MELKSHAM Town manager Kieran Baggs said his side were “not at the races” in their 2-1 defeat to Thatcham Town in Southern League Division One South on Saturday, writes JONATHAN LEIGHFIELD.

In front of a league-high crowd of 431, Thatcham went ahead early on thanks to a powerful Jon Beeden header from a corner.

Jon Davies equalised for Melksham from the penalty spot in the preliminary stages of the second period before Kyle Tooze squeezed a shot over the line with 20 minutes left to give Thatcham a lead that they would not let slip.

Despite beating their guests twice already this season, Baggs told his side that attitude would be vital if they were to make it a hat-trick of wins, but was left disappointed as his players did not heed his words.

Baggs said: “Thatcham were a lot better than us on the day. I said to the boys before the game: ‘We have beaten Thatcham twice this season, but if you come out with the attitude that it’s going to happen again then we will lose’.

“Unfortunately, the boys failed to produce a performance and they held their hands up after the game. We were not at the races at all.”

After the disappointment of last weekend, Melksham have a golden opportunity to respond with a win as they travel to bottom side, Barnstaple Town this weekend.

Despite the strength of opponent, Baggs said his side cannot expect to simply turn up and roll the division strugglers over as a 320-mile round trip to Devon will feel an awful lot longer if they return empty-handed.

He said: “Barnstaple have had a change of manager in the last month, so I expect them to be a much different side to the team that we played in December.

“We have a good opportunity to bounce back, but if we go down there with the attitude that we had on Saturday where we think we can just turn up and win – upsets happen – and we may find ourselves on the end of one.

“It’s a long, long trip to go down there and come back with nothing.”