After our narrow 1-0 defeat at home to Haughley United our 8th by just one goal this season & coupled with Bramford's 1-0 win at home to Trimley another nail has been put in our relegation coffin. So our 38 year unbroken record in Senior football will be coming to an end, unless with 7 matches left we win 5 times & Bramford lose all their last 5 games. Hardly unlikely as we have only won once all season. We probably deserved a draw against 5th placed Haughley as we battled really hard without a recognised striker. No Rene Swann working, Niall Hobson away & Aaron Seaman out for at least 2 weeks with broken ribs, we knew we would be up against it. Alfie Matthews was man of the match trying so hard to force a much needed win, Grant Gibson in at centre half played really well being a rock with Luke Reid. We also had the experienced Sheridan Driver making his debut in the middle & he shone, but in truth we never looked like scoring never forcing Haughley's stand in keeper Tony Mayhew into a save. Also our keeper Callum Johnson had little to do either. Our best chance came early on in the opening minutes when Matt Carley had a shot blocked & Matthews laid the ball back for Cameron Smith, who drove inches wide from the edge of the box. A great touch & through ball by Jamie Smith put Reece Golding through, he elected to shoot early 20 yards out & the ball went well wide. James Hawkins long free kick found Steve Vincent unmarked to back header over the bar 12 yards out. Matt Percy hit a great Crossfield ball from left to right to Will Richardson & his low cross was well defended by Gibson putting the ball behind with Golding just behind him. Percy’s left wing corner surprised Grundisburgh with the ball going to the edge of the box for Hawkins to strike a fine volley that brought out a good save by Johnson. Another Hawkins long free kick was headed just over by Darryl Frappell. Haughley were starting to put Grundisburgh under more pressure as the half ended & Richardson’s cross saw Percy at the far post have his shot parried by Johnson & Reid cleared the loose ball away in the 6 yard box. The only goal came on 59 minutes when Lee Andrews cross saw the league's 2nd top scorer Jamie Smith guide a lovely header home for his 20th of the season. Chances then were rare for either side for the remainder of the game, Jamie Smith flashed a shot just over from the edge of the box. Cameron Smith was bundled over on the by line right near the end, but our penalty appeals fell on death ears. It would certainly been on the soft side if given, but I have seen them given before. Special mention to referee Brian Chapman, who once again had the players total respect with his handling of the game & spoke to them in a not condescending way, how refreshing to go through 90 minutes without a yellow card shown. Speaking to joint managers Dave Thompson & James Hawkins after the game you can sense their real pride in turning Haughley around after having a reprieve in the Summer & retaining their place in Senior football. They have a good blend of youngsters & experienced players & their front 3 of Smith, Percy & Richardson are a handful albeit we defended really well against them. Steve Vincent was masterful in midfield with the all action Reece Golding going from box to box despite having to retire early. Also thought Darryl Frappell was commanding at centre half. Good to chat to Haughley chairman Alan Sparkes pre game about all things local football & his brave call at the SIL AGM to reinstate Haughley back in Senior football. Also after the match it was good to catch up with 2 ex Grundisburgh managers in Jimmy Fitzgerald & Karl Baldwin, I know it hurts them both to see us in our current predicament. The Reserves lost for the 2nd week running going down 2-1 at Ufford Reserves with Bradley Beaumont scoring our goal. This week we have a quick return with Haughley away & The Reserves also have a quick return at home to Ufford Reserves. MS

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Posted: Wednesday, March 6 2019 by Micky Squirrell

The views expressed in club/league notes are not necessarily those of Archant Suffolk

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