Promotion-chasing Melton Town extend unbeaten run to 16

Town's leading scorer Zak Munton was on target again
Town's leading scorer Zak Munton was on target again
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Melton Town strengthened their promotion hopes as they extended their unbeaten run to 15 league matches with victory over Bourne on Saturday.

Having only beaten the Lincolnshire side by a single goal in the reverse fixture just a month ago, Melton player-manager Tom Manship knew not to take Bourne lightly.

A slow start saw Leon Fray produce the only real moment of danger when his 25-yard effort caught the wind and had Eatough scrambling back to tip the ball over the bar.

A good Melton attack saw Sam Beaver and Jordan Lever combined with a one-two which left Lever driving into the area, only to be tripped, but the penalty calls, from all around the ground, were waved away.

But the hosts’ dominance was rewarded in the 14th minute when Nathan Arnold, on the overlap, played a low cross into the box which found Zak Munton who side-stepped Botterill and slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

Nathan Benjamin’s header from a corner then forced Eatough to parry the ball away to prevent a second goal.

Melton retained the ball well throughout the half and dominated possession, but chances remained few and far between.

A run from Lever across the edge of the box was touched on by Sandy, and Lever’s strike flew inches wide.

It took until the 38th minute before Melton earned some breathing space.

Beaver cut out a Bourne clearance and sent in a cross over the defence which found Arnold clear on goal to calmly chip the keeper for 2-0.

The second half became a match of defence versus attack as Bourne parked the bus and invited the home side onto them.

There were only two chances to speak of.

Sandy won a battle on the edge of the area and played a pass out to Lever whose first-time effort needed Eatough to push the ball past the post.

The other chance came late om when substitute Tom Harris outsprinted Richards on the overlap and played a pass across the six-yard box to fellow sub Laithan Hammond.

The striker was unlucky to see his shot go a whisker past the post.

The home side played well without having to get out of second gear against a well-drilled Bourne defence, and with the three teams directly below all losing, Melton extended their cushion inside the promotion places to seven points with two games in hand.

They welcome bottom side Lutterworth Athletic to The Signright on Tuesday (ko 7.45pm) ahead of further home matches with Birstall on Saturday (ko 3pm), and Saffron Dynamo the following Tuesday.

Town: Peet, Beaver (Harris), Benjamin, Hibbitt, Gilchrist, Fray, Lever, Bucalossi, Sandy (Hammond), Munton, Arnold.