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(FA Cup 1st Qual Rd, Tue 22 Sep, 7.45pm)

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Stowmarket Town

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Match Report v Ely City (h)

LONG MELFORD 3 - 1 ELY CITY

THURLOW NUNN PREMIER - SATURDAY 12 OCTOBER

PICTURED: Jacob Brown's early goal gave the home side a perfect start.

This was a difficult test for the Villagers as Steve Adams, Anthony Waugh and Nathan Rowe all limped off with injuries during the game.

Thankfully for Melford they have a strong subs bench and several players with the ability to switch positions.

Kicking off in persistent rain, Melford started very well and nearly took the lead in the 8th minute when Nathan Rowe flashed a shot narrowly past the post, after an excellent run and cross by Ben Judge.

Melford continued to impress and were rewarded with a goal in the 15th minute. 

A looping header by Steve Adams saw JACOB BROWN rise to beat Ely keeper Harry Reynolds to the ball and give Melford a deserved lead.

Soon after this Melford lost both Steve Adams and Anthony Waugh to injury, replaced by Sam Bayliss and Kyle Hurley.

This meant several changes on the pitch with Ashley Sloots switching to centre back, Ben Judge moving to left back and Nathan Rowe going into a central role.

While Melford adjusted to the changes Ely started to get on top, without testing Melford keeper Matt Walker.

Against the run of play Melford doubled their lead in the 38th minute. A surging run by Jamie Griffiths came to an abrupt end when he was taken out in the box.

Up stepped NATHAN ROWE to take the penalty and he scored from the rebound after his spot-kick was saved by Reynolds.

Early in the second half again Melford started well and had two chances to put the game to bed.

In the 52nd minute Griffiths crossed to Bayliss who shot narrowly wide, soon after this Griffiths was through on goal but had his shot blocked by Reynolds the Ely keeper.

However the third goal arrived in the 61st minute when an Ely player handled the ball in the box and the referee pointed to the spot.

This time JAMIE GRIFFITHS took the penalty and he calmly fired into the top corner giving Reynolds no chance.

It nearly got even better for Melford when Dan Smith unleashed a great long range strike that forced Reynolds into an  impressive save. In another attack the lively Kyle Hurley fired over the bar.

Ely kept plugging away and pulled one back in the 83rd minute when GEORGE DARLING fired into the net from the edge of the area to score a well-taken consolation goal.

A good team performance by Melford and hopefully the injuries are not too serious.  AC

LONG MELFORD: Matt Walker, Dan Smith, Ashley Sloots, Dan Swain, Ross Waugh, Anthony Waugh, Nathan Rowe, Jacob Brown, Steve Adams, Jamie Griffiths, Ben Judge

Subs: Sam Bayliss (for Adams 20), Kyle Hurley (for A Waugh 30), Jake Jackson (for Rowe 65)

Subs not used: Steve Chisholm, Darren Moyes    Att: 60

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