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Melksham safely negotiated a potentially tricky tie at Wiltshire League Premier leaders Shrewton, to progress into the quarter finals of the Wiltshire Senior Cup, where they will entertain Hellenic League Highworth Town in Janaury.
With leading marksman Higdon not available, Will Stead partnered Kovacs up front, and the youngster showed up well in an unfamiliar role. As expected the home side came at the Town in the early stages and the visitors were grateful to a goal line clearance from Jeffery on 16 minutes which prevented Shrewton from taking a lead. Only two minutes later a long ball from Cooper saw Melksham’s Benison bearing down on goal, only to be hauled back by a Shrewton defender, and the referee inevitably pointed to the spot.
Kovacs calmly slotted home the penalty to put the Town 1-0 ahead. On 21 minutes Melksham pulled 2-0 ahead when Kovacs latched onto Stead’s through ball and lobbed the home keeper.
As Melksham gained in confidence Stead shot over from a Tom Robinson cross and after 35 minutes a good advantage from the referee saw Benison’s pass find Kovacs who saw his effort cleared behind for a corner. On 43 minutes Kovacs was denied a first half hat trick when his effort was well saved by the home keeper and the break was reached with the Town 2-0 to the good.
Again the homeside came at the visitors looking for an early goal to get back into the game, and Melksham’s Flower had to be alert to clear a corner off the line on 52 minutes, and Melksham’s Drewitt made a good save on 54 minutes to keep the home side at bay. On 60 minutes Cooper picked up a caution, and as the game became a bit heated the home side saw a player sent off for a late challenge on Flower on 62 minutes, and with that their hopes of getting something out of the game disappeared.
Melksham introduced Rogers for Kovacs on 65 minutes and on 66 minutes Melksham killed the game off when Stead smashed home Benison’s pass. Stead soon became the second Town player to pick up a caution and was immediately substituted for Sharp, and on 72 minutes Ibrahim replaced Cooper. On 88 minutes the Town went 4-0 up when Bennett scored his first goal for the club when nodding in a Robinson corner, and Melksham’s defence of the Wiltshire Senior Cup they won last year was completed.
Team: Drewitt, Flower, Jeffery, Bennett, Cooper, Greener, Benison, Thompson, Stead, Kovacs, Robinson. Subs: Rogers, Sharp, Ibrahim.