Melton Mowbray dispatch Senior League leaders Birstall

Melton take on Senior League leaders Birstall United at Asfordby
Melton take on Senior League leaders Birstall United at Asfordby
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Melton blew the title race wide open with a superb win at top-of-the-table Birstall on Saturday.

The victory ended Birstall’s unbeaten home record and avenged the 2-0 defeat at Asfordby Acres last month.

Conditions were not ideal and Melton captain Tom Cooper won the toss and elected to play against the wind in the first half.

Melton were soon put under pressure and keeper Richard Cragg was kept very busy,

The visitors looked dangerous on the counter, but on 26 minutes, Cragg slipped when taking a goalkick and the ball fell perfectly for Lewis Dodd on the 18-yard box to fire a shot low into the corner.

Melton responded well to the setback and were very unlucky when Adam Bishop’s great pass found the run of Jack Baker, bursting from midfield, but after rounding the keeper his shot was cleared off the line.

Melton saw out the remainder of the half with a disciplined team performance.

Mowbray started the second half on the front foot as they looked to dominate possession and created a good opening on 50 minutes but Aidan Black shot over.

Ash Palfreyman smashed a 25-yard free-kick just over the bar, and Melton finally equalised on the hour when Aidan Black crossed from the right and Aaron Black reacted quickest to head over Birstall’s keeper.

Melton hit the front five minutes later when Aaron Black returned the compliment, crossing from the left for his brother Aidan to head home.

And when Baker was brought down 20 yards from goal, Emi Chiavetta stepped up to curl a free-kick around the wall to claim his first goal for the club.

The visitors were given a scare with 10 minutes left when Birstall were awarded a penalty for Palfreyman’s foul on Dodds just inside the area.

Cain dispatched the spot kick, but Melton held on for a great victory to jump up to 3rd.

Man-of-the-match, sponsored by Everyone Active, was Jack Baker.

Melton: R. Cragg, L. Fray, E. Chaivetta, T. Cooper (c), A. Palfreyman, K. Clayton, A. Bishop (S. Hill), J. Baker (L. Mann), Aaron Black, D. Hazeldine, Aidan Black.

* Melton are in league cup action on Saturday when they host Friar Lane at Asfordby. Kick-off 1.30pm.