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Sat. 26th October. FA Trophy First Round Melksham Town 1 Basingstoke Town 0 Sat. 2nd Nov. Southern League Div. One Melksham Town 0 Bristol Manor Farm 0
AFTER two disappointing league losses, Melksham Town FC has bounced back with two back-to-back clean-sheet matches.
Player-coach Luke Ballinger has praised the team for their resilience, after shaking off the 6-4 league loss against Moneyfields, which saw them concede five goals in less than 15 minutes. This fortnight, Town progressed to the second round of the FA Trophy with a 1-0 win against Basingstoke Town, and racked up their first league point in four weeks with a goal-less draw against Bristol Manor Farm.
About their success in the FA Trophy, Luke told Melksham News, “It was a great response after the bad Monday evening we had against Moneyfields. It was a dominant performance by the lads.
“We were playing in bad weather conditions, but we were the better side. We had two or three good chances, and I scored the only goal.
“We held firm at the end – Basingstoke in the last few moments gave a bit of a push to score, which is to be expected when you are losing, but we held them off.
“It was overall a good performance, especially after ‘that’ bad second half against Moneyfields.”
The match was the second time Town had played Basingstoke Town in a week. On the previous Saturday, Town lost to Basingstoke 4-2.
“It shows that we are making strides and improving,” said Luke. “It’s taking longer than we expected, but we are getting to where we want to be. We didn’t deserve the 4-2 loss against Basingstoke, but that’s football – but credit to the lads to bounce back and beat them this time.”
Next up for Town was Bristol Manor Farm in the Southern League.
Luke said, “Similar to the Basingstoke game, we were playing in conditions that weren’t great. It was a fair result, but I feel that we had the better chances.
“We had a perfectly good goal disallowed – the linesman apologised in the bar afterwards, which is disappointing, but fair play to him for owning up. Because of the weather it wasn’t pretty, but we dug in and played well. It’s a point on the board, and a point closer to where we want to be.”
Town next face Gosport Borough in the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy, a team in the league above them. “We have nothing to lose,” said Luke. “It’s a free hit for us – so we’ll have to see what happens.”
Town play away against Gosport Borough this Saturday 9th November. Kick off is at 3pm.