MELKSHAM Town manager Dave Clayton thinks his side returned from their enforced winter break in fine form, despite their loss to Bristol Manor Farm on New Year’s Day.

Melksham showed no hangover from their 17-day lay-off at the Conigre, taking an early lead through Dan Kovacs’ header.

But the visitors levelled matters midway through the first half and two quick-fire goals early in the second period saw Clayton’s men condemned to their fourth home defeat of the season in the Toolstation League Premier Division.

“We’ve been trying to get the guys in for training to keep them ticking over when we haven’t had games in the last few weeks but there’s nothing like getting out there and getting muddy – we played well,” said Clayton.

“The performance was good from us and we started really well, scoring within the first 10 minutes.

“They got a goal back about half an hour in and then caught us with two quick goals. We didn’t get the result that we wanted but we had chances and the score could have been very different.

“We’ve got to keep turning up with the right attitude and if we play like that this weekend (at home to Barnstaple Town), then we’ll be fine.”

Clayton expects to have a fully fit squad to choose from when Melksham look to bounce back against bottom-of-the-table Barnstaple tomorrow.

The Town boss added: “Luckily, we haven’t really had anyone go down with illness. I had to speak louder than usual at half-time (against Manor Farm) though because of all the coughing.”

Matches involving Westbury, Warminster, Bradford and Corsham were all postponed on Tuesday.