Match Report: Larkhall Athletic vs Melksham Town
The last fixture of Town’s 4th season in the Southern League was away at local rivals Larkhall, in what has been an impressive campaign as Town establish themselves as a top-half side. The reverse fixture came just a few gameweeks prior, with the Larks travelling to Oakfields to play out a goalless draw.
Town would be looking to put the weekends defeat behind them and finish the season on a high, and were boosted with the return of Luke Ballinger in the starting XI. The game was off to a relatively quiet start with no real chances for either sides; both defences were standing firm against the attacking intent of their opponents.
It wasn’t until late on in the first-half that Town came the closest to scoring; Ryan Morgan had an effort from range that skimmed the top of the bar. The two sides went in at the break without troubling the scores, the second half would require a much more clinical display if they were to avoid a repeat of the goalless draw a few weeks back.
The second half certainly started on a more promising note for Town, as Jay Malshanskyj sent a volley narrowly over. And it was to get a lot better for Town as they managed to break break the deadlock with Sam Hendy finishing from Albie Hopkins’ cutback. This opened the game up as Town started to create more chances for themselves, working the ‘keeper into a couple of decent saves.
As the clock ticked down the hosts were in search of an equaliser, and had a couple of good chances to find one if it wasn’t for the efforts of a stern Melksham defence, with Jaiden Pearce and Aaron Parsons putting on a superb performance. A big tackle from Will Christopher won the ball for Melksham, and Albie Hopkins beat the on-rushing ‘keeper to the ball and slot home to win the game for Town. A sublime second half performance gives Town an impressive 2-0 win.
The 2021/22 campaign closed with Town securing a very respectful 8th place finish - the highest in the clubs history. The season also saw the young side compete with the sides at the top of the table, and a couple of youth section graduates get first team debuts in Jaiden Pearce and Sam Dowell, with the future looking bright for Town.
By Lewie Simmons