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Striker Ryan Gibbs joins Long Melford from Mildenhall Town while Ethan Flack steps up from Bury Town Under-18s

Long Melford manager David Hennessey believes the club have made ‘a real statement of intent’ after completing the signing of Ryan Gibbs among a pair of new strikers.

Gibbs has left Mildenhall Town to join his brother Jordan at the in-form Villagers while promising Bury Town under-18s talent Ethan Flack has also signed on dual registration at Stoneylands.

Ryan Gibbs arrives having had spells at higher-league clubs Cambridge City, Bury Town and Needham Market and signed for The Hall in the summer following a goal-laden campaign.

Ryan Gibbs finished last season as Ely City's top scorer Picture: Richard Marsham
Ryan Gibbs finished last season as Ely City's top scorer Picture: Richard Marsham

Also the brother of Norwich City’s Liam Gibbs, Ryan scored 10 goals in nine appearances for Diss Town in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North before joining Premier Division outfit Ely City last October.

And despite his late arrival he was the Robins’ leading scorer with 14 goals from 18 outings, taking his season tally to 24 in 27 games.

Having not opened his account at Mildenhall in nine appearances though, the player who started out at Walsham-le-Willows and also had a spell at Haverhill Rovers, is looking to kick-start his season with seventh-placed Melford.

“It is a big one for us for sure,” said Hennessey who since he succeeded Jamies Bradbury in the summer has taken a side who survived last term under a relegation reprieve to seventh after 13 matches.

“It is the kind of signing we did not think would be possible at the start of the season but I think it is testament to the start we have had.

“Being able to bring him over into the team with his brother is massive for us and a real statement of intent.”

Of signing Flack, who is yet to make a first team appearance for Bury Town, having shone in their development sides, including under-23s, he said: "He is highly thought of over there and Ben Chenery (manager) wants him playing a bit of men's football."

Melford head into Staturday’s home game with Mulbarton Wanderers (3pm) looking for a fourth straight win following last night's 2-1 scoreline at Brantham Athletic.

Harry Whiting-Noakes’ 25-yard screamer mid-way through the first half came ahead of Frederico Dende adding a second with 10 minutes to go before Brantham replied with an added time consolation.

The Villagers, who saw striker Jack Brame leave to return to Walsham-le-Willows last week, also won by the same 2-1 scoreline at Whitton United on Saturday.

And Hennessey is excited by what the new additions to his forward line can bring to the team's progression.

He said: "We have got three or four lads who can play through the middle now and they all add something unique to the party."

The club's current top goalscorer is central midfielder and captain Jacob Brown with six from 14 appearances.