MELKSHAM Town manager Richard Fey believes his players’ availability for selection will have a serious bearing on whether his side are successful or not in Southern League Division One South this season after a largely full-strength side conquered Highworth Town 3-0 in their early-season Wiltshire derby at the weekend, writes JONATHAN LEIGHFIELD.

Jack Ball scored two penalties at either end of the match – one came in the third minute before the second was dispatched in the 90th – while Phillip Ormrod grabbed a goal on the hour mark.

Aside from a perfect away performance, Fey was most pleased to see just four players missing from his squad after Dan Dempsey left the club and Andy Sandell was confirmed to be out for the season following the news that he had suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

“It was pretty comfortable, but it was just nice to have nearly everyone available and only a couple missing,” said Fey.

“Like I’ve said all along, I haven’t been worrying or panicking about our start. Commitment levels have been poor, and we’ve had between six and nine players missing every game.

“At this level of football, you can’t legislate for that. But we had good numbers on Saturday and from beginning to end, the whole squad deserved it.

“The spirit and the work rate were outstanding, and we fully deserved the win.”

Victory at the weekend was only Melksham’s second of their fledgling campaign, but Fey revealed he had unwavering confidence in his team to start turning defeats into wins, especially given the number of shots they had in their previous outings.

With the attacking side of things far from a worry, the Melksham boss is hoping a settled back-line will lead to an increase in defensive stability and then in turn, clean sheets.

He said: “I haven’t been concerned about our start.

“I know other people might have – but when you look at the fact that three goalkeepers have been given man of the match in three different games, we knew that we were in a good place and we were always going to score goals.

“We’ve got a very good front line, it was just a case of stopping us conceding goals.

“But when you aren’t able to play a settle back four or five, that is very difficult.”