CHIPPENHAM & DISTRICT SUNDAY LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION: Keeper Viola stars for Westbury

AFTER back-to-back defeats Westbury Rangers made a welcomed return to winning ways after they beat AFC Melksham 1-0 in what was the only fixture in the S.K. Fruits Limited, Chippenham & District Sunday League Premier Division.

Melksham welcomed Westbury to Christie Miller on a bleak Sunday morning for what turned out be a hard fought tactical battle between the two evenly-matched sides with the result being decided by a tale of two penalties and a sublime goalkeeping performance from Westbury’s stopper Marco Viola.

Melksham stroked the ball round from front to back all morning but the disciplined visitors showed a solid rearguard that saw Viola shine when tested and when he was the beaten the woodwork came to his rescue on no fewer than seven occasions.

On 40 minutes Melksham were awarded a penalty, Jordan Kirk stepped up and struck a powerful effort low to Viola’ right and with the keeper diving full length he somehow managed to tip Kirk’s effort around the post.

The second half saw the visitors working the home defence with Mark Young, Scott Walford and Nathen Hallett testing the solid Ethan Cox and passionate Chris Dore plus making Brad Partner work on his defensive skills rather than his dangerous runs forward.

After a strong 15 minutes from Westbury where the rarely-troubled Gareth Evans he was thankful as Mark Young rattled the post.

Melksham then regained control of things and the tireless Brett Partner tormented the visitors flank, Josh Robinson hit an upright Jordan Kirk twice hit the bar and upright and the fantastic heroics of the Westbury keeper save everything from a rampant Melksham side.

It looked as if their was only going to be one winner to this fascinating contest but as happens every week a surprise was in store and right at the death referee Neil Fautley awarded a penalty having rightly adjudged Keiron Mills to have fouled Nathen Hallett.

Both those watching and the Melksham linesman thought the incident was outside the box, but the referee stood by his original decision with Mills receiving his marching orders.

Hallett picked himself up and stroked ball in from 12 yards to earn Westbury their win.

MATCHES OFF: FC Colerne v The Castle FC, Steeple Ashton Rangers v Bradford Renegades.

CHIPPENHAM SUNDAY LEAGUE ROUNDUP, STATS AND PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES AND FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport and @WTSport

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