FOOTBALL: Win a Barn-stormer for thrilled Rawlings

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Corsham’s Rob Pocock (above, in red) takes on a Barnstaple opponent Corsham’s Rob Pocock (above, in red) takes on a Barnstaple opponent

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 most 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 whilst 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 said: “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.”

Perrin piles on 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.

“I don’t think that anyone could say we didn’t deserve the three points.”

Display earns Darran’s praise

DARRAN Walters was delighted with Devizes Town’s performance last weekend, despite the Nursteed Road outfit slipping to defeat at Ashton & Backwell United.

Devizes missed the chance to take the lead on the stroke of half-time as Kris Beasley was unsuccessful from the penalty spot and they found themselves 2-0 down midway through the second half after the hosts’ Ollie Woolland and Ricky Briggs found the net.

Dan Sloan did pull a goal back late on but the visitors were unable to snatch a point.

“The result was a little bit frustrating but I was actually delighted with the performance from the lads,” said Devizes joint-manager Walters.

“We had a few players missing so Jonny Coppolk made his first start and I had three other U18s on the bench.

“Their keeper had to make a couple of really good saves, so that should tell you how the game went.”

Top scorer Mark Barnes returns for this weekend’s clash with Oldland Abbotians while Tom Price returns from suspension.

Defender Beasley is out with a hamstring injury.

Dave has no case for defence

DAVE Ferris says his Chippenham Park side are just not good enough defensively.

Park have now conceded ten goals in their last two outtings in the Toolstation League First Division, following last weekend’s heavy defeat at promotion-chasing Shepton Mallet.

Top-scorer Mark Robinson struck to cancel out Ashley Willmott’s opener for the hosts but Shepton ran riot in the second period, with Joe Morgan, James Billing, Lee Bryant and Dave Stone all finding the net.

“We created chances in the game but if it had finished 5-3 or 6-5, that would have just papered up the cracks,” said Park boss Ferris.

“There’s no point in kidding ourselves; we’re just not defending well enough.

“That’s not to blame the defenders per se, because three of the goals on Saturday came from midfielders not doing their jobs as well.

“There’s no point pretending that the problem is going to go away – we need to try and do something about it.”

Ferris’ men face another tough assignment this weekend as they take on Cribbs.

All not Well for Gardner

SIMON Gardner concedes that Calne Town simply did not look the same outfit in the absence of a number of key players at Wells City last weekend.

A goal from Wells’ Toby Cole and Dan Williams’ penalty saw off Calne and manager Gardner is hoping to have a stronger selection of troops at his disposal when the Lilywhites host Welton Rovers this weekend.

“We were missing players like Alex Lewis, Mark Dolman and Neurin Jones and the side we had out just couldn’t carry not having those guys in it,” said Gardner.

“We didn’t play well and got exactly what we deserved from the game, which was nothing.

“Hopefully we can get a few guys back this weekend and produce a better performance against Welton.”

Valiant Vale tough it out to eke out derby triumph

LEWIS Taylor paid tribute to his determined Pewsey Vale side as they claimed the derby spoils at near neighbours Amesbury Town last Friday evening.

Vale played for more than an hour with ten men after Michael Martin was sent off for dissent, but only after Ryan Banks had put the visitors ahead.

Tom Ritchie netted Vale’s second from the penalty spot, with substitute Mark Field wrapping up the scoring after Amesbury had pulled back a consolation goal.

“It was a fantastic performance with ten men and we were full of determination,” said Pewsey boss Taylor.

“It was a typical local derby and it would have been easy for us to capitulate but that didn’t happen.

“We’ve played against ten men ourselves in the past and made a complete hash of it.”

Pewsey host Hayling United this weekend.

Jeff eyes the same again

WOOTTON Bassett Town chief Jeff Roberts thinks a settled line-up is the key to his side moving up the Hellenic League Premier Division table.

Bassett are unbeaten in four matches after last weekend’s derby stalemate at Highworth Town.

“We’ve kept the same 15 or 16 players in the last few weeks and keeping things the same has helped us a lot,” said Roberts.

“Adam Corcoran has done a job in a lot of different positions, Shaun Carter and Lee Stevens have been playing well and Dan Lardner’s settled in to the squad nicely since he came in.”

Levi Cox gave Roberts’ men the lead at Highworth but the hosts’ Matty Bennett levelled the scores moments later.

The Bassett boss added: “The wind really killed the game – a draw was fair.”

Vics come up Short

MALMESBURY Victoria slipped to a second successive defeat last weekend as they were beaten by title-chasers Shortwood United Reserves.

Gareth Davies’ men saw a golden opportunity to take the lead go missing as Ryan Welland’s penalty was saved by home keeper Ashton Herbert midway through the first period.

Late in the half, Jamie Walker put Shortwood ahead as the Vics were caught out on the counter-attack.

Then, with 79 minutes on the clock, the hosts got their second goal of the afternoon as Will Hawes’ corner was headed in by Sean Lawson.

Malmesbury, placed 12th, host North Leigh United this weekend before travelling to local rivals Fairford Town next Monday evening.

Super saver Simmons sets up shock Vale victory with his spot-kick heroics

VALE of Pewsey goalkeeper Craig Simmons was the hero as his two penalty saves helped his side triumph 2-1 over high-flying Southbrook last weekend.

Mark Field and Hayden Culliford struck either side of half-time to give Vale a 2-0 lead but Simmons was on hand to deny both Devan Bryan and Ant Packer from the spot, with Jamie Sheppard’s last-gasp goal not enough to deny Pewsey victory.

“I think that Craig just about deserved ‘man of the match’,” said Vale manager Neil Stephens.

“One of the penalty saves was great because he had to dive down to his right and get straight up to save the rebound – he’s playing out of his skin at the moment.

“I was very, very happy with the result. We went out there with the right attitude, right from the start.”

Elsewhere in the Wiltshire League Premier Division, second-from-bottom Devizes Town Reserves notched up only their second victory of the season with a 3-2 victory over local rivals Corsham Town Reserves.

Wilts Calne Town have now gone ten games without a win after they played out their second 3-3 stalemate of the season with Marlborough Town at Bremhill View.

FC Chippenham Youth bounced back from two successive defeats as they beat Trowbridge Town 3-1 at Stanley Park.

In Division One, Malmesbury Victoria Reserves led second-placed Intel 5-2 with around 25 minutes remaining but the visitors roared back to pull off an unlikely comeback at the Flying Monk Ground.

Wootton Bassett Town also trailed 2-0 to struggling Blunsdon but four goals from Shaun Terry and a Dennis King strike saw them run out 5-2 winners.

Bassett boss Dave Terry praised Terry’s impact. He said: “He’s been injured for six weeks and with the young lads a little low on confidence, it was the perfect opportunity to bring someone with his experience in.”

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