DEVIZES Town joint-boss Justin Webster says he was left breathless after his side’s ‘remarkable’ victory over league leaders Bradford Town last weekend.
Devizes top scorer Mark Barnes slotted home the only goal of the game midway through the first half after he was set up by Tom Price, before the visitors defended stoutly to pull off a shock at Trowbridge Road.
Webster says he went through the wringer on the touchline but reckons that his side’s superb victory will hand them a major confidence boost for the remainder of the season.
“Remarkable is the best word I can use to describe it.
“At the end of the game, I felt completely drained myself and I hadn’t even kicked a ball,” said the Devizes joint-manager.
“Strangely, I was quietly confident before the game but that was mostly down to the side we thought we were going to have.
“But things changed and we went from a ‘plan A’ and a ‘plan B’ to a ‘plan C’ line-up.
“They had a penalty shout turned down, our keeper made some great saves and we hacked a few shots off the line but we rode our luck - we defended brilliantly and our captain, Kris Beasley, was fantastic.
“They’re a great side and they will go on to win the league, and do well in the Premier Division, but I think they turned up expecting to roll us over.
“Beating a side like that should be a massive confidence boost for us going in to the last seven games of the season and maybe we’ll be able to break into that top eight.”
Park walk tall with Devon win
DAVE Ferris thinks Chippenham Park’s victory at Barnstaple Town was indicative of his side’s growth this season.
Park made the long trip back from Devon with all three points after defender Shane Blackmore smashed home a bullet header from a corner with just minutes remaining.
And manager Ferris is proud of his side’s recent form.
“We had a very happy journey back and one of the lads said after the game that we probably would have lost that game earlier in the season,” said Ferris.
“It was a very tight game and I think that both sides would have been gutted if they’d not got something out of it but I think that it just shows how much we’ve improved, how much we’re still improving and and the harsh lessons we’ve learned.
“We’ve only lost three of the last 15 games and that’s the kind of form for a side in the top two.”
Last weekend’s match winner Blackmore is suspended for this weekend’s clash with Almondsbury UWE at Hardenhuish Park, as well as midfielder Dan Smith.
Rawlings relieved by win
CORSHAM Town chief Trevor Rawlings concedes his side were fortunate to come away from Oldland Abbotonians with all three points on Wednesday night but won’t bank on his team’s fine form continuing.
Liam Brown’s deflected effort was enough to secure a victory for Corsham, who have lost just once in the last 18 games, remaining unbeaten for the last 13.
“It was one of those games where defences were on top and a draw probably would have been a fair result,” said Rawlings.
“They played 4-5-1, were out there to stifle and the game and were happy when it was 0-0 at half-time. But Liam Brown’s shot looped off a defender and went in.
“It keeps our run going though and that’s brilliant. We’d like to try and stay unbeaten in the next two matches before we have the mayhem of six games in two weeks.”
Nick Holton and Ben Moore scored as Corsham won 2-0 at Wellington last weekend, with Holton controversially sent off.
Weakened Melksham buck the trend with fine success on road
MELKSHAM Town manager Darren Perrin paid tribute to his club’s resilience after his under-strength Toolstation League Premier Division side won at Buckland Athletic last weekend.
Ben Thomson’s first half free-kick was cancelled out by the hosts’ Carl Roles but Melksham’s Nick Ridout came off the bench to net the winner with his first touch.
“We went there with just 13 players but they put in a shift for the club,” said Perrin.
“They got a deserved equaliser in the second half but Nick Ridout came off the bench to get the winner for us and we definitely deserved to win the game.
“We had seven players on county duty with the Wiltshire U18s and for us to go and win at Buckland, who are a good side, and the reserves to beat Intel to pretty much wrap up the Wiltshire League (Division One) title, shows the resilience of the club.”
Defenders Stuart Greener and Dean Flockton are set to return to the Melksham squad for this weekend’s clash with Willand Rovers but striker Sean Benison is sidelined with a knee injury.
Boosted Vale take Stock
WINS proved to be like buses for Pewsey Vale after they brought their nine-match winless run to an end with back-to-back victories this week.
Lewis Taylor’s men got back to winning ways with a 3-2 victory at struggling Andover New Street last weekend and on Tuesday evening.
Ryan Banks and David Cope got the goals as Pewsey tasted victory at Laverstock & Ford and manager Taylor is hoping that his side are finally back on track.
“We played very well on Saturday and should have scored a lot more goals than we did and on Tuesday, it was the same story,” said the Vale boss.
“We had to make a few enforced changes because of illness and injury, and Tom Ritchie had to drop into the centre of defence alongside David Cope but I thought those two were excellent.
“Dan Reynolds, who’s only 17, has started the last two games in a holding midfield role and made a promising start to his fledgling Pewsey career.
“It’s been a confidence thing in the last few months and you could see that coming back into the squad. I think we’re back on track now.”
Ryan Bragg, Ricky Franklin and Ritchie were on target against Andover last Saturday.
Vics rocked by league leaders
GARETH Davies conceded that his Malmesbury Victoria side were well beaten by the better side as they were put to the sword by top-of-the-table Tytherington Rocks on Tuesday night.
The Gloucestershire visitors ran out comfortable winners at the Flying Monk Ground, courtesy of two two-goal salvoes either side of half-time.
“They were a very good side and it would have been nice to do something against them but we couldn’t manage it,” said Vics boss Davies.
“They scored two goals quickly in the first half and did the same thing in the second half too – we were a little bit naïve and we missed Scott Chilcott, who doesn’t stop running up top.
“They had players who had Southern League experience and they’ll definitely go well in the Premier Division, but their manager said to me that we had a good little side, that’ll do well in a few years if we can keep them together – it was nice to hear that.”
Last weekend, Malmesbury picked up a point as they played out a six-goal thriller at Easington Sports.
Dan Thomson, James Townsend and Stuart Fraser were all on target as Davies’ men drew 3-3.
Youngsam rues the late show
WOOTTON Bassett Town assistant manager Drew Youngsam blamed a last-gasp lapse in concentration for his side’s draw with Flackwell Heath.
After Kyle Rigley’s free-kick had smacked against the crossbar, Adam Corcoran had put Bassett in front, but with moments to spare, the visitors’ Joe Blount nicked the ball from Rigley and smacked a shot that keeper Steve Allison could only parry.
Flackwell’s Ryan Millward was on hand to score and deny the hosts all three points.
“We limited their chances, and from defence to attack we did well. If we’d played like that the whole season we wouldn’t be where we are now,” said assistant Youngsam.
“I say to the lads we always need to concentrate for the 90 minutes, and in that split second, we didn’t.
“We haven’t had a game for a couple of weeks and didn’t train and the lads probably got tired towards the end when they scored. We were disappointed we only got the one (point), but we’ve got a run of games now where we can pick up points.”
Flowers has his sights on final flourish
CORSHAM Town Reserves manager Justin Flowers would love to see his side cap off their season with a home cup final.
A dramatic extra-time triumph saw Corsham beat Vale of Pewsey 4-3 in the Senior KO Cup last Saturday, setting up a semi-final trip to Trowbridge Town this weekend.
Adam Mitchell, Adam Casserley and Josh Batstone all scored before Casserely’s extra-time winner won it for the visitors, with Flowers also forced to deputise between the sticks after keeper Dave Osborne went off injured in the second half.
“I was just so happy that it didn’t go to penalties because I wouldn’t have fancied that when I was in goal,” said Flowers.
“It was probably the best we’ve played all season and we could have scored a lot more goals than we did.
“We’ve got a tough semi-final coming up against Trowbridge, who are a good side, but we’re looking forward to it because of how we played last weekend and if we can perform like that again, then we should be able to get ourselves through.
“We’d love to get to the final, especially because it takes place at Corsham - it’s always a special day and to play in it at our ground would be great.
“We’ve got a few lads who have won the cup before and it would be great for the rest of us to have the chance to do it.”
Meanwhile, Marlborough Town lost 2-0 to Trowbridge and FC Chippenham Youth and Wilts Calne Town played out a 0-0 stalemate.
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