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MELKSHAM’S good form was halted by a defeat on the 3G surface away to Winterbourne United.
Winterbourne went into the game determined to reverse a 7-0 thrashing they suffered at the Conigre in December.
Town couldn’t get to grips to the pitch which suited the home side who seemed more comfortable on the artificial and were punished in the 15th minute as United forward Dowdsell fired home past Drewitt in the Town goal to give the hosts the lead.
The remainder of the first half was fairly uneventful as both teams cancelled each other out with neither side creating anything of note.
Melksham came out fighting in the second half and some heavy pressure was rewarded with a fine finish from Dan Kovacs after being put through by strike partner Gary Higdon. At this point it looked likely that the visitors would go on and take the three points but Town were hit on the counter attack following a corner and Dowdsell again beat Drewitt to restore Winterbourne’s lead.
Melksham’s defence were then caught napping just 60 seconds later as again Dowdsell pounced to complete his hat-trick and make it 3-1 to United.
To Town’s credit they quickly took control of the game again as they pinned the hosts back into their own half for much the second half only to get no reward.
Melksham manager Darren Perrin said, “Credit to the boys they dug deep after conceding two goals in quick succession and retook control but it was just one of those days where it wasn’t meant to be. Winterbourne deserved their victory but the surface doesn’t help as my lads really struggled to come to terms with it. In our opinion football should be played on grass, as that’s where it’s meant to be played. They have an excellent home record and I imagine the 3G surface helps them.”
Melksham’s away fixture at high flying Gillingham Town was cancelled on Tuesday due to a waterlogged pitch.