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Sat. 2nd March. Evo-Stik Southern Div. One Melksham Town 1 Thatcham Town 2 Sat. 9th March. Evo-Stik Southern Div. One Barnstaple Town 0 Melksham Town 1
AS the season builds to its climax, Town FC remains focussed on securing a spot in the Southern League play-offs.
Manager, Kieran Baggs, believes that the club is capable of finishing in the top six of the league, in their debut outing in the Southern League. “We have to believe that we can achieve this, and keep the season alive.,” Kieran told Melksham News.
However, it’s been another mixed-bag of performances in the past fortnight with a home defeat and an away win.
About their 1-2 defeat at home against Thatcham Town, Kieran said, “It was a disappointing day for us. We’ve already played Thatcham twice this season and beaten them – once in the league and then again in the FA Trophy. So it’s rare to play a team three times in a season and beat them all three times. I tried to make the boys aware of this before the game so they could stay on top of things, but it didn’t go our way.
“It was a poor performance. It was thanks to our keeper, Darren Behcet, that we were able to stay in the game as much as we did.”
Town’s only goal came from striker Jon Davies, but Kieran expected more from his team. He said, “The lads didn’t create anything, we played below our usual standards and it was frustrating. Our pitch is the best in the league – so we can’t blame the conditions, that’s no excuse.
“I had a chat with the boys afterwards, they know that the performance was unacceptable. But this is what happens in the Southern League – you give a poor performance, you get punished.”
Next up for Town was an away game to strugglers, Barnstaple Town. A goal from Jon Davies helped Town secure a 1-0 win and a ‘vital’ three points. Kieran said, “This was a great chace to bounce back – Barnstaple Town are in the bottom two of the league. However, conditions were going to be difficult. Barnstaple won’t mind me saying but their pitch is of poor quality, it’s very bumpy, and it is on a slope.
“On the day, Barnstaple turned up with a game plan – to sit in and get us to try and break them down. We scored quickly in the first half with a great goal – set up by Dan King and Neikell Plummer, before being finished off by Jon Davies. The rest of the game was played up in the air, and there was a lot of defending by them.
“Barnstaple didn’t create any chances for themselves, so we were not troubled by them. The final score reads a lot closer than it was – if we had converted a few more of our chances, there could have been two or three more goals.
“It was a tough day, but the clean sheet and a one-nil win could be vital at the end of the season.”
Ahead of Tuesday night’s (12th March) away match to Cinderford Town, Kieran said, “The games are now coming thick and fast. We’ll be travelling to Cinderford light because of suspensions and injuries and the trip there is a long one. But that is the nature of the beast, all sides will have to do some bad mid-week trips for games.
“We will do our best – we are one point behind Cinderford and if we win the three points, that will put us just outside the play-offs. We have to believe that we can achieve this, and keep the season alive.”