18th October 2008
MELFORD 0, BLOATERS 5
Long Melford - 1 Floyd Croll, 2 Anthony Fernandez, 3
James Raby, 4 Steve Chisholm, 5 Steve Adams, 6 Justin Crissell (c), 7 Karl Delves, 8 Sean Caley, 9 Tom Pacey, 10 Jake Heaton,
11 Daniel Statham. Subs: 12 Tom Millar, 14 Anthony Clark, 15 Ryan Owens.
Bloaters – 1 Elliot Pride, 2 Johnny Watt, 3 Adam Sewell, 4 Toby Gorbould, 5 Adey Ager, 6 Alan
Darby, 7 Jake Read, 8 Adam Sullivan (c), 9 Stewart Roach, 10 Dominic Smith, 11 Scott Woodcock. Subs: 12 Liam Bartley, 14 Chris
Quire, 15 Tom Gardiner, 16 Michael Hilton.
Referee – Andrew Snell (Little Clacton)
With Ollie Savage and Gareth Palmer both unavailable for this match, contract youngsters Adam Sewell and Dominic Smith
returned to the first team line-up following their successful returns to the Youth team earlier this week after holidays.
Darren Lamb, having not missed a game before today, will be out for some considerable time, if not the rest of the season,
after a serious injury sustained in Sunday football: his No. 7 shirt went today to Jake Reed.
Melford, with nine defeats in their last ten games in all competitions, started like they meant to end that miserable
run and won three free kicks in potentially dangerous positions with the game under ten minutes old: Pride saved two and Crissell
headed over from the third.
Roach was forced to help out in midfield as the home team continually broke through and Yarmouth’s first attacking move of note saw a Smith free kick reach the head of Roach
in the area and his downwards nod goalwards was scooped off the line. Further shots from Reed and Sewell then went wide.
Melford were winning plenty of free kicks and another after twenty minutes on the edge of the Yarmouth area was put
wide by Heaton with every Yarmouth player in the eighteen-yard box. Not to be outdone, Yarmouth
then were awarded a free kick after Sewell was tripped in midfield: Woodcock’s kick was helped out for a corner but
when the same player sent the ball over it was a poor attempt.
Yarmouth, slightly against the run of
play, went ahead on the half-hour after a series of throws on the right. Sewell’s cross was nodded down by Reed at the
far post, and Sullivan helped it inside to Roach who made no mistake from five yards.
Watt was defending strongly on the Yarmouth right and
though he put in a successful tackle on Perry on the halfway line, the Melford attack continued but Heaton ended it with a
too-high shot. Reed missed a good opportunity after 40 minutes slipping as he went to meet a Woodcock cross and though he
got his toe to the ball Croll had the easiest of pick-ups.
For all Melford’s possession in the half, Pride had not had a save of note to make, such was the defence’s
security, Roach helping out - as he sometimes does – with a clearing header from a 44th minute corner. The
last moments of the half saw Reed tackled magnificently by Adams as he went through.
Pride was called on to make his first real save soon after the restart as Melford looked to continue their probing
with Yarmouth still working to get their game together. Pride
then missed a floated free kick but his defenders did not. Yarmouth went close after 56 minutes when Smith sent in a free
kick and Roach was onto the ball in a flash but Croll went down to save amongst a crowd of players.
Yarmouth replaced Reed with Squire after
57 minutes and extended the lead three minutes later with a classic counter-attack, having soaked up all the home pressure.
Woodcock got away on the left and centred for Roach to calmly sidefoot past Croll from six yards, and the
home side were facing an uphill struggle for the last half hour of the game.
Roach saw another shot smothered by Croll after 65 minutes, but the ace marksman was not to be denied in the 69th
minute with a good team goal. Passes down the right this time worked the ball inside to Sullivan who laid the ball into the
path of Roach who nonchalantly beat Croll again from six yards for his hat-trick.
Crissell then got in front of Roach to beat him to the header as they both went for a centre, and Yarmouth, with their tails up, were now rampant. Watt did well to win the ball and when his
cross into the box was headed out, Smith was there to send it back, but only into the netting behind the goal. Squire was
booked for a foul on Delves outside the box and when the free kick came in, Pride was fouled as he juggled with the ball.
On 78 minutes, Pride produced one of his ‘specials’ with a fingertip save over the bar and evidently there
was still some life in Melford and a run on the right produced a free kick for the home team and a yellow card for Gorbould
though there seemed some doubt about the nature of the foul.
Yarmouth made a double substitution
in the 82nd minute, Bartley replacing Roach and Gardiner replacing Gorbould. Heaton was then booked for a foul
on Sullivan but Yarmouth made it four after 86 minutes through Bartley who took a Woodcock pass, turned and
comprehensively beat Croll with a super goal, the second he had scored in consecutive games coming off the bench.
In added time, Yarmouth went nap with the best goal
of the game: Woodcock galloped away on the right, looked up and beat Croll with a delightfully-flighted ball
that beat the flailing ‘keeper and dropped in the far angle.
A delighted Paul Tong admitted Melford had played better than Yarmouth in the first half and were unlucky to go in
behind but they struggled to cope with a player of Roach’s class – someone who can put away three of his five
touches! Tong also acknowledged a superb performance by Woodcock, capped by a well-deserved and magnificent goal.
Attendance - 52