Cup KO for Melton Town at Premier Division high-flyers Holbeach

Town co-managers Jon Stevenson and Tom Manship EMN-180211-114547002
Town co-managers Jon Stevenson and Tom Manship EMN-180211-114547002
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Melton Town were knocked out of the league cup despite matching their higher-ranked opponents for long spells of the second round tie.

Town sent a much-changed side on the long Hallow’een trip to Premier Division high flyers Holbeach, with Melton missing nine players through injury.

Holbeach showed why they were in the top three of the UCL top flight right from the off as they controlled the game.

Josh Ford’s blistering shot from 20 yards needed a fine save from Peet after just six minutes, but the visitors almost broke the deadlock when Sam Wilson brought down a corner and saw his shot blocked on the line.

The hosts then deservedly took the lead when Ford curled a free-kick around the wall and into the corner of the net.

Melton almost pulled level straightaway when was tackled well, only for the ball to fall to Manship whose shot went just inches wide.

But midway through the first half the hosts made it 2-0 from a breakaway.

Barker’s shot after a neat one-two was well saved by Peet and the rebound from the aptly-named Tricks was also kept out, but the clearance ricocheted off Barker and into an open net for a fortunate second.

Right on half-time, Price received a through ball and rounded the keeper, but he was driven wide and his shot from an acute angle flashed across the goal-line.

Melton began the second half as the better side with some impressive passing, and when Reek’s cross caused hesitation in the Holbeach defence, Price headed just over from six yards.

Holbeach missed several chances to put the game to bed, but sealed the result in the 69th minute when Jackson went down the wing, beat Lindley on the byline and sent a low cross for Barker to finish.

Melton kept pressing, but an injury to Price left them playing the final 10 minutes with 10 men having used all of their subs.

It was a gallant effort by the rejigged Melton side who gave a chance for the manager to assess some good prospects.

They now move onto five league games in November as they look to get back on the Division One promotion trail, starting with Saturday’s trip to Burton Park (ko 3pm).