Sat 11th December, Southern League Div. One Melksham Town 1 Evesham United 3
Last week’s 2-1 win over Bideford (4th December) meant that Town were once again hitting perfect form with three wins in a row, however the midweek postponement [against Sholing, 7th December] meant that their momentum had been halted.
After a week of rain battering the Oakfield’s pitch, it also made for tough conditions; pretty football wasn’t to be expected and mistakes were to be at a plenty as Evesham looked to cause an upset in Wiltshire.
The game was off to a cagey affair, but the visitors came the closest early on; an in-swinging corner was rat- tled against the Town bar off the head of an Evesham at- tacker. Town’s best opportunity early on came when Ballinger latched on to a bouncing ball in behind the Evesham defence and forced the keeper into a finger-tip save to deny Town the lead.
It was no surprise when the deadlock was finally broken, and it was Town to be the side who opened the scoring. Ballinger this time turned provider as he played Sam Hendy through, and after some tidy footwork, the forward slid the ball past the keeper to give Town the lead just before half-time.
Evesham nearly responded immediately, but Town keeper Matt Hall flew across to his left to deny them the equaliser, and thus Town had the lead at the end of the half.
Melksham started the brighter of the two sides in the second half, with Albie Hopkins testing the keeper not long after the restart. However, Evesham did manage to get an equaliser on 65 minutes. Not long after Town thought they had a second, if it weren’t for a goal line clearance, the away side then broke up the pitch and eventually scored via a deflection from defender Will Christopher.
The equaliser really opened the game up as both sides thought they could win it, and it was an end-to-end display of attacking football. Town thought again that they had a second when Sam Hendy squared the ball to Luke Ballinger, but a desperate block stopped the striker from adding to his already impressive tally this season.
Eventually, to the dismay of the Town faithful, it was Evesham who ran away with the points through two late goals from Callum Ebanks, one in the 87th and a second from the spot in the 93rd. This spelt a first defeat in Town in four games and they will be looking to bounce back away at Paulton Rovers on Saturday the 18th of December.
By Lewie Simmons