Melton Town put down marker to UCL rivals with eight-goal rout
Melton Town finally turned their dominance into goals as they underlined their title credentials by putting eight past Huntingdon on Saturday.
After two very close wins against lesser opposition despite bossing the games, Town needed a performance to show they were real title contenders.
They should have gone ahead within a minute as they got off to their usual fast start when Chris Hibbitt headed over unmarked from Nathan Arnold’s corner.
Arnold then found himself in the box after beating Alfie Oakham, but his shot-cum-cross was neatly finger-tipped away by keeper Smith.
Lever was played in by Reeve as another shot on the run went agonisingly wide, and Melton’s total control paid off after 12 minutes when Hill found Parsons to chip the keeper.
A minute later Smith made a great save from Reeve when one-on-one before Lever made it 2-0 on 15 minutes, powering a shot under Smith after Arnold and Reeve combined.
Three minutes later Reeve returned the compliment as he raced down the wing and played a great ball for Arnold who knocked it sideways to give Parsons a simple finish into an open goal.
Reeve almost made it four when his overhead kick was cleared off the line by Rey, and Wilson flashed the follow-up shot across the goal-line.
Arnold’s free-kick from the right found Hibbitt unmarked again and this time he controlled his header for Reeve who was denied by a fantastic reflex save.
It was 35 minutes before Huntingdon created their first real chance through Dobrzanski who beat Gilchrist for speed but shot over the bar.
Melton nearly made it four when Parsons went on a mazy run along the edge of the box before releasing Reeve who again had Smith at full-stretch to deny him.
The resulting corner again found Hibbitt unmarked, but his header found the keeper’s arms.
Melton came out in the second half with a new determination and within four minutes, Hibbitt flicked Arnold’s corner past the keeper for 4-0.
Lever was causing Adams all sorts of problems, and from his run and low cross, Reeve stretched out a foot, but saw his effort cleared off the line by the scrambling keeper.
But Reeve got his well-deserved goal after 57 minutes when he pounced on a through ball and rounded the keeper.
Town’s leading scorer was sent wide, but checked back in and floated a shot which found the far corner of the net.
Substitute Reek almost scored with his first touch, following up on ta rebound when Smith parried away Reeve’s shot, but his effort from out wide went inches wide.
In the 66th minute Reek again drove at the defence and teed up Parsons who was crudely tripped by Maphosa. Parsons’ penalty sent the keeper the wrong way to cap a well-deserved hat-trick.
Reek then got his first goal of the season when the young forward beat the offside trap to reach a chipped ball over the defence and send a low shot into the corner of the net as the keeper closed him down.
With two minutes left, the rout was complete when a great ball put Reeve clear, and his chip over the keeper found Price to head into an empty net.
A truly resounding victory which shows Melton have started the new year with the right attitude to make a bid for promotion.
Town trail leaders Lutterworth by six points, and within two points of second-placed Anstey who have two games in hand.
On Saturday, they travel with renewed confidence to in-form Bugbrooke who took four points off the top two in December. Kick-off 3pm.