Reserves Report v Thetford (away)



Reserve team manager Mike Davis reflects on Saturday's draw which puts Melford 9th in the Thurlow Nunn Reserve League...

The day started with the usual drama of player availability and late changes. Zino, unfortunately, couldn't make the trip but I was more than pleased to have Dek confirm his availability whose improving from injury and working hard to get back into the first team.

We were obviously aware of Thetford's league position at the bottom of the table but I'm always respectful of any side we face, as you really can't take any team for granted, especially when their first-team have a week off, several of them playing today including their keeper who was to be fair, superb. 

Having met Thetford's manager, Todd Hill, prior to the match he did tell me there would be a few first team players in the Thetford line up so I knew we were in for a tougher match than I'd first anticipated.

I must also compliment the manager for being in two places at once, naming himself to start on the team sheet yet spending the match in the dug-out, amazing stuff Todd! 

We were disappointed with the lack of protection from the referee. By half time Dek had a very bad cut to his ankle with it swelling up severely having been jumped in on and studded, that was the third time he was caught. Oscar was kicked in the groin which was the cause of him going down twice during play vomiting and in pain. Haaris was taken out quite badly and lay clearly hurt whilst the Ref stood over him looking on, it was left to a player to summon on the Physio, seriously you couldn't make it up.

Melford were playing the better football in the first half and had some great spells attacking Thetford's goal and in numbers, with Harry playing in the centre Tye and Max on each wing also Archie and Haaris following through the middle, we had some great shots on target but their regular first team keeper Jamie Humphrey was just too good for us to beat.

When Thetford were in possession they played well, mostly from counter-attacks, but our back-line stood firm with Toby our captain marshalling Ash, Charlie and George very well with as usual Max, as self-assured as ever, clearing up any shots that did get through.

Dek, Archie, Haaris and Oscar were solid in midfield and continued working well as a unit pressing forward and providing Harry with service of the ball to which he got some great shots away on target but just couldn't beat the keeper.

Our defensive play has improved enormously and as a unit, we have become hard to breach. We really did show great character and a good team spirit despite the frustration of receiving heavy challenges that went in against us and unpunished.

Half time we went in 0-0. Buoyed up we went back out and this time to take control of the game and somehow beat their keeper. 

Elliott Moss came on, another one of our youngsters now breaking into Reserve football who was putting in a great deal of effort within training and being noticed. 

We were continuing to pile on the pressure forcing Thetford back deep into their half still searching for the first goal. With a nice through ball, Elliott pounced and with a fantastically powerful direct shot put the ball in the net to which a roar went up from players and fans that we'd finally made the breakthrough, more of a relief that we had broken Thetford, at last, having threatened all game.

We continued to play some neat football and seemed to have more of the ball continually pressing Thetford. We had managed to obtain a couple of free-kicks just outside the box and several corners which unfortunately came to nothing.

Thetford did continue to try and push us back playing some good football themselves, but we were able to contain this. However, on one Thetford attack, we allowed them in too deep and unfortunately gave away a very soft penalty. 

The penalty which was so close to being saved by Max, getting his fingertips to the ball but the powerful shot by First team regular Luke Hunt was just too much to keep out, somehow galvanised the team as we were all over Thetford. 

Heavy challenges were still going in on the Melford youngsters with Ty on the left-wing taking a hit and then Ash playing right-back who was equally far from happy at the challenge that went in on him. Tom decided he wanted to go on and join in the action and together with Elliott did produce some good runs and efforts on goal. 

Archie took a free kick just outside the box that was awarded to us close to the final whistle and did well to test the keeper.

We are 3 matches now unbeaten within the league, having a robust defence and a strong midfield group we go forward together as a unit with a great attack but not being consistent in finding the back of the net is holding us back.

The Thetford chairman seemed pleased with how well Melford played, so pleased in fact that when entering our dug-out he asked one of my players to play for Thetford!

Everyone within the team should be proud of how they played and conducted themselves today showing great character, a brave young side developing well within senior league football.

Team: Max Boulter (GK), Toby Newman (C), Charlie Coy, Ashley Heyhoe, George Baldwin, Deklyn Roy, Archie Pether, Haaris Khan, Max Williams, Harry Roberts, Tyresse Williams Subs: All used: Oscar Smith, Elliott Moss, Tom Davis.



Mon 30 Nov 2020


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Mon 23 Nov 2020


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Sat 21 Nov 2020


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Fri 13 Nov 2020


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Wed 04 Nov 2020


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Sat 31 Oct 2020


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Wed 28 Oct 2020


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Sat 24 Oct 2020


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Sat 26 Sep 2020