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Sat. 20th January. Toolstation Premier Div. Bitton 2 Melksham Town 2 Sat. 26th January. Toolstation Premier Div. Melksham Town 2 Brislington 0

FOLLOWING a nail-biting last minute draw and a comfortable win at home, Town’s manager, Kieran Baggs, has said that the team are full of confidence for this Saturday’s historic FA Vase match.

This Saturday, Town are attempting to win a place in the FA Vase quarter-finals for the first time in the club’s history. Tring Athletic, who haven’t been beaten in the last six games, stand in Town’s way.

“We approach this game full of confidence, we don’t fear anyone at home,’ said Kieran. “Our chair, Darren Perrin, went to watch Tring play and he has provided us with a full match report and rundown of their strengths and weaknesses. Tring’s league position is near the bottom, so all they have to play for is the Vase; they have nothing to lose. But they haven’t lost in six matches, so they will be coming ready to fight and continue this momentum.

“We need to be ready and need to be playing at our top level, because if we are not, there’s every chance we could lose. We have to prepare, make sure we know who their dangerous players are and be certain that everyone is playing at the highest of levels. This is a massive day for the club.”

In the run up to the historic match, Town played two league matches, away to Bitton and home to Brislington.

Talking about the match against Bitton that saw Town snatch a 2-2 draw in the final minutes, Kieran said, “It was a very different performance after our 3-0 win against Buckland Athletic and our win in the FA Vase. It was a disappointing first half. I was surprised that the game was still on as the pitch wasn’t great but even so, we were not competitive enough.

“I had a chat with the team at half-time and I decided to make all three of my substitutions for the second half. I brought new signing Francois Allen on to make his debut for the club, which resulted in a goal, getting us back in the game. Gary Higdon scored with a minute to go, bringing the score level and winning us a point.

“We were dominant in the second half and deserved the draw. This point could prove very important for the end of the season. But the first half performance was not acceptable and the lads knew it.

“Both Ryan Bole and Jake Brown were sent off during the game. Jake received a straight red card, which means that he is out of the FA Vase match this weekend.”

A week later back on home turf, Town had a score to settle with Brislington who beat them earlier in the season.

“This was a comfortable 2-0 win and we were very much in control of the game,” said Kieran. “Brislington are a good team, they might be at the bottom of the league, but this does not reflect how well they can play. We did lose to them early on in the season, so I wanted to get some revenge!

“Both Allen and Higdon scored again in this match and Allen got to play his first full match after his debut against Bitton.

“We also debuted Seth Wain from our under 18s, who was awarded man of the match – he played fantastically. It was great to give him a chance and for the supporters to see a local lad being given an opportunity by the club.

“This win helps keep us in contention in the league as we push to get a spot for promotion.”

Town take on Tring Athletic in the fifth round of the FA Vase this Saturday, 3rd February, kick off 3pm. There is limited parking at Oakfields, so supporters are advised to walk to Oakfields or get dropped off.

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