DAVE Clayton is hoping that his Melksham Town players savour lifting the Wiltshire Senior Cup last weekend.
Substitutes Dan Griffiths and Ash Barnett scored in extra-time as Melksham saw off the challenge of Downton to lift the county cup at Hardenhuish Park on Saturday.
Victory also saw Clayton’s men make the most of their second chance in the competition, after they were reinstated when Bradford Town, who initially beat them 3-2 in the quarter-finals, were kicked out for fielding an ineligible player.
“You get lads that play football at this level for 20 years and don’t win anything. These lads won’t realise how lucky they are until they get to my age,” said the Melksham manager.
“I’m disappointed with the league this year because I think we’re better than where we are but it’s always nice to win something.
“You look at fate and all those things but what happened (with Bradford), happened and I still don’t think it’s right.
“But we don’t make the rules, the Wilts FA do – they put us back in this competition and we played two very good sides in Bemerton and Downton and beat them both.”
Goal-scoring chances fell by the bucket-load but somehow the scores remained goalless for the entire 90 minutes.
Melksham’s Gary Higdon headed against the post in the first half while Tom Drewitt saved well when one-on-one with Downton’s Jamie Waters.
The Robins’ Danny Western looped a shot against the Town bar while Dan Kovacs did the same at the other end.
But, in the first half of extra-time, Griffiths nodded in Dave Macey’s corner at the far post before Barnett smartly breezed past a defender before sending the Downton keeper the wrong way to make it 2-0 late on.
“You get feelings about games and when all those chances are missed you just think ‘this is going to extra-time and penalties’ but we’ve managed to score when we were on top and got a second on the break,” said Clayton.
“It’s the squad, it’s the committee and it’s everyone that’s involved in the club that won that final, not just the 14 that were on the pitch.”