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WILTSHIRE SENIOR CUP: Town spot on for a county final place
MELKSHAM Town chief Dave Clayton was delighted to see his side take their second chance in the Wiltshire Senior Cup with both hands.
Melksham booked their place in next month’s final by beating Bemerton Heath Harlequins on penalties at Warminster Town’s Weymouth Street ground on Tuesday night.
Clayton’s side were handed a place in Tuesday’s semi-final after Bradford Town were booted out of the comptition for fielding an ineligible player in the last round and will now go head-to-head with Sydenhams League giants Downton as they bid to end the season with silverware.
“The politics of what happened with Bradford have all been talked about now and for us, we’d been given a second chance in the competition that we had to take,” said the Melksham manager.
“Bemerton are a really good side and it was a great game. We gave away a goal from a header but felt our way back in to the match towards the end of the first half before battering them after half-time.
“Gareth Evans played in goal for us because Alex Shaftoe was cup-tied and you could say that he was the hero but all of the players that took a penalty were too, even 17-year-old Will Stead, who missed but was brave enough to step up to the spot.”
Bemerton took the lead midway through the first half but Melksham top-scorer Gary Higdon netted twice to turn the tie on its head.
However, the Sydenhams league side netted a late equaliser to force extra-time, with the two sides unable to find a winning goal after 120 minutes of play.
Town keeper Evans starred in the shoot-out with three saves while successful efforts from Higdon, Josh Robinson, Ian Jeffrey and Luke Smith sent Clayton’s men through.
Melksham will take on Downton on April 20 at Chippenham Town’s Hardenhuish Park.
This weekend, Clayton’s side travel to Willand Rovers in quarter-finals of the Les Phillips Cup, with the tie rearranged after last weekend’s washout.
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