Melton Town pay for missed chances at in-form Northampton Sileby Rangers

Michael Reeve is third-top scorer in the league after netting his 19th in 20 games on Saturday EMN-180309-122724002
Michael Reeve is third-top scorer in the league after netting his 19th in 20 games on Saturday EMN-180309-122724002
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Melton Town’s promotion hopes took a jolt on Saturday when they slipped to their first back-to-back defeats of the United Counties League campaign.

Making the 100-mile round trip to Northampton, Town hoped to repeat their early season 2-0 win over Sileby Rangers and reignite their promotion hopes.

But Sileby extended their unbeaten run to eight, with a sixth win in that sequence, to move level on points with fourth-placed Melton in Division One.

The game started at a fast pace with both teams defending well.

The first real chance fell to Melton as Reeve pulled down a long ball, and his final shot was well saved by Riley.

Then played through by Hill, Reeve got between Thomas and Liburd, but Riley pulled off another great save.

Sileby’s first shot on target came from Minors who swung a free-kick around the wall and forced Peet to push the ball round the post.

The hosts’ next attack saw Eales receive the ball 20 yards out after a great passing move, but his final shot flew just past bar and post.

Then on the half-hour the deadlock was almost broken when Levi Fray played Reek in down the left.

His ball into Hill was returned, but Reek’s snap-shot could only find the side-netting.

Peet’s feet then came to Town’s rescue to keep out Thomas’ low shot after the Sileby striker had slipped the visitors defence.

Leon Fray then shot inches over the bar after Hill had teed up a long Manship corner, while at the other end, a free-kick on the edge of the box was flicked into the area where Minors was unfortunate to see his header come back off the crossbar.

Sileby came out for the second half with renewed purpose and took the lead almost immediately when the ball was played to Maisiri on the edge of the area.

He had time to find Lobjoit with a low cross and the striker made no mistake from four yards.

But Town were level within six minutes when Reek controlled the ball in midfield and found Reeve on the left.

Town’s leading scorer brushed past Mocanu and from an acute angle slotted past Riley for his 19th goal of the season.

Minutes later Thorpe beat his marker and played in Baker who turned his defender and his shot on the move needed a great save from Riley.

Both defences began to get on top as the game turned into a stalemate until the home team found the killer blow with six minutes left.

Maisiri collected the ball on the left of the box and lobbed the defence where Lobjoit touched the ball past Peet for his eighth goal in just five games.

This was a competitive game, with both teams playing well, but as has been the case recently, Melton couldn’t convert their many chances and the opposition were ruthless in front of goal.

On Saturday, Melton head to Blackstones, who are also level on points with Town in sixth, before the big match at home to Holwell the following weekend.

Town: Peet, Rigby, Levi Fray, Manship, Leon Fray, Gilchrist, Baker, Hill, Reeve, Thorpe (Price), Reek.