Midweek MatchesIn Monday evening’s FA Vase replay, two goals from Luke Ballinger sealed the deal for Melksham Town as they progressed at the expense of Bridgwater Town thanks to a 2-0 win at Oakfields. Ballinger opened the scoring in the early minutes after his free-kick evaded everyone before nestling in the goal, before the same man capped a fine individual performance late on with a fearsome drive. Melksham will now meet Crowborough Athletic in the last 32 after seeing off Bridgwater following a terrific 210 minutes of cup action between the sides. In the Premier Division on Tuesday, an 18th minute strike from Ed Butcher was the difference between the sides as Bridport claimed a 1-0 win away at Longwell Green Sport. The following evening, two goals from Craig Veal helped Willand Rovers knock out Plymouth Argyle in their Devon FA St Lukes Bowl quarter-final.
Street extended their winning run in the league to 11 matches following a 1-0 triumph at home to Hengrove Athletic. After going close on a couple occasions in the early stages, Street finally made the breakthrough when David O’Hare headed home in the 36th minute and that proved to be enough to claim the three points. Willand Rovers scored three times after the break to claim an impressive 3-0 win away at Bridgwater Town. The in-form Craig Veal set the visitors on their way in the second minute of the second-half, before Luke Mortimore doubled their lead on the hour. It was then left to Luke Alden to add gloss to the scoreline in stoppage time with Willand’s third to end Bridgy’s five-match winning run in the league. Third-place Bradford Town also scored their goals during the second-half in their 2-0 victory at home to Brislington. The hosts were gifted with a golden opportunity to break the deadlock in the 65th minute, but Alex Monks saw his penalty cannon back of the post, before seeing his rebound pushed wide for a corner. From the resulting set-piece, Martin Lenihan swung the ball in at the front post where it nestled into the net to save Monks’ blushes and give Bradford the lead. Danny Greaves’ side then wrapped-up victory late on when Sam Jordan fired the ball home. In the performance of the day, the ten-men of Shepton Mallet overturned a two-goal deficit to defeat Bridport 3-2. A bad challenge early on from Jack Goodall saw him sent off, and Bridport took advantage of the extra man by taking a half-time lead through Leigh Bailey. Richard Hebditch then doubled the away side’s tally on the hour mark, before Tyson Pollard reduced the arrears with a well-taken goal. Moving into the final ten minutes, Harry Ratcliffe was felled in the box which allowed Pollard to equalise from the spot, and then with just minutes remaining skipper James Billing slotted home to complete the dramatic comeback.
Another strong showing on their home patch from Wellington saw them claim a 2-1 win at home to Buckland Athletic. The hosts shot out of the blocks, with Conor Pengelly scoring twice in the first 17 minutes, which meant that when Jared Lewington headed home just before the hour mark Wellington had enough of a lead in the bank to take the victory. There was also a win for Odd Down, who had goals from Kye Simpson, Charlie Richards and Ash McGrane to thanks in their 3-0 victory over Wells City. Longwell Green Sports secured their second point of the season after drawing 0-0 away at Chipping Sodbury Town, while Hallen drew 1-1 with Bitton after Tom Collett equalised late on for the hosts following Jack Allward’s opener. In a topsy-turvy encounter at the Hand Stadium, a late missed penalty from Kane Ingram meant that Clevedon Town drew 2-2 at home to Cribbs. Both sides made strong starts to the encounter, with Lucas Vowles putting Clevedon ahead in the sixth minute, before Chris Kite equalised for the visitors just five minutes later. Clevedon retook the lead thanks to a header from Morgan Williams, with George King then grabbing Cribbs’ second equaliser of the afternoon, before Ingram spurned a golden chance late on for Town from the spot.
Keynsham Town took advantage of Roman Glass St George’s inactivity to build a three-point lead atop the division following their 3-0 win away at Calne Town. They left it late before claiming victory, scoring three times in the final 20 minutes through James Ollis, Jordan Anstey and Matt Curnock. There was a storming 5-1 win for Westbury United away at Oldland Abbotonians, while the bottom side Portishead Town claimed a surprise 2-0 victory away at Bishops Lydeard. At Hardenhuish Park, Chippenham Park came from behind to defeat Almondsbury 2-1. After Alex Bisp had fired the visitors ahead, Lewis McCarron grabbed an equaliser for the hosts before Garry Lock scored a stoppage time winner to hand Park their sixth league win of the campaign. Goals from Eben Mortimer-Taylor, Mark Young and Charlie Walton helped Warminster Town overcome Chard Town 3-1 at Weymouth Street. Marcus Cook bagged another goal during Wincanton Town’s 1-1 draw at home to Radstock Town, while Bishop Sutton moved up to 7th spot following a 4-2 victory at home to Bristol Telephones. Fifth-place Welton Rovers secured a 1-1 draw at home to Ashton & Backwell United, with Shak Green heading home an equaliser after Paul Uppington had put the visitors ahead in the early stages of the second half.