United Counties League: Melton Town up to sixth after Woodford rout

Melton Town line up before their first floodlit fixture at Digital Deadline Park

Melton Town line up before their first floodlit fixture at Digital Deadline Park

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Five-star Melton made it seven league wins in their last nine despite missing several regulars for Saturday’s trip to struggling Woodford.

Town were missing five first team players through injury or work commitments, forcing Tony Thorpe to reshuffle his side.

The first 15 minutes saw both teams play at a fast pace with no real quality on the ball, but the visitors were ahead in the 17th minute.

Cufflin-Stableford made a good run down the left and whipped in a cross which caused mayhem in the United box, allowing Alex Horobin to pop up and steady the nerves with the opening goal.

Three minutes later Ash Palfreyman went past three players on the edge of Woodford’s box only to see his shot come off the bottom of the post. Fortunately an alert Tom Byrne followed up to slam the rebound into an empty net.

Almost straight from the kick-off Melton attacked again and Steve Truman added a third.

The game remained a scrappy affair and three minutes before half-time Woodford pulled a goal back.

After a break down the left, Tobi Ojutalayo found himself clear on goal, but unselfishly slipped a pass to Adil Hussain who placed a crisp finish into the far corner.

The second half started pretty much as the first half had ended with Woodford playing with plenty of spirit, but no real quality, while Melton could not quite find the final telling pass.

On the 57th minute a cross into the Woodford box caused panic and centre-half Paul Govier sliced an attempted clearance into his own net.

Melton pressed for the rest of the half and got their just rewards when Palfreyman received a cross on the edge of the area and his shot found the top corner for his 15th goal of the season.

The win lifted Melton into a season-high sixth place in Division One ahead of tonight’s (Tuesday’s) trip to Thrapston Town (7.45pm kick-off).

Melton then get a chance to test themselves when league leaders Bugbrooke St Michaels visit Digital Deadline Park (kick-off 3pm).