Long Melford sent their fans home happy after a fine 2-1 win against Walsham-le-Willows in the Thurlow Nunn Premier.

Bury Mercury: Charlie Holmes got the equaliser for Haverhill Borough. Picture: GARY BROWNCharlie Holmes got the equaliser for Haverhill Borough. Picture: GARY BROWN (Image: Archant)

The pre-match music reminded many that Christmas is not far away, and the Villagers delivered festive cheer through a gutsy and tenacious performance, full of excellent teamwork buoyed by good spirit and morale.

Over the whole game there was not a lot between two evenly matched teams, but it was a tremendous strike by Scott Sloots that was pivotal in securing all the points for Melford.

Andrew Cusack gave Willows the lead with a good spot-kick after 22 minutes following a clumsy Melford challenge in the area.

But although Walsham edged the first period, Melford levelled on 41 minutes when Sloots’ wonder strike from 30 yards curled into the top of the net with keeper Tom Coombe static. A goal to grace any game at any level.

The home team got better over the second half and Ross Waugh came close when his header was cleared off the goal line. The vistors replied with keeper Darren Moyes making three fantastic saves the best one a fierce drive from Lee Warren which he tipped over the crossbar.

The winner came after 52 minutes when, in a goalmouth melee following a Melford free kick, Steve Adams eventually forced home from close range.

Also in the Premier Division, after eight consecutive league defeats, Haverhill Borough finally got their season back on track with a hard-earned point against third placed Brantham Athletic at the New Croft.

Borough created their best chance on 36 minutes as Robson saw his header from a corner bounce back off the bar into play, but the half came to an end with the visitors taking the lead.

A long kick from goalkeeper Callum Robinson caused problems in the Borough defence, and Bartlett collected the ball and fired past Smith to put Brantham ahead at the break.

But the hosts equalised on 54 minutes. Ryan Weaver burst through the Brantham defence and rounded Robinson, before squaring the ball to Charlie Holmes who shot through a crowd of Brantham defenders to level the game and secure a point.