Depleted Melton Town beaten by Birstall in friendly

Tom Byrne impressed for Town in a friendly defeat at Birstall EMN-170108-181504002
Tom Byrne impressed for Town in a friendly defeat at Birstall EMN-170108-181504002

An under-strength Melton Town FC visited Birstall United and suffered a 4-1 defeat in their penultimate pre-season fixture.

Melton started well and were unlucky not to be a couple of goals up in the first quarter with Tom Byrne and Josh Clarke going close.

But Birstall took the lead with a fine strike from Johnson and soon doubled it with an even better finish from Dodd.

With a two-goal lead Birstall were in control and Ash Way added another superb finish which was soon added to by Dodd’s second of the game.

Byrne, Clarke and Matt Hendey gave Birstall keeper Shillam cause for concern and at the other end, Alex Egner made a superb save to deny Birstall.

And Melton had the final say when Clarke’s exquisite chip over Shillam earned the visitors a consolation goal.

Co-manager Steve Hendey said: “With around a dozen players injured or unavailable we knew it would be a struggle.

“Birstall are a very good, strong side and certainly had too much for us. On the plus side Alex Egner was excellent in goal, George Coser made a good start and Josh Clarke once again showed up well.

“With the league starting on Saturday it was disappointing for Shane (Jarram) and myself to have to field such a depleted side, but it’s that time of year with holidays and weddings. It was a bit of a freak with 13 players unavailable.”

He added; “We’d probably have liked a few more friendlies for preparation, but we should be ok once everything settles down.

“With 15 players out going from the end of last season and a similar amount coming in this close season, we quickly need to build the togetherness.”