FOOTBALL: Jason leaves it late in Corsham triumph

This Is Wiltshire: Corsham’s Rob Pocock in possession during their victory over Barnstaple last weekend Corsham’s Rob Pocock in possession during their victory over Barnstaple last weekend

CORSHAM Town chief Trevor Rawlings was delighted to see his side gain revenge over Barnstaple Town in a positive display last weekend.

Corsham were humiliated 8-1 in Devon on the opening day of the season but at the Southbank on Saturday, were on the front foot for the majority of the afternoon before Jason Henley made the breakthrough with a thumping 89th-minute winner.

Rawlings, whose side have now notched up three wins on the trot, was thrilled with Corsham’s performance.

“We’d had a little bit of a go at the players beforehand because we hadn't been playing well recently but they were superb from start to finish,” said the Southbank boss.

“We were after a performance to go with the result and we wanted to win the game because we lost 8-1 down there.

“Their keeper made two or three saves to keep the score down while I can only remember ours making one or two half-saves.

“Then we put the ball into the box late on and it kept coming in and out. One of our guys headed it down and Jason Henley smacked it into the top corner – it was a cracking finish.”

Matt Windle and Matt Jenkins are both suspended for this weekend’s clash with Wincanton, while Jack Morris is unavailable.

Rawlings added: “It’s a bit of shame that I end up making two or three changes every week because when we went on our great run last season, we had consistency in the side we were picking.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to do that so far this season.”

Players deserve plaudits

MELKSHAM Town chief Darren Perrin thinks his players deserve all of the credit for dragging themselves up to eighth in the Toolstation Premier Division table.

Ryan Bennett and Gary Higdon got the goals as Melksham notched up their seventh win in ten games last weekend by seeing off the challenge of Hallen last weekend.

“It wasn’t that long ago that we were bottom of the table with just one point - the players have been magnificent,” said Perrin.

“The performance was fantastic on Saturday. Hallen had gone eleven games unbeaten and are also in the last 32 of the FA Vase.

“We had to soak up a little bit of pressure but I don’t think that anyone could say we didn’t deserve the three points.

“The club has had the new facility in the back of their minds for a while but they’ve wanted results to get better, which they have. It will be interesting to gauge just how far we’ve come this weekend.”

Perrin is hopeful that Dean Flockton and Matt Cooper could feature at high-flying Gillingham Town tomorrow.

Defender Tom Stocks is expected to complete a move to Radstock Town.

Weakened Town come through

BRADFORD Town manager Paul Shanley was delighted to see his side demonstrate their strength-in-depth as they maintained their irresistible form in the Toolstation League Premier Division, despite a host of absentees.

Table-toppers Bradford notched up a 20th league victory at Cribbs last weekend, with Matt Minnis netting a brace and Tom Welch also finding the target.

“We were missing six players going in to Saturday, so we were down to the bare bones really,” said Shanley.

“The conditions weren’t very good, but we still managed to score three goals before half-time.

“With Dan King out and Nick Ridout leaving, we were little bit light up front, but we were lucky enough to have Matty Minnis playing – he got two goals in his first 90 minutes for a year.

“It was pleasing because it showed that we can cope with having some of our players missing, but we go from one extreme to the other this weekend as we should have nearly all of the ones that were missing back.”

Dan King, Steve Hulbert, Ollie Webb, Liam Milburn and Billy Robinson are all in line to return to the Bradford squad for tomorrow’s clash with Wells City while Sean Percival is an injury doubt.

Shanley’s unbeaten side find themselves 14 points ahead of second-placed Shepton Mallet.

Bown gets a festive booster

MATT Bown’s Westbury United may have fallen short of his Christmas points target, but the Meadow Lane boss was chuffed to see his men battle back to winning ways last weekend.

Mark Young headed Westbury in front against bottom-of-the-table Portishead Town before the visitors’ Sam Trueman hit back to level the scores.

But Simon Millard popped up with the winner as United brought a run of six matches without a victory to an end.

“I had a target of 30 points before Christmas and we’re not too far off that,” said manager Bown.

“We needed that win last weekend. There wasn’t too much quality but it was a gritty, battling performance and I thought that we were dominant in the game.

“The young lads did well last week against Cribbs but I needed to bring back a few of the big guns because it wasn’t a game for them – I think it worked out well for us in the end.”

Young Forest Green Rovers goalkeeper Rob Brown made his debut for Westbury while Matt Friendship, David Whyte and Daniel Hurkett returned. Dan Dominy is back from suspension for tomorrow’s trip to Chard Town.

Graham salutes visitors’ fightback

DEREK Graham hailed his Warminster Town side’s character as they came back from two goals down to earn all three points at struggling Oldland Abbotonians last weekend.

After a goalless first half, Warminster trailed to goals from the hosts’ Paul Comley and Tom Hutton but Steve Seals netted to spark a revival.

Lewis Graham latched on to a long ball forward and fired home the equaliser before Jake Heard’s free-kick arrowed into the top corner to hand joint-bosses Graham and Andy Crabtree their first victory since returning to Weymouth Street.

“We needed that result,” said the Warminster joint-chief. “I was very happy with it and it was nice to show a bit of character.

“The wind made it really difficult and they had it behind them in the first half, but we defended really well and when it was 0-0 at half-time, we thought we’d go out there and win comfortably – but we ended up 2-0 down.

“It gives us a bit of a boost ahead of the next few games. Ashton & Backwell will be tough this weekend and then there’s the derby against West-bury on Boxing Day.”

Louis Sparey and Paul Farrell return tomorrow but Paddy Carrick and Devon James are unavailable.

Mike’s Bees to regroup after pre-Christmas reverse

TROWBRIDGE Town manager Mike Alford is hoping the Christmas break will help his out-of-sorts side get back to their best.

The Bees are now ten points behind league leaders Supermarine Sports Club after suffering a 3-1 defeat at the hands of FC Chippenham Youth last weekend, with Brett Partner netting Trowbridge’s consolation goal.

“I saw some really heavy defeats for this club in our last Hellenic League campaign but none of those felt as bad as this one,” said Alford.

“The end-of-year break has come at the right time for us. We really need to take some time out, work out who really wants this and who really wants to be here, and when we come back in the New Year, put the last month behind us and get back to playing the good football we are capable of.”

Meanwhile, Corsham Town Reserves were beaten 3-2 at struggling Devizes Town Reserves.

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