Derby defeat leaves Melford desperate for three points

WELCOME RETURN: Long Melfords Ross Waugh, pictured in action during their 3-1 home defeat to leaders Mildenhall Town at the start of October, will come back into Saturdays squad along with his brother, Anthony, for the crucial visit of Thetford Town (3pm)

WELCOME RETURN: Long Melfords Ross Waugh, pictured in action during their 3-1 home defeat to leaders Mildenhall Town at the start of October, will come back into Saturdays squad along with his brother, Anthony, for the crucial visit of Thetford Town (3pm)

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THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE

FIRST DIVISION

Long Melford 2

Haverhill Rovers 3

A frustrated Jules Mumford has admitted his Long Melford side’s failure to pull clear of the drop zone with a 3-2 home defeat on Friday has left them needing to ‘fight for every point’.

Melford had looked to be heading to a precious evening derby victory over Haverhill Rovers, yet despite dominating the opening 45 minutes, they went into the break 2-1 behind.

Scott Yearling’s second-minute strike following a Reece Clarke free-kick could and should have been the start of a one-sided affair. But it was overturned by a sweet 30-yard rocket by Luke Haines out of the blue in the 29th minute, that left Mumford bemoaning the stand-off defending, before Jonathon Milne slammed in a mis-hit corner on the run on the stroke of half-time.

The Villagers fell on the backfoot at the start of the second half, but were handed a lifeline when Hassan Ally had his heels clipped in the area and Will Wingfield converted the penalty, only for Rovers substitute Ben Bradley to be given time and space to slide in what proved to be the clincher in the 68th minute.

Mumford said: “We started really well and in the first 20-25 minutes we could have won the game.

“I had said before, we needed to be more ruthless, and it has cost us again.”

The result saw The Villagers remain in 15th place and still just three points off the bottom three ahead of the visit of a Thetford Town side (10th) who ended a four-game losing run in the league with Saturday’s 3-2 win at home to Wivenhoe Town.

Asked if the pressure to claim three points against the Brecklanders has only increased now, Mumford said: “Yes, Thetford are a good side. We know where we are in the league and we have to fight for every point.

“Thetford beat us 3-0 away and they are an excellent side. They have the lad Cameron King in central midfield and the Bailey brothers, and they have a good balance.

“They gave us a good hiding away and it could have been more than three, so we know we have got our work cut out.”

Brothers Anthony and Ross Waugh are available for Saturday’s game, with Mumford admitting improving the squad with the talismanic Jamie Griffiths out injured until at least the new year, is unlikely.

“With the money the players want in this league, we just haven’t got it,” he said,” it’s as simple as that. We have always worked with local lads.”

Melford: Moyes, Smith, Swain, Elkins, Adams (c), Skeggs, Le Page (Rowe 64), Clarke, S Yearling, Ally, Wingfield. Not used: M Yearling, Barnes.

Free Press Man of the Match: Dan Swain.

Attendance: 96