Melton Town make it three wins out of three in league

Jordan Lever scored twice from the penalty spot EMN-190731-104612002
Jordan Lever scored twice from the penalty spot EMN-190731-104612002
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Melton Town bounced back from successive defeats in FA Cup and FA Vase to extend their 100 per cent league record on Saturday.

Town needed a good result to get their league campaign back up and running and duly made it three wins from three as they put five past Rushden and Higham at The Signright.

Nathan Arnold attempts to net the rebound after Swarles saved the second of Town's four penalties EMN-190909-163106002

Nathan Arnold attempts to net the rebound after Swarles saved the second of Town's four penalties EMN-190909-163106002

Manager Tom Manship rung the changes, bringing in Johnson in goal and Storey in midfield for their debuts.

The game started at a quick pace with both teams seeing plenty of the ball, and Rushden made the first clear chance when a long ball flew off Fray’s head to Mann clear on goal, but he could not compose himself and shot high and wide.

Almost a repeat chance came 10 minutes later when an aerial battle between Fray and Boot saw the ball again land at Mann’s feet, and this time he had time to plant a shot just wide of the post.

With half-an-hour gone Melton were dominating possession, with Rushden more dangerous on the break until a ball down the side of the box found Lever who checked inside and was crudely brought down by Harley.

Tom Rigby gets on the scoresheet EMN-190909-163117002

Tom Rigby gets on the scoresheet EMN-190909-163117002

Arnold planted the resulting penalty into the bottom-left corner.

The very next attack saw Lever again beat Harley down the right and crossed for Arnold whose half-volley clattered against the post and out to safety.

With half-time approaching, Lever broke and crossed to the back post where Arnold was bundled over by the keeper for a second penalty.

This time Arnold sent the spot-kick down the middle, but Swarles cleared with his feet.

But from the resulting corner, Town did double their lead.

Manship’s corner found Beaver unmarked at the back post to tap into an open goal.

Lever almost made it 3-0 right on half-time when he danced into the area, but his effort could only find the keeper’s midriff.

The first chance of the second half had Arnold and Munton linking up, with the latter outpacing Muircroft and letting fly, but Swarles saved with his feet.

Melton ramped up the pressure with wave after wave of attacks, and were rewarded on the hour.

Mann collected a loose ball and forced Johnson into a great save at his feet. His clearance found Munton who ran into the area and was upended by Holmes for Town’s third penalty.

This time Lever used sheer power to score under Swarles’ dive.

Idris had the chance to reduce the arrears when he ran clear of the defence, but his rushed shot cleared the bar.

Gilchrist and Johnson combined with a last-ditch tackle to prevent Boot from scoring, and then with 14 minutes left, Melton struck again.

Munton made a run into the visitors box and played in Reeve who was stopped by a great tackle from Lewis, only for Rigby to pick up the loose ball and place a low shot into the bottom corner of the net.

Minutes later and Parsons mazy run into the box brought a poor tackle from Lewis, resulting in Melton’s fourth penalty.

Lever sent the keeper the wrong way to score his second spot-kick of the game.

Melton miss another league outing on Saturday with their scheduled opponents in FA Vase action, and next up is League Cup test at home to Premier Division opponents Boston Town on Tuesday, September 17 (ko 7.30pm).

Town: Johnson, Beaver, Reek, Manship (Hibbitt), Gilchrist, Fray (Rigby), Lever, Storey (Parsons), Reeve, Munton, Arnold.