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Melksham Town 1 – 0 Bitton – Sat. 28th Sept. Toolstation Premier Division

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FOR the third consecutive week a game involving the Town was decided late on, although unlike the two previous occasions that went against the Town, this week Dan Kovacs 90th minute strike gave the Town a valuable 1-0 victory over an in form Bitton side.

Manager Darren Perrin shuffled his starting line up with Dave Macey restored to the starting line up and new signing Martin Johnson handed a start.

The visitors were first to threaten when Bryan’s pace took him past the Town defence but he shot wide from a tight angle. The Town responded well and a delightful pass from Macey was met first time by Johnson, but his angled volley flew wide of the far post on 17 minutes.

The Town enjoyed most of the possession in the first half whilst Bitton looked dangerous on the break. The Town created further chances, and on 25 minutes a Nathan Flower ball over the back four found Dan Kovacs but he was unable to keep his effort on target, and just before the break a Will Stead cross was met by a Kovacs overhead kick which just rolled past the post.

As the half drew to a close, Macey, celebrating his 350th game in a Town shirt, hit a 30 yard piledriver just over, and just before the break Bryan just failed to get on the end of a Dyke cross as Bitton gave a reminder of their desire to continue their unbeaten run, but the sides reached the break level at 0-0.

The early stages of the second period saw the Town’s Dave Thompson, who was enjoying his central midfield role, stride past a couple of challenges but saw his long range effort fly over, and at the other end Morgan will have been disappointed to miss with a close range volley when well placed on 50 minutes.

On 54 minutes Kovacs and Shaun Benison combined well for Benison to smash his effort just wide, and as the game became increasingly stretched Bitton substitute Wilson saw his effort saved by Town keeper Drewitt.

On 70 minutes Perrin introduced Tom Robinson for Johnson and on 77 minutes Town’s Matt Cooper picked up a caution for a challenge. With 10 minutes remaining the Town brought on Dan Griffiths for Benison and within minutes a neat through ball from Kovacs gave Griffiths a free run through on goal, but he delayed his shot and the Bitton defence recovered well and cleared the ball away.

On 88 minutes Dan Kovacs wriggled free in the box and crashed his shot onto the post and the ball rebounded to safety and the home supporters were resigned to a deserved share of the spoils. However as the game entered the last minute Kovacs danced past a couple of defenders in the Bitton box and cooly drilled home a right foot effort to put the Town 1-0 up, much to the delight of the home players and supporters. Stu Greener was immediately brought on for Stead as the Town saw out the few minutes of injury time and held on for a 1-0 victory and their first three points of the season which took them off the bottom of the table.

The reserves continued their fine start to the season as two goals from Leigh Rogers gave them a 2-0 win at Malmesbury Vic’s.

Man of Match: Dan Kovacs. Team: Drewitt, Flower, Jeffery, Macey, Cooper, Stocks, Thompson, Stead, Johnson, Kovacs, Benison. Subs: Robinson T, Griffiths, Greener.