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Bitton 4-3 Melksham Town – Toolstation Premier Division, Sat. 18th Oct

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Melksham made the short journey to Bitton on the back of a good run of form that had seen them go five games unbeaten, winning four, and scoring no less than 22 goals in the process.

The Town made one change from the previous week’s starting line up with Ben Thomson returning in place of Ash Barnett who had to settle for a place on the bench.

The home side started well and took the lead on seven minutes when they took advantage of a misplaced pass in midfield and slotted the ball home. Melksham responded with an equaliser on 22 minutes when Ian Jeffery carried the ball out from the back and laid the ball into the path of Gary Higdon whose cross was nodded home by Dan King.

As Melksham settled into the game and become more dominant Higdon was unlucky to see his 30 yard effort dip just over the bar after charging down the home keeper’s clearance.

On 30 minutes Melksham’s King was forced to leave the field after pulling his hamstring whilst stretching to control the ball and was replaced by Barnett. The substitute had an immediate impact when latching onto Thomson’s cross field pass and sliding the ball into the path of Dan Kovacs who calmly slid the ball past the Bitton keeper to put Melksham 2-1 ahead, a lead they held onto until the break.

The opening 15 minutes of the second half proved to be a disaster for Melksham as they conceded three goals in quick fire fashion thanks to some less than competent defending, and with a debatable offside decision thrown in for good measure, and incredibly found themselves 4-2 down. The Town threw on Jack Morris for Rogers on 62 minutes and later Dan Griffiths was also brought on as the Town reverted to three at the back in an attempt to get back in the game. On 83 minutes Thomson picked the ball up near the half way line and drove into the opponents half before unleashing a left foot drive into the Bitton goal to bring the score back to 4-3 and give the Town a chance of a point.

Late on as the Town pushed forward they were denied a penalty after Kovacs appeared to be brought down in the box, and despite late pressure some desperate defending and the non intervention of the officials saw them lose 4-3. Other results went the Town’s way which sees them still sit in 4th place only three points off the leaders Bristol Manor Farm who visit the Conigre on Monday 27th October.

The Reserves maintained their top of the table position with a fine 5-2 win over Malmesbury Vics, whilst the A team resumed to winning ways with a 4-1 victory over Aces FC and they too sit at the top of the table.