Melton Town edge Harrowby to bolster UCL promotion chances

Corey Bucalossi's third goal in four starts gave Town a precious win at Harrowby. Picture: Phil James EMN-191230-092747002
Corey Bucalossi's third goal in four starts gave Town a precious win at Harrowby. Picture: Phil James EMN-191230-092747002
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Having started the decade at East Leake in the North Leicestershire League, Melton Town ended it chasing promotion to United Counties League Premier.

Saturday’s narrow win at rivals Harrowby United moved them within a point and a place of the four promotion places in Division One with games in hand.

Harrowby’s biggest gate of the season was bolstered by around 60 Town fans hoping to extend their eight-game unbeaten run in the league.

Melton got off to a quick start with Cummings, on his full debut, causing problems after just two minutes when his turn and shot had the keeper diving low to save.

Town were keeping possession well, and a 10-man move ended with Munton shooting just over the bar.

Cummings was at it again with a great run into the box, sending the ball wide to Zak Munton who knocked it into Nathan Arnold, but his effort flew inches over bar and post.

The match became a little scrappy as a frustrated home team tried to get a hold of the game.

Arnold tried his luck from a free-kick 25 yards out which the keeper saved, but fumbled, only to hold on at the second attempt as it headed towards goal.

Another Arnold free-kick found Fray unmarked at the back post, but his header flashed across the goal with no-one gambling.

A lovely move on the half-hour ended with a low effort from Bucalossi which had the keeper scrambling to save.

But the best chance of the half fell to Cummings after Jordan Lever beat two defenders and sent a low cross into Munton.

He touched it onto the youngster whose strike was off-target.

The second half lacked any fluency as both teams tried to break through the defences.

However, the deadlock was eventually broken in the 63rd minute.

The ball was worked down the left and Cummings slipped a pass into Bucalossi who evaded a tackle before dinking the ball over the keeper and into the net.

Harrowby responded with their first shot on target with 20 minutes remaining when a diagonal ball found the tricky winger and his speculative effort demanded a good save from Rob Peet.

Lever continually caused problems down the right, and with 12 minutes to go he went past two players and let fly with a thunderous effort which zipped across the face of goal.

Melton sat back on the one-goal lead and defended well as Harrowby resorted to high balls and long-range efforts which failed to trouble Peet.

The match was not a classic, but a valuable six-pointer and Melton fully deserved the three points.

On Saturday they head to Huntingdon (ko 3pm) before a trip to Raunds the following Tuesday (ko 7.45pm).

Town: Peet, Beaver, Benjamin, Bucalossi, Gilchrist, Fray, Lever, Storey (Price), Munton (Hibbitt), Cummings (Duncan), Arnold.