Melksham Town 3 – 1 Cinderford Town
The battle in the first half of this game was fought against the elements, strong gusts of wind made set pieces a lottery and meant the weighting of passes difficult. Both sides had a couple of early chances, with Phil Ormrod nearly opening the scoring after only 3 minutes. Sharp work from Jake Mawford resulted in the ball falling to Ormrod around 9 yards out, his hooked left footed shot was well saved by ex Plymouth Argyle youth player Andy Hannah in the Cinderford Town goal.
Cinderford came back strongly and it was the away side who took the lead.
The offside trap was sprung after 33 minutes and James Harding found himself open in front of goal to accept a pinpoint cross, he gratefully tucked the ball away and Cinderford had the lead.
The away side very nearly doubled their lead minutes later when they shot narrowly wide when they looked set to score.
The match reached half time well placed at 0-1 to The Foresters.
Melksham looking to get back to winning ways after the visit of Sholing on Monday started the second half with all guns blazing. They immediately looked to set about the visitors from Gloucestershire and attacked from the off.
Jake Mawford worked a clever move on the left with Aidan Chainey and Joe Romanski. Mawford found himself clean through in the box but chased by three defenders. He was dragged down from behind by Ben Watkins and the home side were awarded a penalty.
Luke Ballinger took hold of the ball before stepping up and confidently smashing the penalty home. Deservedly back in the game things got much better a short time later.
Just two minutes later in the 59th minute Melksham had the lead. Phil Ormrod did superbly to rob the ball around thirty yards out, he laid the ball off to Ballinger who proceeded to smash the ball past Hannah.
With the momentum firmly with the home team they looked to increase their lead, whilst Cinderford also tried hard to get an equaliser, bringing on all three substitutes as they searched for a break.
Jamie Bartlett was forced to make a number of smart saves as the home defence remained resolute.
The game was put to bed in the last minute of normal time when Liam Monelle took control of the ball around 25 yards out, as he was closed down he struck the ball firmly into the right corner of Hannah's net and the game was secured. It was a fine strike and a good way to finish the game for the home side.
A fine win for Melksham 3 -1, against a competitive and skilful Cinderford side.