Marlborough Town FC welcomed Melksham Town Reserves to Elcot Lane on Saturday who had beaten them 12-3 in a pre-season game.
Marlborough, however, have had a decent start to the league season, with seven points from their opening six fixtures including a 5-0 away at Purton in midweek, and they once again put in an excellent performance to secure a point against a decent Melksham Town Reserves side.
The home side Marlborough went in front when Zac Symon scored for the third consecutive game with a stunning free kick into the top corner. It remained 1-0 at the break to Marlborough who fully deserved their lead after a hard working first half show, and could easily have been 2 or 3 goals up. Cameron Pearce equalised for the visitors early in the second half, although there was a touch of fortune about the goal which was intended as a cross but drifted to the far post and ended up in the Marlborough net.
Melksham went in front for the first time when Tom Arliss fired in from distance to make it 2-1. Marlborough continued to plug away seeking an equaliser and were rewarded in the closing minutes when Jamie Conway made it 2-2 with an excellent solo effort and his fifth goal of the campaign. This was the Town’s best performance of the season and the players showed tremendous commitment and team spirit.
There were great performances all round with experienced defenders Declan McEniry and Simon Neale worthy of mention. Youngsters Zac Symon bossed the first half in midfield and Alex Fraser was again superb in defence and central midfield. However, the biggest praise has to go to Michael Burns who was brilliant in goal despite not being a goalkeeper! Its typical of the Town’s new found spirit that players are so committed to the cause. The game also saw the debut for Jacob Gumm in defence, another product of the MYFC factory!
Manager Steve Chadwick was delighted with the result. “We fully deserved our point today, we worked incredibly hard and played some good football. I am so proud of my side, especially as we had to play without a recognised goalkeeper, with a centre-half having to go in goal.”
The matches come thick and fast at this time of the season and sadly this great form did not continue into the midweek game at home to Shrewton United where a slightly under strength Marlborough were taken apart 7-1 by the visitors! There were not many highlights to report apart from another fine individual goal from youngster Zac Symon.
Form returned on Saturday though as the Town took Purton apart again for the second time in less than 2 weeks. This time they won 10-0 in the first round of the Wiltshire Senior Cup with wonderkind Zac Symon scoring 6 goals! Ben Crame, Kieran Maidment (penalty), Ethan Muir and Dom Terret made up the rest. Man of the Match however was stand in goalkeeper Jacob Clappison for a thoroughly deserved clean sheet.
Special mention also to ex Marlborough Youth player Josh De Souza who made his first team debut and was outstanding as an attacker in the first half and also in the right back role in the second half. There were kind words from Town Manager Steve Chadwick after the match saying “Fair play to Purton who kept going and remained committed and professional throughout what was clearly a tough game for them”.
A month into the new season and the Town sit comfortably in mid-table and are through to the second round of the Wiltshire Cup.