TROWBRIDGE & DISTRICT LEAGUE: Rain leads to more fixture chaos
12:00pm Monday 18th March 2013 in Latest News
After months of disruption caused by rain, snow and frost, the recent break in the bad weather proved to be a false dawn for teams from the Trowbridge Windows & Conservatories-sponsored Trowbridge League.
Heavy overnight rain led to all but two of the planned 14 league and cup fixtures being lost to waterlogged pitches.
Everything remains as it was in both Divisions Two and Three after all gameswere lost, as was the outstanding Briken Motors & AM Print & Cop-sponsored A & B Cup quarter-final tie between Westbury Town & Levi’s who will try again next weekend.
The two matches that both survived the rain were in Division One and were both massive games for different reasons.
Melksham Town Reserves, looking to get their title charge back on track, hosted their nemesis Seend United at the Conigre and, at the other end of the table, relegation battlers Castle Combe visited North Bradley bidding to keep their mini-revival afloat.
Steve Burns' Melksham Reserves lost their previous two meetings against Mike Hopkins’ Seend United side, their most recent defeat coming the previous weekend.
The meeting at the Conigre saw the hosts deny their guests a third straight win, but their 0-0 draw wasn’t the result they would have wanted as they look to keep the pressure of runaway leaders Boomsbury, who have a healthy 10-point lead over second placed Freshford United.
In what were appalling conditions both teams were unable to play their best football and with chances at a minimum it was Melksham who went closest to stealing the points in the final minutes when Leigh Fielding broke clear but he was unable to produce a finish.
North Bradley 2 Castle Combe 1
IT WAS the usual blend of mud and drama at the Peace Memorial as Paul Sanderson's Castle Combe were the latest victims of North Bradley's spirit and determination.
For the first 60 minutes though Sanderson's men looked good for a smash and grab raid with fine defending on a sodden surface, but in the end it was Bradley who ground out a 2-1 victory to deny Combe a third straight win after recent successes over Bradford United and Westbury United Reserves.
The pitch was the initial talking point as it only just survived a late inspection and a passing downpour to become one of only two games that kicked off in the whole league.
Despite this, the hosts started brightly and passed the ball around with composure and confidence.
Chances were not so regular, a Reuben Spong and a Ryan Godridge effort from distance were the closest Bradley came as the visitors remained organised.
A Matt Coles error, which he redeemed with a superb tackle, was as near as Combe came to scoring, but as half time loomed the home defence dithered as the visitors countered from a Bradley corner, and Ryan Salter scored from six yards to set the North Wiltshire side up for a classic rearguard victory.
An interval dressing down from Paul Ranger seemed to settle Bradley down and they played with an increased threat as the visitor's tired slightly on the tricky surface.
The pitch had a part to play in the equaliser with the tireless Godridge shooting from 30 yards and the ball squirming under Luke Jones' dive.
Bradley created more as they sensed the opportunity of three points and it wasn't long before Ben Hogg dissected the Combe back line for Spong to race onto the ball a fire a first time left foot shot across the keeper and into the net.
Spong then fired narrowly over and forced Jones to make a good block before Castle Combe were reduced to 10 men, Alan Farnish collecting a second yellow.
But driven on by Carl Dawson and Dan Gernonn in midfield, Combe pushed and pulled Bradley about and on the odd occasion they did breach the home defence Kieran Powell saved well.
Tom Wade, Neil Hannaford and Mike Johnson all came close to sealing the points, but two goals were enough as the visitors ran out of ideas on how to break down Bradley's resolve and commitment as they extended their unbeaten run to five games.
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