Melton Town continued their good United Counties league form with another solid all-round display to collected the three points against Thrapston Town.
The home side made just two changes from the side who earned an excellent point in a 2-2 draw at Division One leaders Blackstones in midweek with keeper Jamie Witham returning and Charlie Sheridan making his debut at full-back.
Melton were soon into their stride and playing the ball around confidently, but with Thrapston getting numbers behind the ball, chances were hard to come by,
A lovely move between Mike Hendey and Tom Byrne saw the latter denied by a brilliant save from keeper Fox, and Liam Ambrose went close with a powerful header from a Matt Hendey corner.
With Town’s midfield totally in control of proceedings, the breakthrough came on 20 minutes with Matt Hendey starting the move by picking out Coser.
He pulled the ball back for Mike Hendey to play in Byrne who, having lost his marker, wasn’t going to be denied a second time and drilled his shot low and hard past Fox.
Thrapston were relying on catching Melton on the break, but their lively forward Cory James was well dealt with by Hollis and Joe Cooper.
On the stroke of half-time the visitors almost got on terms, with Witham doing well to turn Dupre’s effort round the post at the expense of a corner.
Melton began the second half keeping possession well and they increased their lead when Josh Clark, after good work from Coser and Hibbitt, showed excellent composure to wrong-foot Hanley and Brown and fire past Fox.
It was all Melton at this stage with Lane, Clark and Justin going close to adding to Melton’s lead.
But a moment’s indiscipline from Byrne earned him two yellow cards in quick succession for speaking out of turn to the referee.
Thrapston pushed men forward, but Melton handled the situation until with 20 minutes remaining, Goodman cut inside and found Shortland who placed his header past Witham to bring the game within reach.
Melton responded admirably and, despite their numerical disadvantage, always carried the greater threat with the pace of Trow and Clark.
Kieran Lane was a constant threat on the left and when another surging run from the full-backs was halted illegally the referee awarded the free-kick. Mike Hendey took the opportunity to crash a dipping shot which beat Fox all ends up and sealed a deserved win.
Co-manager Steve Hendey said: “Considering all the new faces and the obvious disruptions with players unavailable at this time of year then Shane (Jarram - co-manager) and I are very pleased with how things are going.
“We had young Charlie Sheridan making his debut and he did very well, as did the other youngsters Kieran Lane, Justin Trow and, again, Josh Clark. “There’s a good feeling around the place at the moment and it’s nice to have a strong bench so we know we have players who can come on and influence the game at both ends.
“We’ve suffered a big blow with the injury to skipper Tom Cooper who’ll be absent for a while so they’ll be more pressure on Hollis and Joe Cooper to hold the defence together.
“The signings of Jamie Witham and Chris Hibbitt are a big plus, giving us good experience alongside the very young lads and we’ve a good mixture now. It was another good three points.”
* The games continue to come thick and fast for Town who host second-bottom Stewarts and Lloyds at Digital Deadline Park on Saturday (kick-off 3pm) before making the trip to Grantham on Tuesday evening to take on mid-table Harrowby United.