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Melksham Town 6-4 Street – Toolstation Premier, Saturday 30th August

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Melksham and Street served up an enthralling goal laden game at The Conigre with the Town overturning a half time 3-2 deficit to run out 6-4 winners.

With Town manager Darren Perrin unavailable assistant manager Dave Macey took charge of the side for the first time with Mike Kilgour assisting him. The homeside were boosted before the game with news that Dan Kovacs was fit enough to start his first game of the season and he was to play a major part in the Town’s success. Melksham reverted to a 4-4-2 formation with Dave Thompson in at full back and Ash Barnett playing wide on the right, giving the side a more balanced look going forward than in recent weeks.

The pattern of the game was set in the opening minutes when Kovacs came close with two efforts within the first five minutes after good approach play from Ben Thomson, before on 10 minutes the Town went 1-0 ahead when Kovacs swept home a perfect Thomson cross.

On 15 minutes the Town’s plans were disrupted when central defender Dean Flockton pulled up with a recurrence of a recent injury and Syeed Ibrahim was brought into the action from the bench.

On 18 minutes Melksham keeper Tom Drewitt had to be alert to keep out a Mark Salter effort, and on 23 minutes Jackson in the Street goal did well to keep out a Kovacs effort.

On 28 minutes Melksham’s Thompson picked up a caution for a mistimed challenge and the ensuing freekick flashed across the home goal and away to safety. However on the half hour mark and within the space of three minutes the game was turned on its head when firstly Street’s Herrod weaved his way past a couple of challenges before bringing the scores level from 15 yards, whilst on 33 minutes a huge kick downfield from Jackson found it’s way to the unmarked Salter who stroked the ball into the net to put Street 2-1 ahead.

With the game flowing from end to end Higdon went close with a couple of efforts before Melksham drew level again on 40  minutes when Street failed to deal with a Thomson inswinging corner and Kovacs drove the ball home from close range to bring the scores level at 2-2.

Amazingly Kovacs nearly completed a first half hat trick on 42 minutes but his shot from an acute angle flew wide of the goal.

However the first half action was still not over and Street went back in front for the second time in this pulsating half when Holland nodded in at the far post to put the visitors 3-2 ahead on 44 minutes.

Indeed as the half time whistle approached the Town were indebted to a Dave Thompson  double block on the goal  line to prevent Street pulling further ahead and that moment was to prove crucial as the game developed.

Within two minutes of the restart the scores were level again at 3-3 when Ian Jeffery’s cross was slammed home  by Thompson at the far post, and on 57 minutes Higdon headed home an Ash Barnett to cross to put Melksham 4-3 ahead in this goal fest with the Town score board operator struggling to keep up with it all.

On 63 minutes the Town pulled further ahead when the impressive Thomson, who arguably enjoyed his best game in a Town shirt since returning to the club, sent over a superb curled cross into the path of Higdon who slammed the ball into the net for his second of the game to seemingly put the home side out of reach at 5-3 up.

However in keeping with the game Street’s Salter nodded home a Mercieca cross on 67 minutes,  despite Drewitt’s best efforts, to bring the game back into the melting pot with the Town holding a slender 5-4 advantage and anybody’s guess as to what the last 20 minutes would bring.

On 80 minutes the Conigre faithful let out an audible sigh of relief when Kovacs flicked a throw in to Higdon who calmly slotted the ball past the exposed keeper to put Melksham 6-4 ahead, and at the same time notch his hat trick which were in fact his first goals of the season.

Both Leigh Rogers and Jack Morris were introduced late on,  and both Morris and Mike Perrot  went close to scoring in the closing minutes, before the ref brought down the curtain on an amazing game which saw Melksham gain three points and put them in good spirits.