Match Report: Melksham Town vs Sholing FC
Despite playing the reverse fixture just a few weeks prior, Town had an opportunity to get revenge for the 5-0 hammering they suffered away at Sholing. However, this time Fey had the boost of Kyle Tooze being available after suspension, and after impressing on debut last week, Jaiden Pearce was handed another start. The visitors were looking to increase their play-off hopes with a win, but in windy conditions it was going to be tough for both sides to adapt.
Town paid the price by missing great chances to go in front early on when the sides last met, however this time they made no mistake. Less than 3 minutes into the game Kyle Toozesmashed the ball into the roof of the net following Hopkins’ cross, causing great scenes inside Oakfield’s.
The early goal helped Town settle into the game nicely; they were organising themselves well to make it hard for the visitors to create any real chances, and sprung on the counter whenever possible. Tooze nearly created a second for Town, whipping a great ball across goal but no one could get the decisive touch to turn it home.
Sholing had their best chance of the half In the 35th minute, when Sam Hendy did brilliantly to block a close range volley on the line just as the visitors thought they found an equaliser. But ultimately, Town held out until half time with a 1-0 lead and a superb first half performance.
The second half kicked off and this time Town had the wind behind them, whereas the first half made it difficult for Town to gain any territory with the wind constantly taking momentum off the ball.
The tireless Jay Malshanskyj would have a job covering lots of ground in the half to come, and his hard work nearly paid off after intercepting a stray pass from the ‘keeper, but his attempt to dink it over him from a tight angle was well wide in the end.
As Town continued to defend well chances were limited for both sides, but Sam Hendy was adamant he should have had a penalty when he was brought down in the box, but the referee waved play on. Another big decision was made not long after by the referee, showing Ryan Morgan a red card for bringing down Bradley Targett as he was through on goal. This meant Town would have to hold out for the last 18 minutes of the game with a man less.
However, despite the man advantage, Sholing still couldn’t break down a stern and organised Town defence – with a commanding performance from the centre back partnership of Dave Thompson and Jaiden Pearce – and Fey’s men saw out the game. A big win, and a clean sheet to match, will give the squad encouragement for a strong finish to the season. Next up for the boys is an away trip to Highworth on the 19th of March.
By Lewie Simmons.