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Sat 27 July 2019

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Bacton United

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 Sat 27 July 2019



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Review of the Season 2017/18


2017/18 was the most up and down season we’ve had at Melford for many years.

Overall it was a successful campaign, finishing 16th out of 24 clubs and 25 points above the relegation zone.

Starting in July and ending in May, playing 50+ matches made it a very long season, with a lot of highs and lows along the way. 

Apart from the FA Cup win at Hackney Wick and a league victory at Stanway, it was a struggle at the start of the season, taking only 8 points from the opening 14 matches.

Performances in those early months were generally better than the results suggest - but it was a simple equation, either score more goals or be relegated back to the First Division. 

From the end of October things improved dramatically, taking 51 points from 32 matches.

It was probably a combination of factors involved in turning the season around. The decision to move Steve Adams up front was a turning point, as Steve was scoring regularly before Christmas until he was sidelined through injury. 

The introduction of a few new players to the team like Ben Judge, David Lopez, Lewis Haughton etc also improved the side and the return of Dan Smith, who was outstanding at right back before getting injured at Ely. 

Team spirit also played a big part. You only really find out about a team’s spirit when things aren’t going well on the pitch. To their credit the Melford players stuck together when many sides would have blamed each other or gone their separate ways. 

There’s also that magic word confidence, what a difference it makes in football. Once the goals started to go in you could see the side playing with more self-belief. 

Lots of players chipping in with goals was also a key factor. When you don’t have a 25 goal a season striker you need everyone to contribute from all areas of the pitch. That’s been the case this season with 14 players on the scoresheet. 

First team manager Jamie Bradbury covered all the thank-yous in his last programme notes of the season but we also need to thank Jamie himself for doing such a great job in turning the season around after the tough start.

When things weren’t going well Jamie didn’t panic into making too many changes, just a few alterations here and there, which obviously worked as the results show.

At times it feels like David v Goliath, when you hear about the eye-watering amounts of money involved at this level these days. That’s just the way it is in football now, look at Man City in the Premier League or Billericay in the Bostik this year, the only difference is the number of noughts on the end of the wage bill.

Next season will be another tough test because there will be some very strong opponents again. 

However, after taking 51 points from the last 32 games we should be aiming higher next year - if ambitions are kept realistic then I’m sure we’ll keep improving. AC

Best Match (away v Newmarket): We’ve had several great results against top 10 sides this season. The wins against 5th-placed Brantham and 6th-placed Histon were particularly memorable as both sides were in very good form at the time. But the best match has to be the Roy of the Rovers comeback at Newmarket: 2-0 down just after half-time, missed a penalty but came back to win 3-2 with a late winner. 

Worst Match (home v Ely City): The 5-0 at Godmanchester was our heaviest defeat of the season but that was more a case of individual mistakes rather than a bad overall display. The 5-1 at home to Ely was one of those days where everybody under-performed and as a team we looked unrecognisable compared to the recent performances. But it says a lot about the team that they picked themselves up and won the next match against Histon. 

Individual Performance of the Season: Darren Moyes at Hackney Wick won us the FA Cup tie with a string of fine saves in the second half when it was like The Alamo with attack after attack from the home side. 

Goal of the Season (Scott Sloots v Walsham): Trailing 1-0 at the time, Scott Sloots hit a left foot 30-yard screamer into the top corner and Melford went on to win 2-1. 

Champagne moment: Anthony Waugh scoring his first goal after 150+ matches for the club. 

Stat of the Season: 9 goalkeepers were used this season. Not an ideal situation but due to Moyesey’s injury it was unavoidable. The back four seemed to take it all in their stride. 

Most appearances (sub apps included): Hassan Ally 49, Anthony Waugh 46, Will Wingfield 43, Ross Waugh 41, Callum Hemson 38, Elliot Walker 38, Josh Collins 36 

Most goals: Will Wingfield 10, Steve Adams 8, Hassan Ally 8, Scott Sloots 6, Callum Hemson 5, Nathan Rowe 5     

Most assists: Hassan Ally 18, Steve Adams 7, David Lopez 4, Callum Hemson 3, Elliot Walker 3

Most apps for club in total: Steve Adams 196, Ross Waugh 191, Anthony Waugh 168, Nathan Rowe 162, Will Wingfield 150

Most goals for club in total: Will Wingfield 40, Nathan Rowe 35, Steve Adams 28

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