FA Cup: Double for Clarke-Mardel sends Colney Heath through at Long Melford

Colney Heath advance to the next round of the FA Cup with victory at Long Melford.

Colney Heath advance to the next round of the FA Cup with victory at Long Melford. - Credit: Archant

Two goals from Spencer Clarke-Mardel ensured Colney Heath another successful FA Cup trip to Suffolk and a 2-0 win over Long Melford.

They had already progressed through the extra-preliminary round down the road at Haverhill Rovers and they got their name in the hat after this preliminary round success.

It wasn't the best performance of the season for Heath but yet another victory shows they have developed that winning mentality that should prove hugely beneficial this year.

The first half was not one for the purists as both sides looked dead-set on keeping things tight.

Colney did enjoy the better of both the ball and the territorial advantage although it was Melford who had the best early chance, Wingfield guiding a deep free-kick wide of the post when it dropped over the heads to him.

And the longer the half went on for the Magpies, the more frustrated they got.

Most attempts were either over-hit, bouncing off the rock hard surface, or fired into a blocking defender.

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Jon Clements had their best chance although it was still only in the half-decent category. That said it did come from a good move.

Sam Doolan made a clever interception to take it away from Jamie Griffith and after finding Chris Blunden, the ball was recycled to Clements.

He had company on his shoulder though and could only fire a first-time effort straight at Ben Devlin.

But it would soon turn bad for the home goalkeeper.

His loose pass out of the area was swooped upon by Blunden and after his cut-back was helped on by Clements, Clarke-Mardel lashed it into the net off the underside of the crossbar.

The skipper was booked almost instantly after the restart and Melford's Jake Jackson was also shown a yellow before the half was out, although the home side claimed it was a case of mistaken identity.

It still wasn't anywhere near comfortable though for the visitors and a second was desperately desired as the second half began.

They could have had a number but failed to test Devlin.

A drilled Jack Woods cross was just scrambled away from the flying Clarke-Mardel while superb work in the corner by Clements ended up with Blunden's effort well-blocked by Ross Waugh.

Clements had a volleyed effort that was high but not too far wide while he turned provider for Woods to head wide under pressure.

But finally they got that elusive second and it came from a simple route one approach.

Hit long over the top the Melford defence seemed to stop awaiting a flag or a whistle.

It never came and Clarke-Mardel nipped in, flicking it over Devlin before rolling it into the empty net.

From there it was game won. The home crowd started to moan and groan at everything and some were even calling for the manager's head.

They weren't seeing a lot of chances for their side in fairness with Colney looking the more likely to add to their tally.

George Devine came on and hit a good effort that Devlin to well grab at the second attempt while Andy Sears-Black almost wriggled in.

Blunden had one more chance that just went wide but it didn't matter and the Magpies will look forward to Tuesday's draw and dreams of more progression.

Colney Heath: May, Dudrenec, Knaggs (Lewis 90+1), Boodhoo, Doolan, Griffin, Woods, Cobb, Clements (Sears-Black 77), Clarke-Marde (Devine 77)l, Blunden.

Subs (not used): Shuttlewood, Westmore.

Goals: Clarke-Mardel 37, 68

Booked: Clarke-Mardel 38

Long Melford: Devlin, Smith (Denson 84), Wingfield, Jackson (Hurley 71), R.Waugh, A.Waugh, Ally, Brown, Griffith, Judge, Rowe.

Subs (not used): Adams, Bradbury, Chisholm.

Booked: Jackson 45+2

HT: Long Melford 0 Colney Heath 1

Referee: Richard May (Cambridgeshire)