Melton Town were in action on Tuesday night in their long anticipated game on their new playing surface.
The club put all their efforts in to a great night which included local VIPs and guests and the grand opening of the new pitch by sponsor Rapper Mist and Leader of Melton Borough Council Joe Orson.
Chairman Matt Curtis, club sponsor and rapper Mist and Councillor Joe Orson cut the ribbon at the new 3g pitch ahead of their first game on the surface. Photo: NEMM.
Representatives from Melton Borough Council along with past Melton Town Managers were also in attendance on the night which drew in one of Melton's biggest crowds of the season so far.
The Melton side, wearing red shirts and red shorts, were escorted out by mascots from Melton Town Foxes FC.
Melton Town V Newark FC on Tuesday night. Photo: The Sports Dad.
The long awaited return to a home match of nearly 13 months was rewarded with a record crowd of 459 braving the cold weather.
Melton Town warm up ahead of their first official home fixture on the new surface. Photo: NEMM
Newark never read the script and started the game the better side and should have taken the lead in the 11th minute when Kyle Dixon and Joe Harrison played a one two behind the defence only for Harrisons shot to go inches over the crossbar.
Melton then started to take command of the game. 20 minutes in and a corner found Robbins at the back post, he touched it inside to Muggleton but he couldn’t keep his effort down. Robbins then came close with a freekick on the edge of the area which beat the wall only to shade the outside of the post.
Another freekick from Manship had the visitors at 6s and 7s when he floated it into Munton whose low cross found Fray 6 yards out in front of goal but the ball wouldn’t settle and his touch went just over. Then on the half hour Calver and Dunn interlinked in the box with the latter seeing his shot beautifully saved by Andrew.
Paul Anderson in action on Tuesday night against Newark. Photo: The Sports Dad.
Then on the stroke of half time a rare Newark attack resulted in a freekick where Dixon found the unmarked Callum Ball only for his header to be tipped over the bar by Harrison. The second half took a bit of time to settle as both teams tried to dominate possession. Anderson and Munton played around the defence with Zak eventually firing in a shot which found Sam Andrews midriff. Melton stepped up the pressure in search of a winner.
Robbins beat McNicholas and from the by-line sent in a powerful shot which the keeper blocked at the near post. With 6 minutes left Melton had a good shout for a penalty when the ball was sent into the 6 yard box and a mad scramble saw a Newark hand appearing to hit the ball but the ref was having none of it.
Ryan Robbins goes up against Newark's Nathan Smith. Photo: The Sports Dad.
Then with just 60 seconds left Newark counter attacked and as the ball went towards the byline it was not dealt with and as it came out to the edge of the box Danny Meadows thumped a low shot which beat both defence and keeper to nestle in the net.
A good game of football in front of a bumper crowd that deserved more than one goal. Newark defended very well and Melton made enough chances to win the game but at this level if you don’t convert them then you get punished.
Newark's Joshua Stevenson takes the ball from Melton's Ryan Robbins. Photo: The Sports Dad.
Melton will brush themselves down and start to prepare for Skegness at home on Saturday. 3pm KO at Signright Park.
Melton: Bill Harrison, Sam Beaver, Sam Muggleton, Tom Manship, Cam Gilcrest, Leon Fray, Paul Anderson, Ryan Calver, Zak Munton (C), Henry Dunn, Ryan Robbins. Subs: Owen Storeys, Quin Johnson, Nathan Benjamin, tom Harris, Jesse Hammond.
Newark: Sam Andrews, Robbie McNicolas, Nathan Smith, Joshua Stevenson, Callum Ball, Joe Harrison, Danny Meadows (1), Kyle Dixon, Tariq Wilson, Nathan Kelly, Jurelle Philip. Subs: Mustafah John, Ayleal Dill, Mason Rowley, Brontae Wint, Richemone Sylla.
Have a look at our photo gallery below.
Words: Sam Ellis
Photos: The Sports Dad/NEMM.
For more photos from the night check out The Sports Dad on Facebook by clicking here. A huge thank you to the Sports Dad for the images.