IT WAS top versus fourth at St Mary’s where Neil Taylor’s hosts Steeple Ashton were hoping to close the gap on Matt Rusling’s Division Two polesitters Trowbridge Wanderers Reserves who were looking to claim the scalp of another of their fellow promotion hopefuls.

Come the final whistle Ashton found themselves top of the table after an 8-0 victory catapulted them above the Lamb, Bratton and Wanderers who they now share the number one spot with but head the table thanks to a superior goal difference.

Rafal Whitcher gave Ashton a second-minute lead which was soon followed by a Guy Rowley goals which went in after a slight deflection, Whitcher then had an effort chalked off for offside only for Rowley to add his second and Ashton’s third of the afternoon before half time.

Ashton had looked solid in the first 45 minutes but their had yet to reach full throttle and the way they started in the second period it looked as if Wanderers who started the much better team would find a way back into the game, but with Ashton’s midfield and defence sticking to their task they managed to keep the visitors at bay, with keeper Nathan Taylor having one save of note to make.

Ashton still needed a fourth to kill their opponents off and once Gary Collins planted the ball home for 4-0 the floodgates opened and it became the Guy Rowley show.

Rowley completed his hat-trick when he scored from the penalty spot after Wanderers keeper Dave Cardus had conceded a foul.

The right boot of Rowley was grateful to an assist from Nick Gittins for his fourth of the game and after being set up by Kieran Stone he bagged goal number five and Ashton’s seventh of an incredible game.

A second penalty of the afternoon after tug on a shirt from Mike Cooksey saw Rowley stroke the ball home and give him a double hat trick for the match, his 15th in six games but more importantly it took his team back to the summit for the first time since the end of September.

Heytesbury 3 Westbury Town 4

WESTBURY Town came out on top in their gladiatorial battle away to near neighbours Heytesbury who played their part in a seven-goal thriller before coming out of it on the wrong end after a late goal earned Westbury a 4-3 win.

Daryl Maxwell saw his opener for Westbury cancelled out by Leigh Kennedy, Josh Dowd regained the lead for Westbury but once again Heytesbury drew level, Laurence Bartley making it two apiece with a spectacular strike from 35 yards.

The second half continued in the same fashion as the first, Westbury edged in front for a third time, James Reeves scoring to put them 3-2 in front, back came the villagers and they squared things up a for a third time, Chris Baker scoring the goal that looked to have earned them a point.

Both teams weren’t content with a draw and both had chances before a second from Josh Dowd put Westbury into the lead for a fourth time only on this occasion the goal arrived at the right time as Heytesbury were unable to fashion a fourth equaliser and Westbury saw the game out to claim a nail-biting 4-3 triumph.

Melksham Town A 3 Broughton Gifford 1

AFTER picking up their first point of the season last weekend when they drew two-each with Westbury Town, Melksham Town A would have been hoping that they could take all three points from their meeting with near-neighbours Broughton Gifford when the sides went head to head at the Beeches, Shaw.

Up against an invigorated Broughton side Melksham came up trumps claiming a 3-1win.

Goals from Dan Kirk and Ben Macey gave Melksham a 2-0 advantage before Ollie McAninch pulled a goal back for Broughton before the break.

Melksham had a golden opportunity to extend their lead but Miles Copland somehow missed the target when it looked easier to score, however his glaring miss proved just too be a talking points for after the game as a second from Macey secured Melksham a 3-1 win and their first maximum points haul in eight games which also moved them off the foot of the table at the expense of opponents Broughton.

Worton & Cheverell 5 The Lamb 1

AFTER seven successive wins in all competitions at their Stallards base Richard Stevens took his Lamb side on the road for the first time this term.

Lamb travelled to Worton & Cheverell bidding to complete a double over their hosts who they had narrowly beaten 3-2 at their Stallards fortress a fortnight ago but the road trip ended in disaster as Worton avenged their earlier loss with a thumping 5-1 win of their own.

Worton who lost to a late goal in the previous encounter were up for the game and went at their guests from the very first whistle and took a deserved lead on 13 minutes through Tom Mason.

Three minutes later Worton had doubled their lead, Dave Close making it 2-0.  2-0 soon became 3-0 thanks to a second from Tom Mason and at that is how things remained until the break.

Lamb made a great start to the second half as they battle to get back into the match, Ryan Underwood scoring to reduce the arrears, but his effort proved to be just a consolation as Worton regained their three-goal cushion in the 70th minute through a third from Tom Mason that saw him complete a well-deserved hat-trick.

With almost the final kick of the game Worton wrapped up a fantastic win when Ben Mason popped up with goal number five to put the icing on the cake for what was a vintage five-star display from the villagers.