A HALF-TIME dressing down from manager Wayne Thorne proved the inspiration for Melksham Town’s three-goal comeback in Saturday’s Wiltshire Senior Cup quarter-final at Laverstock and Ford.

Thorne was so incensed with the first half performance that saw his side go two goals down, that not only did he threaten them with an extra training session the following day, but also warned some players would not play for the club again if they did not improve.

And Thorne’s side, who had gifted Laverstock two free headers in the first half to send them into the break 2-0 up, were a different team after the interval.

Several minutes after half time they gave the best possible response when Gavin Eyre floated in a corner and the unmarked Greg Tindle nodded into the net.

Substitute Natty Auckland, back from a hamstring injury, scored a poacher’s goal mid-way into the second period and minutes later Melksham went ahead for the first time.

Eyre crossed and once again Auckland contributed, as his flick-on was nodded in from two yards by Dave Macey to make it 3-2.

Laverstock threw on an extra striker in the latter stages but the central defensive combination of the outstanding Adam Young and Gary Thorne held firm.

“We were looking like rabbits in headlights,” admitted Thorne, of the scoreline at half time.

“I was going to bring them in Sunday if they didn’t improve. I told a few of the lads that they were playing for their Melksham Town futures, and to be fair they put in a performance that got themselves out of it.

“We gave ourselves a big hill to climb in the second half but we did it. They showed a desire to keep themselves in the cup.”

Melksham find out who they will play in the semi-final when the draw takes place at The Conigre on Thursday.

Thorne said he had no preferences who to take on from a footballing point of view, but revealed he would like to play Wootton Bassett Town as he lived there for 15 years as a youngster.

Warminster Town and Highworth Town are the other two teams left in the draw.

Melksham’s home match against Wellington in the Toolstation League on Monday was postponed due to snow.

This means Melksham have had three games postponed within the space of 17 days, as their game against Laverstock had twice been called off beforehand.

Wayne Thorne’s men travel to Bishop Sutton tomorrow.

Melksham will be looking for their first league win of the year against the Somerset side, who gained a shock 3-0 win at Dawlish Town on Saturday.