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Sat. 22nd Feb. Southern League Div. One Bristol Manor Farm 0 Melksham Town 1 Mon. 24th Feb. Southern League Div. One Melksham Town 3 Basingstoke Town 1
AFTER another two wins, Melksham Town have climbed to fourth in the Southern League – remaining in contention for this season’s play-offs.
Manager Richard Fey has described the situation as like living in a ‘dreamland’, but says that for now, he remains focussed on beating last year’s finishing position of 12th.
Speaking to Melksham News, Richard said, “I am just smiling and enjoying it, like I have said before, this season has been so hard. We are coming now to the last 11 games of the season, and to be sat fourth is just ‘dreamland’. Everyone should be smiling and enjoying it.
“It’s scary looking at the league! Not long ago I was looking over my shoulder thinking that we were only four points away from relegation – and now we’re 10 points behind the top! It’s unbelieveable – I can’t fault the boys. By bringing in the two centre-halves and Jake Mawford, it has changed our season.
“At the start of the season, the objective was to stay up, and we’ve done that now. I want to finish higher than last season’s 12th, and that’s all I am concentrating on – and when that’s mathematically done, then I will set another target for the lads.
“Let’s enjoy the ride, we have lost two games in 17, which is unbelieveable. We have got games coming up, where if can get the support behind us like we did away at Bristol Manor Farm, and last night at home against Basingstoke, who knows where it could take us? Everything is positive – we are riding the crest of a wave! We just need to carry this on for the last eight weeks of the season.”
About the away game against Bristol Manor Farm, which saw Town win 1-0 with a goal by Joseph Romanski, Richard said, “It’s always nice to win away from home, one-nil, and keep a clean sheet. The boys were terrific, they really dug deep and it was a dominant display in awful conditions, with the wind and the heavy pitch. But we grinded out a one-nil win, and it was nice to get three points and set us up nicely for the next game on Monday (24th February).
“Manor Farm is always a tough place to go, they have got some very good players and they should be a lot higher in the league than where they are, but for some reason they are languishing fifth from the bottom.”
Next up, Town faced Basingstoke Town at home on Monday night and had to come from behind to grab another three points, with two goals from Jack Ball and a third from Phil Ormrod.
“Our Monday night record isn’t very good,” said Richard. “I don’t think we’ve won on a Monday night – so that was in the back of my mind. After resting a couple of players on Saturday, we put them in last night to freshen it up – and it worked.
“It was a 100-miles-an-hour game – they had a go at us, we had a go at them. But I don’t think anyone could argue that we created the more chances over the 90 minutes, we should have scored a lot more.
“But we were grateful for Jamie Bartlett making some great saves at important times – he was my man of the match, he’s been excellent. And it was nice to give Jack Ball the opportunity to come in again, he scored two. It was a very good all-round performance that puts us in a great position in the table.”
About the games coming up over the next fortnight, Richard said, “We have three games in a week coming up – Sholing, Willand Rovers and Bideford – it’s a really important week ahead. Sholing are flying at the moment – they have four clean sheets on the bounce. And they gave us a hiding a couple of weeks ago at home, beating us 4-1. So it’s going to be tough, they have a very good squad, the Mason brothers are a handful, but at the moment we are confident taking on anyone.
“We can’t wait to get down there and give it our best shot, and hopefully come away with a positive result.”