Match Report: Cinderford Town AFC vs Melksham Town FC
Two weeks since Town’s last Southern League outing – a 1-1 draw with Cirencester – meant that the Melksham side who were starting to pick up some form before the break had to restart and go again. The latest challenge came in the form of a Cinderford Town side, who made a similar start to the season as Town themselves, in a game that must’ve been close to abandonment due to the sheer amount of water hitting the pitch. Nevertheless, the pitch held up and the game went ahead.
Town continued their trend in recent games of starting on the front foot and looking to get in front; they created their first clear cut chance 7 minutes in when Albie Hopkins played a neat 1-2 with Jake Mawford before his effort was well saved.
A quiet spell in the game was to follow, as both sides came to terms with the weather conditions, until the 24thminute when Town ‘keeper Matt Hall was called into action. The on-loan ‘keeper made a superb save, keeping out a long-range effort that looked destined for the top corner.
This seem to kick start the attacking intents of both sides, as chances began to flow at both ends and both goalkeepers had to be in fine form to keep the scores at 0-0. First Matt Hall saved again, this time from point blank range as Cinderford looked to open the scoring, then up the other end Vaughn Covil was denied when through 1 on 1, shortly followed by the save of the day as the Cinderford ‘keeper somehow kept out Jake Mawford’s close range header.
Despite the magnitude of chances for both sides, the score line remained goalless as the half time whistle sounded thanks to the efforts of both ‘keepers, who looked like neither of them would be beaten all evening.
As the teams came out for the second half, the feeling amongst the crowd in Cinderford was definitely excitable as the first half provided quality entertainment despite the lack of goals.
Chances came thick and fast again, as in the first half, with Matt Hall being called upon to deny Cinderford yet again, then Ryan Morgan went close at the other end following ` corner.
In the 60th minute Vaugh Covil was released in on goal but, as the tale of the game had gone so far, was denied by another top save from the Cinderford shot stopper, and bodies got in the way of Matt Hurley’s goal bound effort not long after.
As the game was entering the closing stages, there was definitely a feeling that a goal was still due in the game, with neither side looking to settle for a draw and both having the full belief they can snatch a late winner. Unfortunately for a Melksham side who had put in a display worthy of all 3 points, it was Cinderford who managed to finally get the ball past Matt Hall in the 89th minute, thanks to a strike from forward Zak Drew.
Even with the game all but done, Melksham were still creating chances and pushing for an equaliser as they deserved something from the game, however it wasn’t to be. The full-time result finished 1-0 in Cinderford Town’s favour, but neither side deserved to lose the game as they managed to play out some quality football in really testing conditions. A masterclass in both attacking football and goalkeeping was the takeaway for the fans after the game, as it was by no means a poor performance from either side. It’s important for the Melksham heads not to drop with two more games coming up in the space of week, as this Saturday Town travel to Slimbridge AFC, and on Tuesday its away again to Mangotsfield.
By Lewie Simmons