Villagers suffer narrow home loss to Whitton
PUBLISHED: 22:04 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 22:04 27 February 2019
Long Melford 0 Whitton United 1
Long Melford remain in a relegation dogfight after suffering a narrow home defeat to mid-table Whitton United at Stoneylands tonight.
Josh Jeche benefited from some poor defending to head home the only goal of the game, in the 55th minute, and so seal an eighth away win of the season for Shane Coldron’s side.
The Villagers are therefore still only three points clear of the relegation zone, although they did benefit from second-from-bottom Great Yarmouth Town’s 2-1 home defeat to FC Clacton on Tuesday night.
It was a rather scrappy first half, with both sides struggling to retain possession, although there were chances at both ends.
Whitton’s Josh Stevens had the first goal-scoring opportunity, in the 16th minute, sneaking beyond the defence but firing straight at Melford’s teenage keeper, Michael Bett.
A minute later and the hosts were on the attack, Spaniard David Lopez curling a 20-yarder wide of the post.
Whitton spurned the best opportunity of the first period, when Stevens managed to rob defender Anthony Waugh inside the penalty area. Stevens rounded keeper Bett, but the angle was very tight and his final shot flew into the side-netting.
The Villagers had more joy before half-time, forcing a couple of good saves from keeper Lewis Higgins, the first when arching back to claw Kieran Michaels’ lofted shot over the bar, on the half-hour mark.
A slick move featuring Lopez and Michaels ended with livewire Emmanuel Machaya sliding a shot agonisingly wide of the post, as Jamie Bradbury’s men searched for a deadlock breaker.
And when Machaya was brought down in cynical fashion by Sam Mills in the 37th minute, the Villagers No. 7 picked himself up to crack the free-kick goalwards, only for Higgins to tip the ball over the top.
However, it was Whitton who took the lead, 10 minutes into the second half, when Jeche headed home, and from that moment on they rarely looked like relinquishing their advantage.
The Villagers didn’t really threaten until substitute Conor Howard slice a shot wide in the 86th minute, although they had penalty appeals turned down late on when skipper Steve Adams appeared to be fouled off the ball.