FOOTBALL: Pewsey's pain as the run ends
PEWSEY Vale chief Lewis Taylor says his players were devastated after slipping to their first league defeat since August last weekend.
Vale had enjoyed a run of ten games without a loss in the Sydenhams League Division One but saw their fine unbeaten run come to an end last weekend as Taylor’s men were edged out by Hythe & Dibden.
The visitors’ Sean Olabiyi poked home the only goal of the game, with Pewsey keeper Richard Payne also saving Terry Cox’s penalty to deny Hythe a second.
“We haven’t lost a game since August and the players were absolutely gutted afterwards,” said Vale manager Taylor.
“If you’re being absolutely honest, you have to say that Hythe & Dibden just about deserved to take the spoils on the day. They were a much-improved side from the one that we’ve played in recent seasons and they played very organised, structured football.
“We’ve got to make sure that we prepare ourselves the right way for Friday night against Amesbury but it’s going to be difficult because we’ve got a few missing.”
Adam Field, Danny Kilderry and Kane Lever are all unavailable for tomorrow night’s trip to Amesbury Town.
It’s a cup of cheer for Gareth despite Vics’ exit after a cracker
GARETH Davies was delighted with his side’s second half performance against North Leigh United last weekend but was disappointed to see Malmesbury Victoria come out on the wrong end of a nine-goal thriller in the Hellenic League Challenge Cup.
Mitch Webb, Richard Gee, Aaron Welland and Luke Cordery all found the net for Malmesbury but it wasn’t enough to prevent Davies’ men making their exit from the cup.
“In the second half, I thought we were absolutely superb – we played them off the park and it was a joy to watch,” said the Vics boss.
“Normally, when you scored four goals away from home, you won the game but that wasn’t the case because we gave away too many sloppy goals ourselves from set-pieces.
"We were 3-1 down at half-time and got things back to 4-3 but the only time they got out of their half in the second half, they caught us out and scored a fifth.
“Even after that, Aaron Welland crossed it in for his brother Ryan in the last minute and he hit the post.
“North Leigh are a good side and if we can play like that this weekend, then we go to Shortwood with no fear.”
Midfielder Mike Solan is set to return to the Malmesbury squad for this weekend’s trip to Shortwood United Reserves but Terry Moore is struggling with a knock.
Pair set to add strength to Melksham
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 and bring 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 run of four-match winning run come to an end last weekend as they were edged out at Odd Down, who 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 said: “It’s disappointing 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.”
Red card sparks win
DEVIZES Town joint-boss Darran Walters reckons his side are brimming with confidence after they stretched their unbeaten run in the league to four games.
Mark Barnes hit a hat-trick, his second coming from the penalty spot, while Jack Fisher was also on target as Devizes triumphed at county rivals Warminster Town, despite having Gareth Davies sent off.
“Gareth Davies got a red card for a professional foul about 15 minutes into the second half but it changed the game for us,” said joint-manager Walters. “We’ve been on a good run and I think that being able to select a pretty settled side has helped a lot for us.
“The boys are full of confidence and that’s great going in to a busy Christmas period, where we’ve got some tough games.”
Top scorer Barnes looks set to miss this weekend’s trip to Ashton & Backwell United but fellow striker Neil Clark and Anthony Hogg return.
More to come for Trevor
CORSHAM Town Trevor Rawlings says that 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.
Ferris sees the signs
DAVE Ferris says Chippenham Park are improving all the time, despite taking a ‘step back’ as they were well beaten by Wells City last weekend.
Park top scorer Mark Robinson took his tally to seven goals from five games as he scored a brace, also missing from the penalty spot, but the visitors avenged their 4-1 home defeat in October.
“They scored five goals but I really thought that flattered them. Unfortunately for us, nearly all of their goals came from our own mistakes,” said Ferris.
“But we’re improving game-by-game and there are still some positives to take out of it.”
Chippenham face a tough trip to Shepton Mallet, who they beat 3-2 on the opening day on Saturday.
Gardner cries foul
CALNE Town boss Simon Gardner reckons his side didn’t get what they deserved at Barnstaple Town last weekend.
The Lilywhites found themselves a goal down early on after conceding a penalty before James Darbyshire’s equaliser was cancelled out.
Barnstaple extended their lead before Mark Sharratt made it 3-2 but the hosts netted their fourth of the afternoon late on to kill off any hope of a comeback.
“It was disappointing because I thought that a point would have been a fair result on the day,” said Gardner.
“We played really well and it was an unfortunate error from our keeper Jamie Bartlett, who has been brilliant all season, that gave away a penalty in the first 30 seconds.
“We were pushing for an equaliser at 3-2 but when you do that, you can get caught out.”
Calne go to Wells City this weekend.
Vintage Vics Reserves do the business
MALMESBURY Victoria Reserves manager Wayne Kibble hailed a ‘fantastic’ victory for his side after they triumphed 4-1 at local rivals Wootton Bassett Town Development last weekend.
A goal from Ed Wilkins and a spectacular strike from Matt Coote gave the Vics a 2-0 lead before Bassett’s Lewis Petrie halved the deficit from the penalty spot.
But substitute Chris Salt and a second from Coote secured a third win in four games for Malmesbury.
“The lads all did exactly what they were told to do, which was get in amongst them,” said Kibble.
“We harassed Bassett all over the pitch and came away with a fantastic win, which was great to see.”
Elsewhere in the Wiltshire League Division One, Melksham Town Reserves were held to a 3-3 draw at Sarum Youth Seniors.
In the Premier Division, Marlborough Town notched up a fourth successive victory as they brushed off neighbours Vale of Pewsey 3-0.
But there was disappointment for Corsham Town Reserves, who have now gone three games without a win after they lost 4-2 at home to Ludgershall Sports.
Wilts Calne Town suffered a 5-3 defeat at hands of Shrewton United at Bremhill View but Devizes Town Reserves stopped the rot as they earned a point in a 1-1 draw with Trowbridge Town.
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