Match Report: Melksham Town vs Plymouth Parkway
After a series of away games, it was a delight for the Town faithful to see some action back at Oakfields last week; a 3-2 win over Basingstoke in the FA Trophy made it 3 consecutive wins in all competitions for the free-scoring Melksham side.
However, this week it was Plymouth Parkway who made the long journey to Oakfields, who were also looking to build on their win in the FA Trophy last week. Parkway travelled in numbers to Wiltshire, adding to the excitement in the atmosphere around the ground before kick-off.
The game began with relatively even opening stages, not many clear-cut chances for either side despite both teams threatening with some nice build up play. It wasn’t until the 26th minute that Matt Hall was required to make a save, which he did brilliantly by getting down low across goal to deny Parkway an opener.
It was the away side who began to dominate for a period, and a committed Town defence had to get themselves in the way of a series of efforts at goal following the Parkway pressure. Eventually, this pressure paid off, as Parkway took the lead in the 37th minute through Adam Carter.
Town went in 1-0 down at the break, however their habit of scoring lots of goals in recent weeks meant that the three points were still in sight, and the second half certainly looked as though it promised more action than the first.
Plymouth Parkway, however, were playing with their tales up and ended the first half as the dominant side. And this carried into the second half, as the visitors doubled their lead on the 49th minute, again through Adam Carter who scored both his goals from close range. It then went from bad to worse for Town, as Parkway were awarded a penalty in the 54th minute and River Allen made it 0-3 from the spot.
With plenty of time left in the game and just a few minutes after going 3 goals down, Ryan Morgan pulled one back with a lovely strike into the top corner from 25 yards on his ‘weaker’ foot. This goal sparked the energy into the free-flowing Town side, and also rattled the Parkway side who were playing with such confidence beforehand.
Manager Rich Fey looked to his options on the bench to further boost Towns attacking presence, bringing on Luke Ballinger and Vaughn Covil. This then proved to be a stroke of genius from Fey, as seconds after the substitutes came on, they combined with a lovely give and go as Ballinger popped up to receive the pass from Covil and stick the ball past Moore in the 66th minute.
With Oakfields rocking it gave Town an extra spring in their step, and in the 75th minute Melksham hit on the counter with Sam Hendy beating his man down the right and Luke Ballinger popping up in the right place again to finish from Hendy’s cut-back. With the Town faithful buzzing and the atmosphere bouncing it was clear Town weren’t settled with a draw, a win was what was in the sights for the in-form Melksham squad. And just 4 minutes after equalising, Oakfields erupted as Jake Mawford twisted and turned to eventually slot home the winner, after a fantastic ball from Ballinger put him in behind the Parkway defence. That was Mawford’s 5th of the season in the league, and Town’s 4th of the afternoon as they completed an incredible comeback from 3-0 behind to 4-3 in front.
A special afternoon at Oakfield’s as Town make it 4 wins in a row in all competitions, and 18 goals scored in their last 4 games. The lads travel to Mangotsfield on Saturday the 23rd of October in their next fixture, not long after beating them 6-0 in the Southern League Cup, and a good following from the Town faithful would certainly help the great run of form continue.
By Lewie Simmons