Melton Town play-off spot is all but secured after stunning win at Lincoln United

Melton Town all but secured their place in the UCL Premier North play-offs with a stunning 3-0 away win at second-placed Lincoln United on Tuesday night.
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That followed a hard-earned 1-0 win at Boston Town on Saturday.

Only Sleaford Town can now catch the Reds, but they would have to win their last five games, Melton lose their last four and make up 40 goals on Melton on their goal difference.

The win also secured the title for Sherwood Colliery.

Thabang Dube - chipped Lincoln keeper for goal number three. Picture by MW Photography.Thabang Dube - chipped Lincoln keeper for goal number three. Picture by MW Photography.
Thabang Dube - chipped Lincoln keeper for goal number three. Picture by MW Photography.

It helped Melton that Lincoln side had one eye on their big FA Vase semi-final on Saturday so made 11 changes to their starting line up and played a young side.

Melton dominated the early encounters but met a stubborn resistance from the young hosts. It was on the half hour mark for the first real chance when a long ball over the top found Palmer clear on goal.

Wilson slipped as he raced out to cut out the shot only for Palmer's chip to go inches wide.

Minutes later Dube drove into the box and fired a shot across goal to Khalis Gore, but he couldn’t get the ball from underneath his feet.

The hosts' first shot on target came in the 40th minute when a ball into the box started a pinball scramble. Chapman had an effort cleared off the line then Cotton also had his shot blocked on the line.

Melton came out in the second half with a new urgency and just two minutes in the deadlock was broken.

Beaver drove through the midfield before knocking the ball out wide for Yaegen Gore, who sent in a first time cross to Palmer, who headed the ball into the roof of the net.

Lincoln immediately responded when Hudson was allowed to run through the defence and his low shot was well saved by Harrison.

Dube had a speculative effort at goal from the halfway line which was easily saved by Wilson.

Then in the 53rd minute Melton doubled their lead when a Fura free kick was played out wide to Dube, who played it down the line to Yaegen Gore. His low cross found Palmer unmarked in the six yard box for a tap-in.

The lead was extended when a long ball was poorly defended by Payne, whose back header was intercepted by Dube who then chipped the keeper to make it 3-0.

In the 70th minute a Fura corner found Dube on the edge of the area and his floated shot to the top corner was well saved. Palmer pounced onto the rebound but fired inches over.

Lincoln made some changes to stem the flow of attacks and dug in to see the game through to the end without further damage.

The performance from Melton was exceptional and gives them a confidence boost before the end of the season.

Lincoln could now go on to make a Wembley appearance and will be very different opposition when they meet in the play-offs.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

With three tough games to play against play-off rivals, Saturday's trip to Boston Town was almost a must win game – and Melton obliged with a 1-0 success.

Melton set out their stall with their first attack when an Anderson free kick found Palmer free at the back post, but his header was easily saved by Poptas.

It took 20 minutes for either side to forge an effort, and it was a Fura corner which saw a scramble in the Boston box before Popas collected the ball at the second attempt.

The game improved in the second half and a long ball downfield found Palmer clear on goal.

He rounded the keeper but was sent wide and his low cross into the six yard box was cleared off the line.

The hosts' first effort on goal came in the 48th minute when Lee Beeson sent in a curling shot which Harrison easily saved.

Anderson then played in John-Edwards who sent a ball across the goal which evaded both Palmer and Fura to go inches past the far post.

Hirst had a volley from the edge of the box which shaved the crossbar.

Then in the 77th minute the deadlock was finally broken.

A quick break by Anderson down the right saw Miller clumsily foul Melton's number seven, but the referee played the advantage and Anderson found Palmer in the six yard box where he slipped the ball past the keeper.

Boston then turned up the pressure looking for the equaliser.

In the 90th minute a corner was headed into the box and Wakin found himself with a free header which Harrison brilliantly tipped over the bar.

The resulting corner went to Bayliss whose low strike hit the foot of the post and away to safety and Melton were home and dry.