MELKSHAM Town claimed their first Southern League Division One South points under caretaker boss Luke Ballinger at the weekend courtesy of a 3-0 win away at Fleet Town, writes JONATHAN LEIGHFIELD.

On a poor surface at Calthorpe Park, Ballinger’s troops struggled to dominate in the first half before finding the going much easier in the second 45 minutes to secure a first win since former boss Kieran Baggs’ departure on March 29.

Jordan Croad struck straight after half-time before Dan King doubled the away side’s lead on the hour.

Ballinger netted himself with 10 minutes to play to wrap up the points.

Pleased with his side’s ability to come out on top in difficult circumstances, the Town boss thanked his players for their hard work.

Ballinger said: “The pitch was horrific, and that’s no disrespect to Fleet, but the pitch wasn’t in good shape at all. It was awful, but that made it a bit of a leveller.

“I thought we played the conditions really well and by keeping it at 0-0 going up the hill, I thought we had a chance in the second half, going down the slope.

“We started the half really brightly and Jordan Croad got a well-deserved goal.

“I think he’s been excellent in the last three games and he deserved that.

“From then on, it was just a case of us doing the right things at the right times and the goals came. It was a good performance.

“It would be lovely to build on that win, but we’ve got three of the top six still to play, so it will be very tough.

“We’ve got nothing to lose, so we’ll just go out there and have a go.”

During Saturday’s win, Sayeed Ibrahim made his 200th appearance for his home town club.

Having made his debut in April 2011, Ibrahim has gone on to win promotion up to the Southern League with Melksham as well as playing a big part in their three Wiltshire Cup successes between 2013 and 2016.

Boss Ballinger paid tribute to his stand-in captain and revealed how lucky he is to be able to call upon the reliable defender.

Ballinger said: “Sayeed is Melksham through and through. He loves playing for the football club and he’d be there no matter what.

“He’d be there for any manager who wants to play him, and he deserves to have played 200 times for Melksham.

“It’s a great achievement. He’s won league titles, league cups and Wiltshire cups.

“He’s a good lad and he said he’d play for the rest of the season, so I appreciate his efforts and that’s why I’ve made him captain for the rest of the season. He’s been excellent for me.”