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Match Report v Southend Manor (h)

This pulsating match had all the ingredients of an entertaining FA Cup tie, passion, pace, and plenty of goals. 

With once again both keepers excelling Jacob Adams in the Manor goal and Aussie Ben Devlin in the Melford goal, Devlin earning the extra plaudits for his penalty save to take Melford through. 

Amongst the watching spectators was Neil Harris the Millwall Manager, there to watch his son Cameron who was on the Southend bench, Neil having played at Stoneylands in his early days against Melford as a Maldon Under 18 s player.

Two distinct footballing methods were on view, Southend with their quick and incisive break football and Melford with their less incisive but entertaining build up football. 

After looking well in control for the opening minutes Melford presented Southend with a gift goal after 8 minutes a poor back pass went direct to JORDAN CHAMBERS who had the simple task of netting from close range. 

This provided an impetus to Southend who up to that point had been second best to Melford and they started to gain in confidence with the talented wide man Callum Fitzer and striker Sadiq Akanbi starting to present real problems for the Melford defence. 

Melford had plenty of opportunities themselves with Jamie Griffiths, Jacob Brown and Nathan Rowe finding that Jacob Adams in the Southend goal was in fine form. 

On 40 minutes Melford looked for a penalty a rasping shot from Griffiths was partially saved by keeper Adams, and seeking to net the rebound, Rowe was impeded by keeper Adams, but the referee was not convinced enough to award a penalty. 

Three minutes before the interval and it looked curtains for Melford when Fitzer was allowed to get in his shot from 25 yards which hit the Melford bar, and Southend defender BILL RUNGAY reacted first to head home the rebound. 

The Villagers have a fine Cup history and deservedly came back on the stroke of half time when JAMIE GRIFFITHS ghosted through the Southend defence and fired home from the Melford left flank, a goal of great quality. 

On 48 minutes Melford showed their grit and spirit to level, when Griffiths got down the left flank and his excellent cross beat keeper Adams and the ball fell to CALLUM HEMSON near the far post and with great composure the Melford youngster picked his spot.

And so the game continued at full throttle, goal line clearances both ends, crunching tackles and some high standard goalkeeping. 

After 72 minutes it looked to be the final chapter for Melford when Sadiq Akanbi got down the Melford right flank, his quality cross, saw the diminutive ALFIE WALKER outjump the Melford defence and head home in great fashion. 

The game still had another twist, Melford to their credit went all out for the levelling goal and it arrived after 79 minutes, a raking pass found HASSAN ALLY down the Melford left flank, the Melford winger cut in on goal and lobbed the advancing keeper Adams to find the net. 

This brought about a thundering finish to the game, but even after the extra 30 minutes the scores remained level. 

In the penalty shoot out both teams missed a penalty, progressing along Melford scored their fifth penalty, and there was Melford keeper Ben Devlin to crown a great match for his club by diving to save the Southend fifth penalty from Jordon Fisher and thereby taking The Villagers through to the next round. CHENOBERET

LONG MELFORD: Devlin, Smith, Wingfield, Hemson, R Waugh, A Waugh, Ally, Jackson, Griffiths, Brown, Rowe, 

Subs: Pether, Roy, Hurley, Newton

Att: 84

Long Melford win 5-4 on penalties

Penalties: Nathan Rowe (scored), Jamie Griffiths (scored), Jacob Brown (missed), Kyle Hurley (scored), Dan Smith (scored), Archie Pether (scored)

  • Melford receive £2,250 prize money for winning tonight's match and will be at home to Colney Heath in the Preliminary Round (tie to be played Saturday 24 August at Stoneylands). 

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