MELKSHAM Town manager Richard Fey has no doubt his new-look side have the credentials to be competitive in Southern League Division One South after an opening week of fluctuating fortunes.

Fey, who took over at the InfiLED Arena over the summer, began his competitive tenure with a thrilling 6-3 win at home to Slimbridge on Saturday.

However, the feel-good factor drained away on Tuesday as a Melksham side shorn of several key players crashed 5-0 at Cirencester Town.

Fey put that midweek loss down to enforced changes and reckons the season-opening performance against Slimbridge was a true barometer of his side’s ability.

“Saturday was a great performance. To score six goals at home in the first game of the season was a great start,” said Fey.

“Then on Tuesday, we were without six key players. That is going to hurt any team.

“I definitely wouldn’t say it was a 5-0 hammering. I think we had 17 chances – we had more on Tuesday then we did on Saturday – but we just couldn’t score.

“When you see the opposition goalkeeper getting the man-of-the-match award, you start to realise it is not all doom and gloom.

“The support we had on Saturday was fantastic – and those that travelled to Cirencester too.

“We are being hurt by injuries and holidays at the moment. It has been the same in pre-season but once I can get my best 16 players available consistently, I am sure we will do OK this season.”

Although Melksham made a flying start to the season against Slimbridge, they were actually forced to come from behind to do so as Myron Turner scored an early opener for the visitors.

Luke Ballinger soon levelled things up before further goals from Callum Demkiv and Jack Ball put the home side 3-1 to the good.

Rhys Sarson cut the deficit to a single goal at half-time before Melksham finally put the result to bed in the closing stages of the second half.

Tom Warren, Oscar Latas and Ballinger all scored after the 80-minute mark to put Fey’s side 6-2 up before Jamie Martin scored a late consolation for Slimbridge.

On Tuesday, goals from Aidan Bennett, Alan Griffin and Michael Pook put Cirencester 3-0 up at half-time before further strikes from Oliver Artwell and Josh Grace-Parsons made the points safe after the break.