Second placed Melksham entertained third placed Bitton at the Conigre looking to put last week’s Wiltshire Cup defeat to Highworth behind them.
They welcomed back Dan King from illness and with skipper Dave Thompson recovering from recent surgery on a long standing injury, Luke Smith switched to centre back.
The Town were on their game from the off and took a 1-0 lead after only 2 minutes when King’s long throw caused chaos in the Bitton area and as Leigh Rogers pulled his shot wide the ball fell to the feet of Gary Higdon and the striker wasted no time in slamming home his 25th goal of the season.
From the restart Melksham regained the ball and Ben Thomson’s strong forceful run ended with his shot being parried by Bitton keeper Ballard only for the rebound to be knocked home by Dan Kovacs to put Melksham 2-0 ahead after only 3 minutes.
On 22 minutes Town central defender Ryan Bennet went down under a heavy challenge from Pollinger and had to receive some lengthy treatment before being able to resume.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors on 30 minutes when their central defender hauled down Higdon as the striker was baring down on goal and the referee had no hesitation on awarding the red card.
From the resultant freekick on the edge of the Bitton area Higdon curled the ball over the wall and past the keeper to put the Town out of sight at 3-0 up on the half hour mark.
On 34 minutes Kovacs missed a glorious opportunity to put Melksham further ahead but dragged his close range effort wide after some good work from King and the Town reached the break with a comfortable 3-0 lead.
The second half saw an improved showing from the visitors and Smith was prominent in mopping up any promising attackers although in truth Rob Brown in the home goal was rarely troubled.
On 48 minutes Ballard in the Bitton goal had no option other than to collect a chest high back pass and gave away a freekick on the six yard box. The inevitable goal mouth scramble that followed the kick saw Kings effort cleared off the line by a visiting defender.
Town full backs Hillier and Jeffery picked up cautions in quick succession around the hour mark and Melksham introduced both Will Stead and Ash Barnett from the bench to replace Bennet and King.
Final substitute Shaun Benison was introduced for Thomson on 67 minutes and the Town nearly went 4-0 ahead on 80 minutes when Mike Perrott’s perfectly cushioned pass fell invitingly to Higdon but the striker’s clever lob went just wide.
On 83 minutes Stead flashed a 25 yard drive just wide of the upright whilst on 86 minutes Brown had to be alert to stop a deflected effort from a Bitton striker.
The whistle saw the Town get their just reward for a fantastic opening few minutes.