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Melksham Town 3 – 1 Bishop Sutton – Toolstation Premier Division, Sat. 23rd Nov.

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MELKSHAM travelled to bottom of the table Bishop Sutton looking for another three points to push themselves towards mid table and came away with a hard fought 3-1 victory.

The game itself burst into life from the outset and after only two minutes Town full back Stu Greener was relieved to see the referee hand out only a caution for a poorly timed tackle, when on another occasion he may have suffered further punishment.

In keeping with a committed start by both sides, the referee cautioned two of the home sides players within the first 20 minutes, as the sides looked to gain the upper hand on a difficult playing surface. On 30 minutes the Town took the lead from the spot after Higdon was upended in the box after a neat through ball from Benison, with the home side adamant the defender had got the ball first.  Higdon, who had coincidentally seen his penalty at the same end saved last year in the corresponding fixture, calmly slid home the penalty to put the Town 1-0 ahead. The home side continued to press and the Town were grateful for a fine full stretch save from keeper Drewitt on 40 minutes, but the Town held on to their lead to the break.

Early in the second period Coombes in the home goal produced a great save to keep out a Higdon goal bound volley as the Town looked for a killer second goal. However on 52 minutes the home side drew level when a great 25 yard drive from Moss crashed against the Melksham cross bar only for Fillingham to knock home the rebound, and the home side sensed they might bring their recent poor run of results to an end.

On the hour mark Melksham introduced Tom Robinson for Flower and on 72 minutes Thompson picked up a caution for the Town with a mistimed challenge. On 75 minutes Town management duo Darren Perrin and Dave Macey introduced Leigh Rogers and Sayeed Ibrahim for Greener and Kovacs in a bid to push for the three points, and their decision was rewarded almost immediately, as on 78 minutes the Town pulled in front again when Jeffery”s left wing cross was flicked on by Higdon, for Benison to smash in the ball at the far post, and immediately the home side switched to three at the back in an effort to get back into the game.

As the game wore on Melksham exposed the spaces left at the back, and on 80 minutes Higdon’s pass found Rogers who galloped down the right wing before pulling the ball back to Will Stead who smashed home a 20 yard rocket, giving the home keeper no chance, and capping a fine performance by the young midfielder.

On 85 minutes Stead again went close, on 88 minutes Bennett just failed to turn in a Robinson corner as the ball pinged around the 6 yard box and the Town safely saw the game out to move towards mid table safety and continue the improving trend of results.

Man of Match: Will Stead. Team: Drewitt, Greener, Jeffery, Bennett, Cooper, Flower, Stead, Thompson, Higdon, Kovacs, Benison. Subs: Robinson T, Ibrahim, Rogers.