Defeat at leaders Sherwood Colliery knocks Melton Town title hopes

Greg Mills - went close for Melton in defeat at Sherwood. Pic by Adam Etheridge.Greg Mills - went close for Melton in defeat at Sherwood. Pic by Adam Etheridge.
Greg Mills - went close for Melton in defeat at Sherwood. Pic by Adam Etheridge.
Melton Town's outside UCL Premier North title hopes took a huge knock as they began the New Year with a 3-0 away defeat at table-topping Sherwood Colliery.

The final scoreline flattered Sherwood as the open play was very even, but the hosts took their chances and have relegated Melton to play-off hopefuls rather than title chasers with a nine point gap, though Melton do have a game in hand.

The hosts carved out the first chance in the fifth minute when a ball played along the edge of the box went behind Mikkel Hirst and Marley Grant hit a first time low shot which hit the foot of the far post.

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The game was played on a heavy pitch and both teams struggled to carve out many chances.

Melton's first effort on target came halfway through the first half when a long clearance saw Greg Mills pick up the lo ose ball and drive into the Sherwood penalty area before seeing his shot deflect off Jake Wright into the path of Tom Wakley, whose resulting shot was well saved.

Robson had a speculative shot from distance which went wide.

But on the half-hour the deadlock was broken.

A quick Sherwood break down the right saw Grant play in Ethan Wiesztort, who sent in a great cross which was met by the head of Westcarr, giving Barnes no chance.

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The very next attack should have seen the hosts go two up when another quick break from Grant saw him find Westcarr unmarked in the six yard box, but he struggled to get the ball from under his foot this time.

The second half started with Melton on top and two minutes in and Mills had a powerful shot from the edge of the box which needed a diving save from Jordan Pierrepont. The visitors kept up the pressure and a Mills free kick inside the D was deflected for a Toby Fura corner that found Paul Anderson, whose rasping shot went just wide.

However against the run of play on 68 minutes, a shot hit the arm of Sam Beaver. Although the defender couldn’t get out of the way the referee awarded the penalty which Westcarr slotted away.

The win was sealed in the 81st minute when a mistake in the Melton defence saw Jacob Pearce steal the ball and slot past Barnes.

Melton now face a trip to Newark & Sherwood United on Saturday.