FOOTBALL: It’s rotten luck for the hosts
WARMINSTER Town joint-boss Derek Graham concedes that his side simply didn’t get the ‘rub of the green’ as they went down to ten-man Devizes Town last weekend.
Warminster’s Lewis Graham finished off a fine team move to level the scores after Mark Barnes had put the visitors ahead.
And when striker Graham was in on goal again early in the second period, he was chopped down by the visitors’ defender Gareth Davies, who was shown a straight red card.
But the away side roared back and regained the lead through a spectacular Jack Fisher strike before Barnes netted twice to complete his hat-trick, with his first coming from the penalty spot.
Warminster’s Lewis Graham did reduce the arrears late on, but the Red and Blacks slipped to their 15th defeat of the season.
“It was one of those ‘rub- of-the-green’ games,” said the Weymouth Street joint-manager.
“Lewis Graham was in on goal again in the second half and their bloke has just taken him out but I would have rather had the goal because we didn’t score from the free-kick.
“Not long after that, their guy scores the type of goal he’ll never score again and then one of our guys slides in to tackle someone and put the ball out for a corner and the referee points to the spot.
“We go up the other end and Paddy Carrick is brought down in their box for an absolute stonewall penalty but we don’t get anything.
“It was disappointing and apart from for that crazy ten- minute period just after their lad got sent off, I was pretty happy with how we played.”
Warminster welcome back top-scorer Lewis Sparey for this weekend’s trip to second-from-bottom Oldland Abbotonians and joint-chief Graham added: “It’s a game that isn’t ‘must-win’ but it has to be ‘must-not-lose’.
“We’ve got to be confident of going over there and getting something.”
Incoming pair boost options
DARREN Perrin is hoping to have an even-stronger Melksham Town squad at his disposal for this weekend's clash with in-form Hallen as he looks to wrap up two new signings.
The Conigre chief is set to reunite with defender Dean Flockton following his exit from Frome Town, as well as bringing striker Nick Ridout back to the club from Bradford Town.
“Dean lives in Melksham and he's a top class defender. I probably wouldn't expect him to feature until the New Year though as he needs to spend a bit of time with his family,” said Perrin.
“Paul Shanley at Bradford has been fantastic in waiving the seven days for Nick Ridout too, so hopefully he should be signed on for Saturday.”
Melksham saw their four-match winning run come to an end last weekend as they were edged out at Odd Down.
The hosts stole all three points thanks to Lee Bridson’s goal, despite having former Chippenham Town man Dean Griffiths sent off early in the second period.
Perrin added: “It’s disappointing because to lose out to a goal from a set-piece, but it was one-way traffic in the second half.
“But these results can happen – the players know that we’re not the finished article by a long shot.”
Victory only half the story as boss Rawlings demands more
CORSHAM Town Trevor Rawlings says his team must improve their performance level, despite notching up a second successive victory last weekend.
Corsham fell behind to a goal from the hosts’ Danny Benn before Matt Jenkins levelled matters on the stroke of half-time.
Rob Burton came off the bench to earn all three points for Rawlings’ men, but the Southbank chief is adamant his players need to show more when they kick off a run of three consecutive home fixtures against Barnstaple Town on Saturday.
“In the games against Chard and Bitton (last month), I thought that we played well but didn’t get anything but now against Roman Glass and Portishead, we haven’t played well, but won both games,” said Rawlings.
“There wasn’t a lot of quality in the game and it took a goal from Matty Jenkins to get us going.
“We’ve got some tough games coming up and we have to play better if we want to get anything.”
Rawlings has boosted his attacking options with the signing of former Calne Town and Larkhall Athletic striker Gary Banks. but captain Ben Moore misses this weekend’s Banstaple clash with a hamstring injury.
Different scenario, but same result
PAUL Shanley was left in an unfamiliar position as his Bradford Town side trailed at the break for the first time this season but his all-conquering Toolstation League First Division leaders still produced the perfect response.
Bradford found themselves 1-0 down thanks to a goal from Cheddar’s Danny Griffiths, but goal machine Sam Jordan netted a brace, while Josh Brigham and Dan King were also on target – with all four strikes coming in the first 12 minutes of the second period.
“It’s something we weren’t used to because we hadn’t been behind at half-time in the league, but we had been playing well in the first half and just hadn’t taken our chances,” said Town boss Shanley. “After 12 minutes, it was 4-1 and the game was over.”
Shaun Percival, Steve Hulber and King all miss tomorrow’s trip to third-placed Cribbs, while Tom Evans and Liam Milburn are doubts.
Shanley added: “They might be after a bit of revenge because we beat them 7-1 in the first game of the season. We’ve got a few missing and it’s a chance for the players that come in to impress.”
Youth shows up well at Cribbs
WESTBURY United manager Matt Bown was delighted with the efforts of his club’s young players against high-flying Cribbs last weekend.
Bown was forced to thrust a number of youngsters into the fray and United succumbed to goals from Jordan Yeo, former Chippenham Town man Dave Gilroy and David Truan, with Wayne Wheeler grabbing the visitors’ consolation effort.
But the Meadow Lane chief was keen to concentrate on the performance of his lesser experienced troops.
“We had five key players missing so I had to bring in a lot of youngsters from the reserves and the under-18s, but I thought that they were absolutely superb,” said Bown.
“I had to change the system to a 3-5-2 so we didn’t get battered but even though Dave Gilroy has scored from a free kick, he was completely marked out of the game and we were well in it when we brought it back to 2-1.
“One of the things that I wanted to do when I came to the club was get the youth involved more and we’ve got some great young players coming through at the club.
“We’re reaping the benefits at the moment and it’s important because the young players represent the future of the club.”
Westbury host struggling Portishead Town tomorrow.
Honours even for the Bees
TROWBRIDGE Town were forced to settle for a point last weekend as they were held to a 1-1 draw by struggling Devizes Town Reserves.
Mike Alford’s side took a first-half lead but were pegged back by second-from-bottom Devizes, who have picked up just seven points in the Premier Division so far this season.
Trowbridge, who currently lie fifth in the table, travel to Stanley Park to take on 11th-placed FC Chippenham Youth in the league tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Corsham Town Reserves slipped to a third straight defeat as they were beaten 4-2 by Ludgershall Sports at the Southbank.
In Division One, Melksham Town Reserves failed to pick up maximum points for only the second time so far this season as they shared six goals with Sarum Youth Seniors in a 3-3 draw.
Title-chasers Melksham are currently five points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand on second-placed Intel.
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