Melton hold on to win as game nearly pinched back

Melton Town defeated a determined Pinchbeck United thanks to goals from Cam Gilchrist, Cam Smith and a Zak Munton brace. The Knights gave Town a fright though, pulling two late goals back as Melton held on for a 4-3 victory.

The 183 in attendance, based on a 4-1 win in the previous encounter and the clubs’ relative positions in the table, were expecting Town to get amongst the goals early on. They didn’t have to wait long, five minutes in a hit and hope by Harry Peasgood from outside the box took a deflection and was lost in the sun by Bill Harrison in goal for Town as the visitors took an early lead.

Town began to play some expansive football with Paul Anderson running at them on one side and Tom Harris on the other wing with Pinchbeck merely happy to clear their lines and stem the flow. It wasn’t long before the scores were level though as in the 13th minute Munton pulled one back across goal where Gilchrist arrived to drive it home.

Cameron Gilchrist celebrating on Saturday. Photo: NEMM

Melton were very much in the ascendency with Pinchbeck camped in their half. Smith had a good chance in the 21st minute but saw his powerful header well saved by Alex Smith in the United goal.

Munton and Smith were causing no end of problems for Pinchbeck’s centre halves and within minutes Town went 2-1 up after Sam Beaver’s attempt was saved, top-scorer Munton reacted quickest to the loose ball and smashed it into the net.

Top Scorer Zak Munton in action on Saturday. Photo: NEMM

Town were now happy to play the ball around and take their time, controlling the midfield with Ryan Calver seemingly everywhere. As the first half came to a close Smith slotted one home that the keeper got a hand to, but couldn’t keep out.

From the start of the second half Melton went on the attack, continuing their dominance but finding chances harder to come by, until the 53rd minute when Munton got in again and stroked home his twelfth goal of the season, this one from a Beaver run across the box.

From the hour mark the game became more even, with the home side find themselves defending more and Captain Leon Fray clearing up a couple of chances.

The Knights, buoyed by their increased share of possession were having a fair bit of joy down their left and had a man over on 70 mins, pulling one back through Kyle Onyon who had come on as a substitute.

To their credit, Melton didn’t look to sit on their advantage as Munton had a chance for his hat-trick and Jordan Lever, on as sub, hit one that was well saved. The game was still looking comfortable for the Reds but Pinchbeck began to counter more.

Then on 84 minutes a shot from Onyon, from at least 25 yards, evades Harrison in goal, looping over his head and suddenly it was game on, from seemingly nowhere Pinchbeck were back in it.

The sense of unease from the stands was palpable, but didn’t spill over to on to the pitch as Town held their nerve, even though an injury to Jesse Hammond meant they had to see out a lengthy injury time with just ten men. Pinchbeck did very nearly steal a point at the death as a 94th minute header flashed narrowly wide of the post.

Physio Danny O'Brien assists injured Jesse Hammond. Photo: NEMM

With the final whistle blown, Melton were grateful to have hung on for all three points, but it was a match that should have never been in any doubt with the dominance shown throughout the first hour. The home support was tremendous throughout the match and Melton Town will be hoping that continues as Sleaford Town visit Sign Right Park next Saturday.

Melton Town 4 - Pinchbeck United 3

Report by Dean Williams

Photos: NEMM

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