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Melksham Town 3 – 1 Longwell Green – Toolstation Premier Division, at. 30th Nov.

The Town picked up a useful 3-1 victory over Longwell Green to round off a good month which has seen the Town win four games, draw one and lose one as they continue their climb up the table.

The first half hour was fairly uneventful, with the visitors enjoying a majority of the possession but failing to create any clear cut opportunities, as both teams tried to get to grips with a less than perfect playing surface.

The first action of note came on 34 minutes when Melksham’s Ryan Bennett picked up a yellow card. However on 36 minutes the game burst into life when Melksham’s Shaun Benison picked up Bennett’s headed clearance and played a perfectly weighted through ball into the path of Gary Higdon whose run on goal was ended by a trip from the prone visiting keeper leaving the ref with no option other than to point to the spot and give the keeper a yellow card.

Higdon confidently smashed home the penalty to put the Town 1-0 ahead. However almost immediately the visitors drew deservedly level when Knapman’s corner was met by Hunt powerfully on the 6 yard box and his header flew into the Town net.  On 44 minutes the Town went back in front when a quick break left the Longwell defence stretched and after Benison laid the ball into the path of Dan Kovacs the Town striker slid the ball to the far post where Higdon managed to scramble the ball home to put the Town 2-1 in front.

Just on the half time whistle Benison saw his effort deflected behind by a good challenge from Pocock. The second half was an even contest with the Town happy to soak up the visitors pressure with Dave Thompson and Bennett resolute at the heart of the Town defence and rely on braking quickly from the back. On 62 minutes the Town introduced Leigh Rogers for Kovacs. On 67 minutes visiting keeper Jackson produced a fine full stretch save to tip over a Higdon header from a dangerous Tom Robinson corner and on 69 minutes the keeper again had to be at his best to keep a Benison effort out after a great through ball from Higdon.  On 75 minutes the visitors were indebted to some fine defending from Pocock to keep out Higdon who looked certain to score, and at the other end an almighty scramble in the Town 6 yard box resulted in a caution for a visiting player as the visitors desperately looked for an equaliser.  On 85 minutes the Town introduced the returning Luke Smith for Robinson as they looked to see the game out and stiffen up the defence. However the Town did make the game safe on 89 minutes, when Will Steads angled freekick was powerfully headed home by Higdon to give the striker his second hat trick of the season, and the Town a 3-1 lead which they held on to the final whistle, with a brief appearance from substitute Matt Sharp bringing an end to the game.

The  Reserves picked up a fine 2-1 win at Wootton Bassett to strengthen their grip at the summit of the Wiltshire League Division One and look set to gain promotion to the Premier Division at their first attempt. Man of Match Gary Higdon.