Home sweet home again after season of away games for Melton Town

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
It was back to home sweet home for Melton Town this week as they began their pre-season friendlies with two draws after making the long-awaited return to Sign Right Park.

And they will be hoping the return home gives their promotion hopes a massive boost, having played last season's 'home' games at Loughborough Dynamo due to problems with the Red's 3G pitch surface and still managed to reach the UCL Premier North play-offs.

All six of their pre-season games are at home on the new surface and on Saturday they battled out a superb 2-2 draw with Southern League Premier Division Central giants Kettering Town in the opening game before a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with Nuneaton Town on Tuesday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Boss Tom Manship said: “Last year was very tough – we played every single game away from home and credit to every single person at the club from the fans to the directors and to the players.

Melton Town boss Tom Manship.Melton Town boss Tom Manship.
Melton Town boss Tom Manship.

“Everybody pulled in the same direction and we managed to reach the play-offs.

“Just even being back at home for the two games we have played so far has been absolutely massive for the club and we are looking forward to the season back at home.

“Having been away for so long it's now about getting lads used to it – that was the idea behind the pre-season schedule and playing all the games here.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Manship also pointed out the high quality of all the pre-season opposition.

“What we have done this year for pre-season is brought well established non-clubs to us as a challenge,” he said.

“We could have had it easy and picked anybody to play.

“But as you can see from our scehedule, every game is against a well established team or ones with ambition.

“We are giving ourselves a real test and after two games so far there have been lots of positives and we have not lost either.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Melton squad shows few changes from last year's successful group, though they do face life without former Nottingham Forest star Paul Anderson, who has elected to retire from the game this summer.

“We have brought in a couple of additions and seen a couple go out. But we have kept the core of the squad as we planned to do,” said Manship.

“We have brought a couple in to help us improve. Anyone we bring in has to help us improve.

“Paul is a big loss but we have tried to fill to fill the gap with the group around that.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We anticipated Paul was going to retire ahead of when he announced it and were pro-active in the background and tried to replace that if we can.”

On Saturday they next host Corby Town and then Quorn are the visitors next Tuesday.

The new season will be Melton's fourth at Step 5.

In the FA Cup Melton have drawn Harrowby United of UCL Division One at home on Saturday 3rd August while in the FA Vase they are away at Thringstone-based Ingles FC of the Midland League Division One on Saturday, 24th August.

Manship said: “They are both going to be tough for different reasons. We have never had an easy cup draw and I feel the same again about these.

Fans are reminded that the club will be showing the England v Netherlands Euros semi-final tonight live in the Pitch-Side Lounge at Sign Right Park.