FOOTBALL ROUND-UP: Award winner Dave deflects the praise
DAVE Ferris says his assistant boss Tim Smith and the whole Chippenham Park squad deserve the credit for his manager of the month award.
Ferris was named Toolstation League First Division manager of the month for both February and March after leading his side to seven victories and two draws in 11 matches.
And the Park boss reckons that his award is another indication of Park’s improving maiden season in the Toolstation League.
“It’s very nice to get the award but the manager’s job is really shared with Tim Smith, who we wouldn’t do anywhere near as well without,” said Ferris.
“The players have learnt a lot this season and results in the first half of the season might have had us about 17th but the form in the second half of the season has really been top-six – the award is very much for all of us.”
Last weekend, Ferris’ men notched up a third straight victory as they saw off Almondsbury UWE at Hardenhuish Park.
Mark Robinson broke the deadlock as he converted from Adam Shipman’s cross midway through the second period before the striker netted his second shortly afterwards.
The visitors reduced the deficit with a late penalty but Park held on to take all three points. Ferris said: “We had the bare 11 players because of injuries and suspensions, so they all had to play 90 minutes.
“Almondsbury started the game quicker but we eventually came into it and dominated in the second half.
“One player that deserves a comment is Adam Shipman.
“The amount of work he put in on Saturday was phenomenal and the lad just doesn’t stop running – he’s absolutely spent at the end of every game and the lads appreciate what he does.”
Dan Smith and Shane Blackmore return from suspension for this weekend’s trip to Ashton & Backwell United but Josh Ferguson and Luke Murden are injury doubts.
Postponement baffles Perrin
MELKSHAM Town manager Darren Perrin was stunned to hear that his side’s trip to Gillingham Town on Tuesday had been postponed.
The game in Dorset was called off on Tuesday afternoon due to a water-logged pitch at Hardings’ Lane.
“Gobsmacked is the word – I was gobsmacked and flabbergasted,” said the Conigre chief.
“I guess that all of the other games in the Southern League Premier Division, Division One South and West, Western League Premier Division and Western League First Division were all off too? – I’d bet there was barely a game called off in the country apart from Gillingham against Melksham.
“I just feel sorry for my players that had already taken a few hours off work to get themselves down there but it was postponed and there’s nothing we can do about that.”
Melksham played out a goalless draw with Willand Rovers at the Conigre last weekend.
Perrin said: “It was a fantastic advert for Western League football. It showed just how far we’ve come as a football club and it was enjoyable to be a part of it.”
- MELKSHAM chairman Dave Wiltshire confirmed the club’s proposed new stadium at Woolmore Farm is expected to receive a final decision from planners by May 14.
The new development is set to include new floodlit pitches for both the town’s football and rugby clubs.
Derbies get Lilywhites’ blood pumping
CALNE Town boss Simon Gardner doesn’t expect to have any problems motivating his troops for the end-of-season run-in.
The Lilywhites took all three points at county rivals Warminster Town and they finish the campaign with three more local derbies in their last four matches, with Gardner’s men hosting Corsham Town this weekend.
“In the position we’re in, sometimes people can tail off a bit at the end of the season but having these local derbies against Corsham, Devizes and Bradford gives us something to play for,” said the Calne manager.
“They’re the type of games that we look forward to and it’s a good way to end the season.
“This year has been a big learning curve for a lot of the guys but they’re playing well now.”
Tom Slater netted a brace whilst Tom Boakes was also on target to see off Warminster.
Gardner added: “We had a lot of pressure on us early on but after half-time, we were playing some good football and deserved to win – we could have scored five or six with the chances we had.”
Rawlings praise for side’s temperament
TREVOR Rawlings was proud of his players for not losing their cool as Corsham Town stretched their unbeaten run to 14 games with victory over Ashton & Backwell.
Gary Banks and Matt Jenkins were both on target at the Southbank but Corsham chief Rawlings was dismayed with the visitors’ physical approach.
“I was surprised that they finished the game with 11 men – they tried to soften us up and there were a lot of late tackles flying in,” said Rawlings.
“One of the challenges towards the end on Bradley (Partner) was knee-high and it was almost assault. Somehow the guy only got a yellow card for it.
“But we said to our players not to get involved in anything and I was happy that they didn’t do that.”
Corsham face a tough task to maintain their unbeaten run until the end of the season as they face up to six matches in two weeks, starting with this weekend’s local derby against Calne Town.
Ben Moore, Jason Henley and Mel King are all missing for the short trip to Bremhill View.
Town take positives
DEVIZES Town joint-boss Darran Walters was slightly disappointed to see his side surrender a two-goal lead against Welton Rovers on Tuesday night but couldn’t deny that a draw was a positive result against the league’s third-placed team.
Tom Price chipped the Welton goalie after being played in by Jack Hopper before Gareth Davies headed home Devizes’ second but second-half goals from the visitors’ Anthony Conradi and Ryan Gay ensured that the spoils were shared.
“On reflection, it was a good result but we were 2-0 up after 19 minutes, so it was a little bit disappointing,” said Walters.
“Our keeper, Matt Tilley, made some good saves in both halves and it was nice to see the effort and commitment back because we were lacklustre on Saturday.”
Last weekend, Devizes slipped to a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Wincanton Town.
Top scorer Mark Barnes is expected to return to the squad for this Saturday’s trip to Cheddar.
Vics come up trumps
GARETH Davies reckons his Malmesbury Victoria side are finally starting to cash in on their potential, and it’s better late than never for the Vics’ chief.
Matt Coote’s last-gasp winner secured victory at ten-man Carterton on Tuesday night, with Stuart Fraser and Ryan Latham also on target.
Latham also found the net in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at New College Swindon and Davies is pleased to see his team putting points on the board.
“I think they’re finally starting to realise their potential, even if it has taken until we’ve got five games of the season left,” said the Malmesbury manager.
“We’ve always had the ability but we’ve knuckled down since Christmas and have been picking up points.”
Easing up costs Vale
PEWSEY Vale boss Lewis Taylor blamed complacency for his side letting a two-goal lead slip at New Milton Town last weekend.
Tom Ballard and Tom Ritchie netted to put Vale 2-0 up at the break but the hosts roared back to claim the spoils, with Sam Groves, Elliot Head and Kabba Jack all finding the net after half-time.
“I think complacency set in, even though we said at half-time that the next goal would win it,” said Taylor.
“I think the lads thought it was job done but a few of them were man enough to hold their hands up after the game.
“We missed chances to go 3-0 up before half-time and we also came close to equalising but it wasn’t to be.”
Pewsey skipper Ryan Banks is suspended for this weekend’s trip to Team Solent whilst Adam Field is unavailable.
There will be final home help for Reserves
CORSHAM Town Reserves boss Justin Flowers will be looking for some home comfort when his side meet Southbrook in the Senior KO Cup final in May.
Corsham will take on Swindon-based Wiltshire League Premier Division title-chasers Southbrook at their own Southbrook ground on May 3 after claiming a 2-1 extra-time victory at Trowbridge Town last weekend.
Flowers’ side, who only beat Vale of Pewsey 4-3 in a delayed quarter-final tie the previous week, saw Adam Casserley’s goal cancelled out by Otis Young before Liam Brown popped up with the winner in the second period of extra-time.
“It’s going to be great to play at home because we’ve got the home dressing room and we should have the crowd that would usually watch the first team there too,” said the Corsham manager.
“We’re going to have the home dressing room, which you don’t always get, which is great too.
“It was a really tough game, in front of a good crowd at Trowbridge, and I think that we just shaded it.
“We’ve got a few league games left but they’re all important because we don’t want to finish bottom of the league and people are playing for their places in the cup final.”
Corsham were due to host Wilts Calne Town in the league last night.
Mid-table Calne slipped to an eleventh defeat of the season last weekend as they were beaten 2-1 by Wroughton.
Meanwhile, Marlborough Town and FC Chippenham Youth played out a 1-1 draw at Elcot Lane.
In Division One, Wootton Bassett Town Development notched up a fourth victory in a row as they thrashed struggling Blunsdon 4-1.
Malmesbury Victoria Reserves, who were due to host Blundson last night, were thrashed 6-2 by title favourites Melksham Town Reserves.
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