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Title out of reach as Town ‘hit brick wall’

Saturday 18th Feb – Toolstation Premier Div.
Melksham Town 0-2 Shepton Mallet

Saturday 25th Feb – Toolstation Premier Div.
Melksham Town 1-1 Willand Rovers

MELKSHAM Town FC ‘hit a brick wall’ this month, manager Darren Perrin has admitted, after they won just two of five games in February and saw the end of a formidable unbeaten run in the Western League.

Town lost their first league game in four months on 18th February, when they fell 2-0 at home to Shepton Mallet – the team that handed them their last defeat on 1st October.

Melksham have still only lost three league games all season, but dropping the three points has cost them dearly in the neck-and-neck race for second place and put them out of reach of the title.

The ‘unacceptable’ loss was followed by a 1-1 draw with Willand Rovers last weekend – again at home – but Darren Perrin hopes Town will pick themselves up in this Saturday’s Les Phillips Cup match at Warminster Town.

“The league title is out of reach now and the cup will be our last chance to win something this season, so we’ll prepare properly and give it our best,” Darren told MelkshamNews.

“Neither of our last two results were acceptable. We’ve hit a bit of a brick wall, which is disappointing after such a promising season.

“That said, we’re still on track to finish higher than we did last year when we finished 5th and the whole football club can be proud of what is still an immensely successful time.”

The Shepton Mallet game was a tale of squandered chances and frustration as Melksham gave up the majority of possession to let in two goals in the final 20 minutes.

The match also saw Melksham goal machine, Luke Ballinger, shown a straight red card – his first ever – in the 90th minute for using abusive language.

Perrin said, “I was very disappointed with the Shepton Mallet result. We had most of the possession and enough chances to win two or three games of football, but were wasteful in front of goal.

“Shepton defended for their lives and caught us twice on the counter-attack – they came to do a job on us and they did it.

“Luke’s sending off was totally out of character and  the first time he’s been shown a red card. He has apologised to myself and the club and will miss two games; the matter is closed and we will move past it.”

Against Willand Rovers, Melksham managed a goal through Sam Jordan but couldn’t seal the deal in what was a troubled game.

Darren added, “We had the lion’s share of possession but we couldn’t get it going. The wind spoiled the game and both sides were affected by really poor refereeing.

“Sam’s doing really well with us; he’s a good lad, the players love him and I’m expecting to have him around for the rest of the season.

“I’m confident we can get back into the swing of things for this weekend’s game at Warminster. It’s disappointing to have dropped five or six silly points but there’s still plenty to play for.”