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Sherborne 0-1 Melksham Town – Toolstation Premier Division, Sat 19th Oct.

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The Town travelled to Sherborne without the still injured Dave Thompson and Dave Macey and with Matt Cooper serving out his one match suspension.

Tom Stocks slotted into the back four with Stu Greener at full back and Dan Kovacs back from his break to partner Higdon up front.

The Town were first to show on five minutes when Kovacs threaded pass found Higdon whose shot flashed across the home goal and away to safety whilst some neat interplay between Ian Jeffery and Kovacs saw the striker volley over after seven minutes. On 18 minutes Kovacs and Shaun Benison combined to set up Higdon and his header drifted narrowly wide.

As the Town continued to press they were left scratching their heads on 22 minutes when the referee chose to ignore a blatant trip on Higdon in the box just as he was about to shoot. As the half progressed the home side got into the game as they came to terms with the strong wind at their backs and Melksham were indebted to some good defending by Stocks and Cox to deal with some dangerous crosses into the box.

Just before the break a Josh Robinson cross was headed down by Higdon to Kovacs but he was unable to get his shot away and the half time interval was reached with the scores level at 0-0.

The Town had the benefit of a strong breeze at their backs in the second period and on several occasions a long punt from keeper Tom Drewitt put the home defence under pressure, and from one such clearance Higdon’s cross just eluded Kovacs, whilst on 50 minutes Josh Robinson’s snap volley drifted wide.

On the hour mark Higdon found himself on the end of a misplaced clearance with only the keeper to beat, but chose to pass to Robinson when in hindsight he might have been better to shoot, and the chance petered out.

On 63 minutes Town manager Darren Perrin replaced Josh Robinson with Martin Johnson as the visitors switched to a 4-3-3 formation looking to force the first goal. The switch almost worked immediately when Johnson cut in from the left and arrowed a right foot drive from 25 yards that just flew over the bar with the keeper beaten.

The last 15 minutes saw both sides up the tempo in an effort to score and Drewitt saved well on 74 minutes and the homeside saw a couple of efforts drift wide which should have tested the Town keeper. On 75 minutes a Will Stead cross was headed over by Kovacs with Johnson seemingly better positioned behind him to nod in, and in a final throw of the dice Nathan Flower came on for Tom Robinson with10 minutes to play. On 85 minutes Kovacs dragged his left foot effort just wide of the post and at that stage the game looked to be heading for an inevitable 0-0 draw.

However on 87 minutes a quick Johnson throw was picked up by Benison and his floated cross fell at the feet of Higdon and the striker calmly slotted home a right foot effort to put the Town 1-0 ahead much to the delight of the players, management and loyal travelling supporters.

Perrin introduced Sayeed Ibrahim for Kovacs on 90 minutes to help close the game out and despite home pressure the Town held out to secure a 1-0 win and three points to pull themselves away from the drop zone.

The Town seemed to lack the energy that has been a feature of recent matches and will have the opportunity to put this right with the visit from Bridport in next week’s league cup.

The town of Sherborne was preparing itself for the filming of ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ and whilst there is every chance of picking up a copy of this DVD at the local Blockbusters it is safe the say a DVD of this game would not be a best seller!!!!

Team: Drewitt, Greener, Jeffery, Stocks, Cox, Robinson T, Benison, Stead, Higdon, Kovacs, Robinson J. Subs: Johnson, Flower, Ibrahim. Man of Match: Keith Kirk (Physio) eight pre match rubs due to over zealous training session on Thursday.