether online or in person - we are approaching £500 raised which is a great start in a short space of time.

    On the pitch, four defeats out of four this month means the First Team are still very much in the midst of a relegation battle. 

    We had hoped by now to be relaxing in mid-table obscurity with the players 'on the beach' but a tough March means one last big effort by the team is needed to get us over the line.

    There were some difficult games in March against in-form opposition and it's probably fair to say we haven't been at our best recently, but hopefully the team can rediscover the impressive form of January and February.

    Big gaps in the fixture list haven't helped because you do lose momentum - we have another blank Saturday today and next weekend off too. It's frustrating to have Saturdays off in March and April when the weather is finally improving, it should be the ideal time to play.

    The Easter Monday derby at home to Hadleigh (3pm kick off) is going to be the biggest match of the season, with the two sides separated by only a couple of points at the moment. 

    Hopefully Melford and Hadleigh supporters will turn out in force to get behind their team, there will be a lot riding on the game which always makes for a good match to watch; whatever happens I think we can safely say it won't be boring!

    On to the Reserves who continued their improvement in March - there were wins against Cornard and Saffron Walden and a draw with Woodbridge, which lifted the team out of the bottom two. 

    Although it's probably fair to say managers Ray Manser and Stuart Malseed were less than pleased with Saturday's performance at Stanway Rovers, in general the team has made big strides forward since the turn of the year.

    The club's reserve side went throughout 2016 without winning a League match, whereas a bit like London buses 4 wins have already arrived in quick succession in 2017. AC

  10. February started with a home match against FC Clacton. which was billed as a 'must win' game for both sides. It's probably fair to say apart from a couple of good goals in the second half it wasn't one of Melford's better performances of the season and there was a generous slice of luck involved in the 4-3 victory.

    In contrast the 1-0 win against high-flying Gorleston a few days later wasn't lucky at all, just a very good all round performance. I can't remember Darren Moyes in the Melford goal making a save in 90 minutes which shows how well the team defended. Gorleston had only lost once in the League and to beat teams like that Melford always need to be at their best, which they were against Gorleston with every player having a good game.

    The next match was a 1-1 draw with Ely City, a classic game of two halves really with Melford the better side in the first half, then Ely on top in the second. Ely's equaliser came quite late but I think everyone would agree it had been coming for a while, so it felt like a fair result in the end. 

    The away match at Godmanchester was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, frustrating for all concerned as it was the only Thurlow Nunn League match called off and it will presumably mean we have to make a midweek trip to Goddy instead (which brings back unhappy memories of last season!)

    Overall it was a good month with 7 points from 3 tough matches. It's also been good to see some bigger than usual attendances at Stoneylands with a combined total of 259 watching the 3 home matches this month.

    The Reserves only played twice in February due to the weather, a 1-0 win at Hadleigh and a 4-1 defeat at Stowmarket. Hopefully the weather will improve as we head into March because it's going to be a busy month for the Reserves with 6 matches scheduled (4 at home and 2 away).

    March starts with Friday night's First Team home game against Newmarket. That's going to be another tough match against a Newmarket side in great form at the moment and closing in on leaders Mildenhall. However as we've seen recently, when Melford play well they are capable of taking points off the best sides, so it will hopefully be another entertaining game.

    Then on Saturday the Reserves host Saffron Walden, with several connections to Walden in the current Melford squad that should be a lively encounter! AC

  11. The First Team after going through December without picking up any points, bounced back really well in January, taking 9 points from 5 matches.

    The month started with a 2-0 win against Wivenhoe (Dan Smith and David Lorimer the scorers), followed by a 4-0 defeat at promotion rivals Felixstowe.

    Next up was an away match at Ipswich Wanderers, after taking the lead through Dan Swain, Wanderers came back to win 2-1.

    Then came a hard-fought 1-0 win at home to Kirkley who started the day in 6th position. Darren Moyes' penalty save at 0-0 proved crucial as moments later Hassan Ally scored the winner.

    And on Saturday the month came to an end away to 6th-placed Great Yarmouth who were unbeaten since Boxing Day.

    Despite making 5 changes to the side that beat Kirkley, Melford were 2-1 winners thanks to a very late winner from captain Steve Adams.

    Following Adam's updates on Twitter on Saturday, it was nice to read the Yarmouth supporters gave Hassan Ally a round of applause when he was substituted late in the game after another impressive performance.

    With the exception of Wivenhoe all of January's fixtures have been against top half opposition, so to take 9 points is a great effort.

    The Reserves are improving under new managers Ray Manser and Stuart Malseed and ended the long wait for a League win by beating Hadleigh earlier this month.

    Several new players have been brought in, including some familiar faces keeper Paul Wood a former Supporters' Player of the Year, and striker Dan Manser who already has 3 goals in 5 matches.

    February starts with an away match for the Reserves tomorrow at Felixstowe, followed by a home match for the 1st Team on Saturday against FC Clacton. AC




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