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MELKSHAM Town have won the Les Phillips Cup for first time in their 141 year history.
They lifted the trophy after a dramatic penalty shoot out victory over Cribbs on Saturday. It’s the third trophy in three years for Darren Perrin’s men, following the Western League Premier Division title and Wiltshire Senior Cup wins in the previous two seasons.
The nailbiting final, at Street’s Tannery Ground, ended goalless after 90 minutes and neither side could break the deadlock in extra time, taking the tie to penalties. Town goalkeeper Rob Brown proved the hero, saving Cribbs’ second penalty, leaving Lee Davidson to fire home the winning kick.
Manager Darren Perrin said, “I’ve been in football for a long time and I’ve been involved in some big games, but to see 300 Melksham supporters out of a crowd of 420 at the final was something very special. It felt like a home game and to see nothing but black and yellow was incredible.
“On behalf of the players and the whole club, I would like to thank the community for their support, not just on Saturday but throughout the whole season – it’s been truly magnificent.
“There was a lot of apprehension, determination and a level of desperation to win the final for the first time in the club’s history – there was a lot of pressure on their shoulders but the lads dealt with the pressure in a fantastic way and made the whole club extremely proud.
“I’m a Melksham lad and to lead my home town club to the Les Phillips Cup for the first time ever is just incredible.
“I’m so happy for everyone connected with the club and particularly the fans who have been magnificent all season.”
“I’m amazingly proud for the chairman, too, and everyone else at the club who has done an absolutely fantastic job. The whole town should pay tribute to the job they have done.
“And I’d like to say a word for people like my dad (Mick Perrin), Dave Phillips and the late Jack Goodenough and Eric Missen who did a tremendous job for many years keeping this club going. Without them, this club would not be here.”
Both sides had players sent off, with Steve Hulbert being shown his marching orders for Town, while striker Gary Higdon missed a spot-kick.
The Les Phillips Cup is the premier cup competition of the Toolstation Western League and is fought over by all the top clubs in the south west below Southern League level.