Below par - but it's still a win for Melbourn

PUBLISHED: 11:34 25 January 2007 | UPDATED: 14:57 12 May 2010

Andrew Harrington scored Melbourn Reserves’ second goal and created the third - Pic: Dan Wilson

Andrew Harrington scored Melbourn Reserves' second goal and created the third - Pic: Dan Wilson

Melbourn Reserves 3 Newport Vets 0 DESPITE a below par performance from Melbourn in this Division 5A game, they recorded a comfortable victory on Saturday. The hosts started brightly with lots of early pressure, although with Newport defending deep

Melbourn Reserves 3 Newport Vets 0

DESPITE a below par performance from Melbourn in this Division 5A game, they recorded a comfortable victory on Saturday.

The hosts started brightly with lots of early pressure, although with Newport defending deep, they were mainly restricted to long range efforts.

The first real chance came midway through the first half, Michael Harper setting up Stephen Edwards, who created space for a shot which was well parried by the keeper.

It was the visitors though who almost opened the scoring just before the break, a long ball over the top caught out the Melbourn defence, the Newport striker crashing a terrific shot against Paul William's crossbar.

A bold half-time change from player-manager Ashley Cooper saw midfielder Michael Harper don the gloves and Williams switch to the right flank, a move that would later pay dividends.

Melbourn upped the tempo after the restart and soon Wayne Gordon hit the bar from distance, Edwards unable to turn in the rebound.

Minutes later, Gordon again was unluck. This time his effort struck a post, and Williams's follow-up was blocked by some brave defending.

Cooper kept the scores level, brilliantly scooping the ball off his own goal line before Melbourn made the break through around the hour mark, Drew Harrington sweeping in a cross from the left, Edwards almost turned it in before Williams fired home at the second attempt.

Williams then returned the favour, his low cross from left set up Harrington for a simple tap in, to make it 2-0.

Melbourn's best football came in the last 10 minutes, the cross bar taking yet more punishment as first Edwards hit one from the edge the box and then Harrington did the same, this time Edwards stabbed in the rebound to seal the win.

Balsham 1 Melbourn 4

THREE late goals saw Melbourn crush fourth placed Balsham on Saturday.

The home pitch did not provide either team with a suitable playing surface and the first hour was a scrappy affair with Melbourn creating the better of the chances, only to see them squandered.

Andrew Ridden, Mark Williams, Jason Gray and Andy Richardson had clear opportunities to put Melbourn ahead in the first half, but all were either easily gathered by the home keeper, or went well wide of the target.

Balsham opened the scoring with a goalmouth scramble following Melbourn's failure to deal with a speculative high ball into the box and the resulting attempted shot.

However, Ridden brought the game level when he ran onto a through ball from Richardson and coolly knocked in the equaliser.

At 1-1 it appeared the home side were happy with that scoreline as they played with little urgency in their game.

However, Melbourn's tenacity and endeavour paid off with Richardson slamming in number two on the hour mark.

Steve Marriott was swapped for Russell Cooper who added to his personal goal tally with a well taken third to give the visitors a clear lead.

Fergus Lury and Gray were the victims of some cynical tackling towards the end of the match but miraculously, the limping Lury hammered home the fourth on 80 minutes to seal a hard earnt victory, following a run from inside his own half.

Royston Town Vets 2 Ashwell 2

VETS returned to action with a scrappy draw against Ashwell at Garden Walk.

Nick King, Jason Clark and Paul Lewis all returned to the squad, the notable absentee being the injured Kevin Flack, who Town could have done with, as they quickly found themselves 2-0 down following poor defending.

Despite lots of effort, Town struggled to make anything really happen, looking lethargic, jaded and devoid of inspiration, against a lively Ashwell team.

Daryl Quinn once again showed the Town strikers how to find the back of the net, pulling one back, driving home from 15 yards and a delightful ball from skipper Brian Cannon picked out Carlo Silenti who made the scores level.

The second half saw a more composed and controlled performance, with some good football from both sides.

A rare Mike Jackson header was saved on the line, Kevin Barhrop looked to have headed home, only not to be and the same player forced a great save from the Ashwell keeper.

There were no goals in the second half, but what a different performance from Town that showed they can play when they want to.

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