TROWBRIDGE & DISTRICT LEAGUE DIVISION ONE: Boomsbury stretch lead at the top

IT WAS top versus bottom at Trowbridge Cricket Club where Trowbridge Windows & Conservatories-sponsored Trowbridge League Division One leaders Boomsbury hosted Castle Combe for a third time this season.

Combe, who are 24 points adrift of Ben Howe’s side, suffered a 7-1 loss when the teams met earlier in the season, but Paul Sanderson’s side then produced one of the upsets of the season when they sent their hosts crashing out of the Junior Cup.

Although the hosts weren’t at their clinical best they scraped a nervy 4-2 win to increase they lead at the summit.

Dave Appleyard, who put in a man of the match performance, put Boomsbury ahead with an awesome strike from 25 yards from his weaker right foot.

Combe got themselves level when Mark Bolton somehow squeezed the ball home direct from a corner for 1-1.

Boomsbury, who had missed a host of first half chances retook the lead via a Carl Davies header only for Combe to level for a second time, Matthew Hooper netting another soft goal to restore parity.

Scott Askew, who is making a habit of coming off the bench to get his team heading in the right direction, did it once again when he got on the end of a Steve Jackson cross to put Boomsbury 3-2 up.

The points were wrapped up, when Matty Jones headed home a Appleyard corner to claim his three goal in as many games.

Melksham Town Reserves 5 Semington Magpies 0

MELKSHAM Town Reserves went into their game at the Conigre against near-neighbours Semington Magpies as the only unbeaten side in the division and Steve Burns side, who have only played eight games to date, maintained their unbeaten record as they followed up a 7-4 success over Magpies from earlier in the season with a 5-0 win.

Ashley Caws started the ball rolling for Melksham with well-taken finish and two more goals from Caws saw him complete a first-half treble.

Caws added his and Melksham’s fourth of the afternoon early in the second half but he couldn’t complete the full house with Leigh Rogers denying him a nap hand when he grabbed the fifth goal of the game.

North Bradley 2 Freshford United 2

FRESHFORD United became the second side to have their title aspirations stutter at the Peace Memorial as Paul Ranger's North Bradley continued to improve. In fact it was Ranger's goal with eight minutes to go that earned his team a 2-2 draw, a much-needed lift after a tough week.

Freshford started in a positive and determined manner with both sides giving nothing away in the tackle.

Bradley had weathered the early storm and were starting to look a threat themselves when a swift Freshford counter attack ended with Steve Roddy's sublime volley and the visitors were ahead.

Within minutes of the restart Sam Weston had wasted a great chance to level but the hosts continued to create with Dean Ranger leading at the heart of most moves.

A deserved equaliser came courtesy of Tom Wade who stretched to touch home from Mike Johnson's fierce shot, and only some last-ditch tackles from Bradley saw them hold the score at 1-1 until the break.

The game continued to improve in the second half as both sides played attacking football backed up with total commitment.

It was Freshford who got their noses in front as Waleed Bakali lost his marker to power home a back poster header from a deep corner.

In a carbon copy of the first half, moments later Weston nearly equalised but was unlucky to see his effort go inches wide after muscling his way onto a through ball.

Bradley were undeterred but their increased possession was meet with stubborn resistance by the visitors, Andy Backman particularly dominant in defence and Roddy a dangerous outlet up front.

With time running out player/manager Ranger spotted Freshford keeper Craig Guthrie taking his time to organise the wall from a free kick 35 yards out, his quickly-taken kick found the bottom corner despite efforts to scramble back.

Matt Coles ushered the home defence well and Tim Richards completed a lot of dirty work in midfield as North Bradley more than held their own to claim a 2-2 draw.

TROWBRIDGE & DISTRICT LEAGUE ROUNDUP, STATS AND PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES AND FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport and @WTSport

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