Hackney Wick 0 Long Melford 1

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Updated: August 6, 2017
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So the Emirates FA Cup returned for another season and my latest journey began at The Old Spotted Dog Ground in Forest Gate, East London, as Hackney Wick hosted Long Melford.

Wick were entering the competition for the very first time and in only their third season as a club, whilst Melford have been around for 150 years and have plenty of history so the two clubs couldn’t be further apart in those stakes.

Both were looking to get into the next round though, as well as bag the £1,500 prize money for winning the tie, and a terrific crowd of 267 showed up to see who could do just that.

It was also ironic that the club Wick had taken over, London Bari, played their first FA Cup match against Long Melford, so that was certainly a very ironic fact to say the least.

The first ten minutes of the contest saw a chance for both sides, Melford seeing an effort saved by the keeper when well placed whilst Wick flashed a terrific ball across goal and just invading an incoming attacker.

But on the quarter hour mark the visitors edged in front when Josh Hodgson got to a ball in behind the defence first and prodded an effort beyond the keeper who almost got back to claw it out but ended up in the net with the ball and the visitors led.

Wick had a decent spell after going behind and saw an effort fly wide after the winger had cut inside his marker, but the visitors keeper had still not been tested once in the contest thus far.

The latter part of the half saw the visitors twice go close to doubling their lead but passed up both opportunities, but the Suffolk side went into the break a goal ahead and although the hosts had a lot of possession in the half, it was the visitors who looked more organised and had the better chances.

However Wick came out with renewed vigour in the second period and the opening exchanges saw the hosts putting pressure on the visitors however Melford were dealing with it well.

Wick continued to dominate possession as the half continued and the Melford keeper had to tip one effort over whilst another couple of efforts were blocked by a solid back line as the hosts continued to try and find a leveller in this

And as the game headed to its final fifteen minutes Wick missed a golden chance to equalise when after breaking through the visitors back line the hosts could only poke an effort agonisingly wide of the far post, and the moments later forced the Melford keeper into a smart save. You kind of felt it was gonna be one of those days for the ESL newboys.

And with Wick pushing hard for the leveller the visitors almost sealed it near the end when they got in on goal however the effort went inches wide but soon after the whistle blew and Long Melford had their hard earned win in the bag.

For Wick it was a frustrating afternoon and it’s a shame to exit the FA Cup at the first hurdle in their first appearance in the famous old competition, but they can now concentrate on the league and continue to improve throughout the season.

For Melford it’s another appearance in the Preliminary Round and they had to dig deep in this one to get the win, but they defended stoutly and battled hard for the victory. They now host wither FC Romania or Waltham Forest in the next round on Saturday August 19th.

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For all things ESL visit my unofficial page at http://www.leaguewebsite.co.uk/unofficialesl
To read my blogs of local footie action visit pedroslocalfootiefix.blogspot.co.uk
Also find me on twitter @ped1980                         

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