Match Report: Barnstaple Town vs Melksham Town
Another long trip to Devon awaited Melksham as they travelled to Barnstaple Town; and hoping to claim their first win of the season the squad were determined to kickstart their campaign with a big performance away from home.
The game started at high intensity as in the opening minute Town winger Jay Malshanskyj fired a half volley over the bar, with Melksham stating their intentions of a dominant display early on at Mill Road.
Chances were at a premium for both sides as a battle for control in midfield played out, with both sides working tirelessly in the sunshine on the South Coast. This was until Melksham started to regain their early dominance, as Phil Ormrod went close in the 27th minute when his close-range effort was well saved by Barnstaple ‘keeper Adam Seedhouse-Evans. The resulting corner from Jay Malshanskyjwas well met by new signing Vaughn Covil but his header looped over.
Eventually Melksham’s dominance paid off, as in the 33rdminute Matt Hurley was brought down inside the Barnstaple box just as he was about to shoot, and Town were awarded a penalty. Phil Ormrod stepped up and fired it home to open his goalscoring account for the season, putting Melksham in the lead.
After a tireless 45 minutes, the referee’s whistle sounded, and Melksham went in at the break a goal to the good.
Melksham came out for the second half looking to assert the same reign of dominance they had in the first half. Town did just that as in the 49th minute of the second half Jay Malshanskyj was released through on goal, however his finish was well saved again by ‘keeper Seedhouse-Evans.
Following further dominance, Town were awarded another penalty in the 58th minute, this time it was Vaughn Covil who was brought down as he showed good feet to beat his man and get into the box. Ormrod stepped up again, this time the ‘keeper guessed correctly but could only parry the ball straight back to the feet of Ormrod, who made no mistake with the rebound. Town two goals to the good and showing a real display of quality for the travelling supporters.
Following the second goal, a response was expected of Barnstaple as they looked to try get themselves back in the game, which meant a more defensive final half hour for Town who also had a first clean sheet of the season in their sights. Despite the shift in play, Melksham ‘keeper Matt Hall barely had a save to make, thanks to the commitment and determination shown by the Town defenders, getting their bodies in the way of everything in order to protect the lead.
With Melksham looking dangerous on the counter, Phil Ormrod had a chance to round off a superb performance by adding his third goal, but his strike from a tight angle flashed across the face of goal and just past the wrong side of the post.
The referee’s whistle sounded and the Melksham squad were delighted with not only the first win of the season, but a superb performance deserving of the 2-0 score line and taking all three points back to Wiltshire. A big game up next for Richard Fey’s boys, as Frome travel to Oakfields on a bank holiday Monday fixture, the 31st of August and a 3pm kick off.
By Lewie Simmons.