The penultimate away trip of the season saw Town head to Winchester hopeful to continue their recent run of form. However, Rich Fey had to improvise with many absences on the weekend, and a make shift back 4 would certainly be put to the test. The hosts are looking to finish strong in the play-off spaces, so a win for them would be massive for their season.
Despite the toughness of the fixture, Town settled into the game well and saw a lot of the ball and not allowing Winchester to create anything of note. It wasn’t until the 25th minute that Town ‘keeper Manny Idem had to make a save; making 2 decent stops in the space of a couple of minutes to keep the scoreline goalless. However, despite a bright start to the game, Winchester were awarded a penalty about half an hour into the game, with Manny judged to have brought down an opponent in the box. The penalty was scored and the hosts had the lead and changed the flow of the game.
This forced Town to try level the game, and in doing so left a lot of space at the back for the hosts to attack. Not long after taking the lead, Winchester bagged another through Olly Balmer to put more daylight between the sides. The hosts went in at the break with a 2-goal lead, and Town struggling to find a way back into the game.
It took the home side just 5 minutes into the second half to add a third, Olly Balmer notching his second of the afternoon, and put they game beyond the reach of the travelling Town side. The game quietened down after the third goal, and Town started to get the ball into good areas again looking to threaten and pull a goal back. The introduction of Luke Ballinger from the bench gave Town a lift in the final third, but ultimately Winchester eased the final stages out for a decisive 3-0 win to boost their play-off hopes.
For Town the Easter weekend see’s the end of the season, with the final home game of their Southern League campaign coming on Saturday against Barnstaple. Quickly following the clash on Saturday is the final league game of the season for Fey’s men, and that’s a short trip to Larkhall to finish off what has been a solid season from the Melksham squad.
By Lewie Simmons