Melksham Town FC 1-1 Bristol Rovers
The 2021-2022 preseason was underway as Joey Barton took a large Bristol Rovers squad to a sunny and welcoming InfiLED Arena to face an inspired Melksham side playing in front of fans for the first time in months.
The game started as any early preseason game would with a cagey and nervous first 10 from both sides, with no real chances opening up despite Rovers seeing a fair share of the ball as expected, until Melksham Town ‘keeper Kingsley Latham making a good stop early on to deny the visitors an early opener. The preseason nerves were capped off as miscommunication in the Rovers defence left the Gas goalkeeper stranded as a Rovers central defenders misplaced pass rolled into the net on 18 minutes to the Town fans’ delight.
However, the celebrations of the Town fans didn’t last long as less than a minute later as Rovers’ Aaron Collins beat Latham at his near post to bring the League 1 outfit level with the hosts.
Despite the goal, Towns’ defence remained resolute and unfazed by the quick reply, not allowing Rovers any space in the box, with Latham only needing to make one save for the rest of the half.
The second half meant a new XI for Rovers, as they were putting the entire first team squad through their paces against Town, however the story remained the same; committed defending from Town made it very difficult for any of the Rovers forwards to find space.
Rovers did create more in the second half, but anything they put towards Latham’s goal he was able to keep out, putting in an arguable man-of-the-match display against a quality Rovers side.
In the end, the full-time whistle sounded, and it was definitely the Town players heading into the tunnel with their heads held high, as they kick off of their tough and busy preseason campaign with a hard-fought draw against higher opposition.
Match report by Lewie Simmons.
Photo by Starsphinx Photography