Melksham 2 Fleet Town 1
Another close game as play off contenders Melksham pull off the great escape, in a game Fleet had led for over 90 minutes. After a few seconds, Fleet won a free kick down in the corner, played short for Harryson Wickens to cross into the goal mouth, the ball was only half cleared and fell to Billy Oram on the edge of the D, he fired the ball into the corner of the net and put Fleet ahead after 44 seconds. The hosts though were soon creating chances at the other end, Enoch Longo getting their first opening, firing a shot ffrom the edge of the box which provided an easy catch for Fleet keeper Brendan Norris. After 12 minutes, Neikell Plumber got in space for a free header but his effort flew wide. Just before the half hour, Fleet were given a rare free kick in a dangerous part of the pitch, Kofi Halliday picked his spot, but in getting the ball over the home keeper Alex Shaftoe the ball also just cleared the bar. After snuffing out another Melksham attack, Fleet took to long messing around with short balls across the backline and when they lost the ball on the edge of the box, Melksham suddenly had a 3 on 1, but Luke Ballinger wasted the opening firing wide. With Melksham looking to build another attack, Abdul Rajab won the ball back in a midfield tackle and took the ball forward before shooting from the edge of the box, looking good off his foot, but from its first bounce, some spin took hold and the ball skewed well wide of the target, with keeper Alex Shaftoe looking on helplessly. Melksham came back stronger with both Robert Hobbs and then Chris Allen firing wide in the closing minutes of the first half. In the quality of football, Fleet were matching their higher placed opponnents, although where it mattered the home side looked the more dangerous in front of goal.
The second half started with Fleet looking for another flying start as in the first half, but the chances were saved and after Abdul Rajab picked up a knock and was replaced off the ebnch by Meshach Williams, slowly the hosts started to take over, getting more of the ball, although leaving Meshach Williams well forward there was a target man for Fleet to aim for from every long clearance. After another good first half young Harryson Wickens, now being marked out of the game was rested for the battles to come and replaced by Angus Youngson for his debut appearance. Melksham were getting closer and closer for a way back into the game, with a fine cross from Robert Hobbs finding the head of Enoch Longo, his effort finding the crossbar. Fleet were still making some chances, Kofi Halliday burst through and only quick thinkng and quick reactions from Alex Shaftoe as the keeper cam outand got the ball away from Kofi’s feet just as he was going to shoot. Shortly after this Kofi was caught in a tackle and limped off giving Enow Ojong a few minutes action. From a late Melksham corner, Fleet burst out and Meshach Williams ran with the ball from halfway up tothe box, before seeing his shot blocked, the rebound was fired back and blocked again. With Fleet being pushed back as Melksham were now desperately looking for a way to get something from the game, any 50/50 contact seemed to be given as a free kick to thehome side. One being given on the right side line of the box, was curled across the box and Luke Ballinger’s header struck the cross bar. A late chance for Fleet to seal the win saw Ronan Silva shoot wide. Into added time, Melksham had 9 or 10 plays in and around the Fleet box and a cross from the right to the far post found the head of captain Warren Maidment his powerful touch flew into the net and set of wild celebration amongst the home bench and supporters around the groundas the score became 1-1 after 92 minutes. Fleet still pushed forward and along ball down the right saw Meshach Williams reach the ball, he seemed to be touched as he went down, but the referee saw it differently and called it a dive and gave Meshach his second yellow card of the game, on 94 minutes. There was still time for the hosts to show why they are so high up the table and another ball over again found Warren Maidment to score what was the winning goal after 96 minutes, sparking off even more celebration that the first goal. The referee still found some more minutes to play, but there was no further goals and Melksham took the points to lift them up another place in the table.
Melksham’s photographer has an album available to view at
Happy Christmas to all at the club and our faithful supporters, eat drink and be merry and get yourselves down to Calthorpe Park on Wednesday for our Boxing Day Holiday match v Thatcham Town.
Fleet Town : 1 Brendan Norris, 2 Joe Wilson, 3 Callum Abraham-Barlow, 4 Daniel Framp, 5 Stuart Derry, 6 Sam Williams, 7 Harryson Wickens, 8 Billy Oram, 9 Kofi Halliday, 10 Ronan Silva, 11 Abdul Rajab.
Subs 12 Meshach Williams (on for Rajab 57 mins), 15 Enow Ojong (on for Halliday 82 mins), 16 Angus Youngson (on for Wickens 70 mins)
not used 14 Liam Callaghan, 17 Chris Neate