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Sat. 8th December. Evo-Stik Southern Div. One Melksham Town 3 Barnstaple Town 0

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MELKSHAM Town’s second clean sheet win in a row has pushed them up into fifth place in the Southern League – but manager Kieran Baggs says the team has a long way to go and must stay focussed on their performance.   

Town’s manager has also heaped praise on the club’s supporters, speculating that the club could be in for a ‘very special season’ if the community continue to turn out in force. 

Town moved up into the play-offs after a rain-soaked 3-0 home win against Barnstaple Town. Speaking to Melksham News, Kieran Baggs said, “It was a comfortable three points for us. Three goals and a clean sheet – a very positive result in very tricky conditions.

“I made sure that we didn’t underestimate Barnstaple, despite their position in the league – they recently pulled off a shock defeat against Yate who are at the top of the league, so we knew they were capable of causing upset if we didn’t show up with the right attitude and concentrate.

“But at the end of the day, we were the worthy winners. Our first goal came from Reece Rusher, who scored from long range with a superb finish. That’s two goals in two matches from him.

“Jon Davies scored the next two goals, which takes him up to 15 goals across all competitions this season. Unfortunately he suffered a shoulder injury during the match, which rules him out for the next couple of weeks. It’s important now that the other boys chip in whilst he is absent.

“We’ve had two clean sheets in a row now, so I am more than pleased. We keep grinding out results and now we are sitting in fifth in the league – the boys are happy, but there is a long way to go, so we are not getting too excited. It might be a cliché, but we are honestly taking things one game at a time and enjoying the ride.

“There’s no point thinking too much about being in the play-offs now – we need to stay grounded. We can always do better, be fitter, stronger and more organised. Whatever happens, we need to keep up our current form, but keep trying to raise the bar. There should be no complacency. We need to keep improving and do our best to keep the town proud.”

Reflecting on the season so far – their first ever in the Southern League – Kieran said, “We had no expectations this season as a newly-promoted team in the league, but we have got off to a fantastic start and had excellent runs in the FA Trophy and other cup competitions – we are performing well on all levels.

“We are enjoying the experience, visiting new grounds and meeting new players – we’re relishing the challenge and looking forward to seeing where the rest of the season takes us.

“The town has supported us in all weathers – we had 350 fans at the weekend in the pouring rain – which really makes a difference. They have been unbelievable. If the supporters can keep this up, keep cheering us on, this could be a really special season.

“I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, make sure you enjoy the time with your loved ones and come and see us play over the Christmas break –  have a beer with us. Keep doing what you are doing and with your support, we will keep progressing.”

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