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Ilfracombe Town 0-1 Melksham Town – Toolstation Premier League, Sat. 12th April

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MELKSHAM Town FC recorded their sixth league win at Marlborough Park with this 1-0 success.

They did so with the youngest team they have fielded in their long history. Included in the starting line up were Under 18 players Dan Sibley, Alex Hillier and Jamie Broom, whilst fellow Under 18 players, Harry Waylen and Lee Hughes were on the bench. Leading goalscorer Gary Higdon did not travel due to work commitments and Nick Ridout started up front with Dan Kovacs amongst the substitutes.

Skipper Dave Thompson and Ryan Bennett in central defence dealt emphatically with any home side threat. At the other end Town began to put some pressure together and they were rewarded with a goal after 20 minutes. Dan Sibley showing great determination won the ball back on the edge of the six yard box and fired a shot into the far corner of the net. Near half-time keeper Tom Drewitt denied the home side when he blocked Stan Paxton’s effort, Towns defence clearing the loose ball.

At the start of the second half Harry Waylen came on for Jamie Broom who had sustained a foot injury.  Ben Thomson was also a threat when running with the ball and was stopped with the concession of a free kick, however, Luke Smith was off target again.

As the game moved into the last ten minutes Dan Kovacs replaced Dan Sibley and Lee Hughes replaced Nick Ridout. In doing so Lee, who has just turned sixteen, is probably one of the youngest players to represent Town at senior level, if not the youngest. in the dying moments Dan Kovacs had a chance to make it 2-0, but was denied by the home keeper. At the other end, Town survived a late scare as indecision in defence almost led to a chance for Ilfracombe.

An excellent result for Town full of determination and commitment from their young side. The performance of the teenagers bodes well for the future and they can justifiably be proud of their display. It was a happy party on the long trip home.