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Match Report: Lymington Town vs Melksham Town

Match Report: Lymington Town vs Melksham Town

After a tough start to January, Town travelled to Lymington in search of their first points of the new year, and Tuesday’s narrow cup defeat to Salisbury added to the importance of the fixture. Town would also be without Jake Mawford, with the winger signing for Barnstaple a gap in the Town starting XI now appeared for a new star to fill.

The opening stages of the game were a cagey affair as both sides looked to cancel each other out, with only half-chances for either side. However, some great work from Town striker Kyle Tooze earned his side a penalty, which captain Luke Ballinger duly converted to give his side the lead.

Not long after taking the lead, Town ‘keeper Matt Hall pulled off a stunning save low down to his left to keep the hosts to nil. And, as he has done all season, kept a lid on things whilst the Lymington pressure built up in response to the goal. Although the hosts did have a glimmer of hope as the ball crossed the line for them, only for the linesman’s flag to be raised for offside.

It was a quiet half following the goal, despite Lymington seeing more of the ball Town still looked comfortable with half-time approaching. However, a disastrous couple of minutes saw the visitors throw away their one-goal lead, conceding twice in the matter of moments with the hosts almost surprising themselves as they went in at half-time with a 2-1 lead.

A big response was needed in the second half from the Melksham side as the all-important 3 points were slipping away. Lymington’s game plan was also clear not long into the second half; 4 bookings in 15 minutes (including the manager) suggests that the home side were looking to frustrate and restrict Town as the play was stop-start. However, this worked against their favour as Luke Ballinger showed his class on the 62nd minute, after some quick play saw Bally shift the ball onto his right and find the top corner with elegance. It was all one-way traffic now as Town had the momentum behind them to grab a winner.

After a few more half-chances had been and gone for Town, substitute Jay Malshanskyj managed to win Town’s second penalty of the day after being brought down in the box. Unfortunately, however, the ‘keeper correctly guessed this time to deny Bally a hattrick, and also Town an important lead.

With 15 minutes left to find a winner Town continued to push and try to find a winner, but Lymington were committing bodies in front of everything to deny Town. With seconds left Bally whipped in a corner which caused pinball inside the Lymington box and eventually rebounded off the post and somehow stayed out with a crowd of bodies in front of goal. This summed up the day, but after trailing at half-time and a good second half performance the lads can’t be too disappointed with a point against an unpredictable Lymington. Next up for Fey’s men is a home fixture against Cinderford on Saturday.

By Lewie Simmons


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