Melton beaten despite battling display at Sleaford

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Melton Town suffered defeat away to Sleaford Town on Saturday afternoon as two early goals condemned the Reds to a 2-1 defeat, despite a valiant second half fightback.

The match had barely begun when a defensive error handed Ryan Rushen an opening goal for the hosts within 70 seconds.

Things didn’t get any better from there as Sleaford pressed Melton, keeping them pinned inside their own half throughout the opening stages.

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Referee Craig Forbes awarded a generous penalty to the Greens in the 12th minute, when he judged that Leon Fray had extended his arm to block a cross in the area.

Melton on the attack at Sleaford last weekend. Photo: Steve W Davies Photography.Melton on the attack at Sleaford last weekend. Photo: Steve W Davies Photography.
Melton on the attack at Sleaford last weekend. Photo: Steve W Davies Photography.

Jacob Fenton stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick, but Bill Harrison got down well to his left and palmed the ball away for a corner.

The elation was short-lived for the Pork Pie Army as Charlie Ward rose at the back post to head in Ryan Flitton’s resulting corner.

Whilst there had been half chances for Toby Fura and Sam Muggleton early on, it had been very tough progress for the Reds, taking almost 30 minutes for them to start to find their stride. Sam Beaver managed a headed effort around the half hour mark, but he wasn’t able to make the sort of powerful connection that has seen him hit the back of the net six times so far this season.

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Harrison then managed to tip Mitch Griffiths’ powerful free-kick over the bar just before the break.

Whatever the problem was in the first half, Tom Manship and his side corrected it at the break, looking a different outfit in the second. Fura again tested Liam Flitton in the Sleaford goal with a direct free-kick and Mussa Bham lashed a sighter wide in the opening few minutes of the half.

Beaver made a driving run forward and stung Flitton’s palms on the hour mark and with 20 minutes to play Bham saw a ball drop to him on the edge of the box and he unleashed an unstoppable piledriver to pull Melton back in to the match, a memorable first strike for the electrifying forward since his move from GNG Oadby Town.

Melton threw everything at Sleaford as Manship’s free-kick went narrowly over and Flitton made an excellent save to deny Henry Dunn, but they were unable to find an equaliser.

Melton hosted Boston Town on Wednesday evening and go to Heanor Town on Saturday.