United Counties League: Melton Town fight back to beat Bourne

Ash Palfryeman is Division One's top scorer with 16 goals in 17 starts
Ash Palfryeman is Division One's top scorer with 16 goals in 17 starts
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Jack Baker’s winner secured back-to-back wins for Melton Town at Bourne on Tuesday evening.

Local rivals Bourne were sitting on the same amount of points in the league as Melton who started the game very well.

Jack Baker EMN-160709-084624002

Jack Baker EMN-160709-084624002

Tony Thorpe’s men nearly opened the scoring on six minutes when Adam Bishop played a delightful ball through to Jordan Cufflin-Stableford. He beat the keeper to the ball and played it around him, but his effort was just off-target, and Ash Palfreyman’s follow-up hit the side-netting.

Cufflin-stableford then picked out John Love at the far post, but his header was saved well by Alex Brown.

Bishop was next to try his luck after collecting Baker’s pass. He flicked the ball over one defender, but the ball wouldn’t come down quickly enough to get his shot away. Bishop look to have been pulled back in the process, but the referee waved away Melton’s penalty appeals.

Bourne looked dangerous on the counter-attack, but Melton continued to press and on 36 minutes Alex Horobin’s perfect cross from the right found Palfreyman, but his header was turned around the post by Brown.

The visitors’ hard work was undone four minutes before half-time when they were caught square at the back and Munton raced clear and rounded Richard Cragg to score.

Brown tipped away Palfreyman’s fierce 30-yard free-kick for a corner on the stroke of half-time.

Melton started the second half at a good pace with Cufflin-stableford again looking lively on the left with his dangerous breaks.

But it was leading scorer Palfreyman who levelled to make it nine goals in eight matches. The striker showed great determination to meet Baker’s excellent cross from the right to volley home from close range on 50 minutes.

Bourne gradually upped their game as they took the match to Melton and just after the hour were awarded a penalty when Joe Slater was penalised for fouling Munton just inside the area.

Munton stepped up to take the spot kick but Cragg pulled off a brilliant save, diving to his right.

Bourne continued to dominate, but Kieron Clayton held the defence together single-handedly with his best performance of the season.

Melton went ahead with 19 minutes left when Baker collected the ball in midfield and drove at the Bourne defence. The man-of-the-match played in Palfreyman who drew the keeper and then played the ball back across goal for Baker to finish from 10 yards.

Bourne continued to press, but Melton held out.

Their third win of the season lifted Melton to 13th, just three points off sixth spot.

Melton: Cragg, Horobin, Mann (c), Slater, Clayton, Lapworth, Baker, Love (Byrne), Cufflin-Stableford, Palfreyman, Bishop.