Tuesday night saw Melksham travel to Swindon for their second Southern League Cup tie of the season, and their opponents stood in the form of Swindon Supermarine – who play their league football a division above Town. A 6-0 away win over Mangotsfield is what progressed Town into the next round, however they would face a different challenge in a strong Swindon Supermarine side.
As has been the trend in most games this season, Town certainly started the game the brighter of the two sides. Sam Hendy caused a couple of early dangers for the home side after making surging runs through midfield, however the resulting efforts in both instances ended flying over the bar. Jay Malshanskyj also found himself some space in behind after being played through by Albie Hopkins, the striker was able to get an effort away but a deflection off a Supermarine defender took nit just over the bar.
However, Town failing to capitalise on their early dominance came back to haunt them, as on 12 minutes the home side took the lead through Lewis Hall with Supermarine’s first chance of the evening. Shortly after this Town had to make a change as Ollie Webb was forced off with an injury, being replaced by Aaron Parsons.
As Town looked to find a way back into the game, Supermarine hit on the break and doubled their lead through Kieran Phillips. Clinical football from Supermarine meant they only needed two chances to put themselves two in front and give Town a big hill to climb if they were to progress.
Town kept pushing, and thought they had one back when Albie Hopkin’s strike look destined for the bottom corner, only to be cleared off the line and scrambled away before someone in a Melksham shirt could bundle it home. Shortly after, however, Town were awarded a golden chance to pull one back just before half time when Mawford was fouled in the box and the referee gave a penalty for Town. Jake Mawford, who originally won the penalty and has a 100% record so far from the spot this season, stepped up but was denied by a good save from the Supermarine ‘keeper.
Melksham’s sustained pressure and control of the ball carried on into the second half, not fazed by the fact Supermarine are higher-league opposition Town continued to play free-flowing football and created a host of chances to get back into the game. The second half contained plenty of nearly moments for Town; Sam Hendy being inches away from tapping in Ryan Morgan’s cross, and a couple of Albie Hopkins efforts that curled just beyond the wrong side of the post.
With the clock ticking down into the 90th, a small mix up at the back of the Town defence gifted Supermarine a third, making the score line rather harsh on what was a good Town performance. Town did enough to be in with a shout for the full game and certainly deserved more than the 3-0, but there is no time to dwell as the games come thick and fast through the winter. Up next for Town is a home fixture against Lymington Town, they travel to Oakfields this Saturday for a 3pm kick off.
By Lewie Simmons.