THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Long Melford 2
Newmarket Town 1
by Richard Kemp
Michael Shinn tasted defeat for the first time as Newmarket Town boss on Saturday as his side were beaten by an improving Long Melford side.
The game was played at pace and flowed from end to end, with Newmarket bossing the first period and Melford having their fair share of the second half.
There were only three minutes on the clock when Melford had a great chance after Ben Judge, who impressed throughout, found space in the Newmarket box but his shot was blocked by visiting goalkeeper Alex Archer.
This was followed by Hassan Ally getting through on goal but his shot was turned round the post by Archer.
Gradually Newmarket started to find some control with the experienced Stephen Spriggs being the main provider and schemer.
After 12 minutes they narrowly missed taking the lead with a cross from Spriggs that saw Scott Patterson graze the bar with a header.
However, the Jockeys did manage to take the lead after 25 minutes when a long ball over the Melford defence saw Lewis Whitehead fire home on the angle.
Chances came at both ends just before half-time as Spriggs saw his shot pushed on to the bar by home goalkeeper Tim Brown, while at the other end a cross from Dan Smith saw David Lopez head inches wide. Straight after the restart Melford could have levelled via Lewis Haughton, but the Melford striker’s shot was saved by Archer’s foot.
At the other end, Newmarket forced four corners in eight minutes but these were well controlled by the Melford defence.
Play swung to the other end and Melford were awarded three free-kicks in five minutes, the first one from Lopez was headed off the goal line.
But the third one from Lopez produced some success with Ross Waugh heading firmly into the net to draw the home side level.
After absorbing some Newmarket pressure, Melford almost went ahead after 85 minutes when an Anthony Waugh close-range flick ended up in the arms of Archer.
As added time arrived with people starting to leave the ground Melford snatched the winner.
A mercurial forward run by Steve Adams saw the ball rebound around the Newmarket box until Ally crashed the ball into the net from three yards.
The loss to Melford marked a debut for new signing from Coggeshall Town — defender Jacob Partridge, while Rhys Thorpe has signed from Eaton Socon.
Newmarket host table-topping Felixstowe & Walton United on Saturday (3pm).