Melton Town defence completes sweventh straight shut out
Melton Town’s miserly defence completed their seventh consecutive shut-out as a 13th straight United Counties League win kept the pressure on the top two.
Town have not conceded a goal in the league since January 12 as strugglers Long Buckby were dispatched 3-0 to keep Melton within three points of leaders Anstey Nomads and a point of second-placed Lutterworth Town, after both rivals won.
Long Buckby who are battling to avoid the drop arrived intent to put the brakes on Town’s impressive winning streak, but their task was made harder with nine players unavailable for the game.
There was a celebratory mood at Signright Park as Town co-managers Tom Manship and Jon Stevenson were presented with the UCL Division One Manager of the Month Award for the second month running.
Again the strong wind was to play a huge part in the game, and Town, playing down the slope in the first half, were unlucky not to take the lead within a minute.
Town went long as Reeve’s pace terrorised the centre-half pairing, and the home side twice went close, denied by great saves from Bodycote.
But Melton hit the front after 13 minutes when Parsons collected a ball over the top and stroked the ball in.
Buckby played some decent football, with good passing and a couple of counter-attacks, but weak finishing left home keeper Peet largely untroubled between the sticks.
Big forward Featherstone put himself about and sent a decent chance wide.
Town almost bagged a second with the Buckby keeper beaten, but the shot flashed off the bar and over.
The sides went in at the break with Town dominating, but a combination of poor finishing and a top goalkeeping performance had kept the visitors in the game going into the second half.
Strangely Buckby didn’t perform as well with the wind and slope advantage, and five minutes in, Johnson gave away a penalty, and Reeve stepped up to slot in a settling second goal.
Town went looking for the third, but Bodycote continued to impress, pulling off half-a-dozen saves, including three times in one attack.
Buckby became frustrated as they were limited to just a couple of breakaways, and as their foul count increased, Finley picked up his second yellow card, and his marching orders.
Town wrapped up the points with four minutes left when Reeve backheeled his 30th goal of the campaign.
Another three points in the bag, won in front of a lower than average crowd of 93, as Town warmed up for their rearranged trip to league leaders Anstey on Tuesday evening, with an estimated 50 of the Pork Pie Army intending to travel.
But having seen the first game postponed by a waterlogged pitch, Anstey’s playing surface may succumb again after recent rainfall and with more heavy showers forecast for Tuesday morning.
If the game goes ahead, Town know a 15th straight win in all competitions will draw them level on points with Anstey. Kick-off is 7.45pm.
Town: Peet, Rigby, Gilchrist, Leon Fray, Punter, Levi Fray, Wilson, Hill, Reeve, Parsons, Lever. Subs: Hibbitt, Westwood, Arnold, Stevenson, Hammond.