Ref inspired to write as Melton Town and Holwell Sports buck derby trend

Both benches sent out their teams to play the derby in a good spirit EMN-181219-101240002
Both benches sent out their teams to play the derby in a good spirit EMN-181219-101240002
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Local derbies are not always the friendliest of matches, but Melton and Holwell bucked the trend by ditching the traditional animosity on Saturday.

There were fears that the duel for bragging rights in the teams’ first-ever league derby as well as the brutal conditions could add some feisty spice to the big occasion.

But the reality turned out to be quite the reverse.

So much so that referee Cliff Miles was inspired to write a post-match letter, praising the conduct of both sets of players and management staff.

“I am not in the habit of writing to secretaries after matches, however after yesterday’s game I felt it only appropriate to do so,” he wrote.

“The attitude of all the players, management and other staff of both teams hat I encountered yesterday was first class.

“The on-field behaviour of the players towards each other, my assistants, and to me was extremely refreshing.

“I have seldom refereed a match in such poor weather conditions, but the players produced a hugely entertaining contest that I thoroughly enjoyed. Great credit is de to them.”

He added: “Thank you also for the hospitality offered to us before and after the game.

“I wish you both well for the remainder of the season and I look forward to encountering both clubs again.”

Melton Town co-manager Tom Manship chose to lead by example on the pitch and was pleased with his side’s discipline, having had to manage five sendings-off this season, including three against Lutterworth Town in October.

“It’s only been a couple of occasions where the players have let us down and Saturday could have been another one of those occasions,” he said.

“But they didn’t let that happen and the discipline was great.”