DEVIZES Town claimed a first Toolstation League Division One win since September on Saturday as they thrashed Bristol Telephones 5-2 at home.

Alistair Bradley struck early on at Nursteed Road but the visitors had restored parity by half-time.

It was one-way traffic after the change of ends, though, and Chris Allen got Devizes back in front from the penalty spot.

Matt Swain and a second from Bradley pulled the hosts further clear, and although Telephones pulled a goal back, Jordan Anning struck late on to cap Devizes’ five-star performance.

Elsewhere, player unavailability hurt title chasers Calne Town as they surrendered a two-goal half-time lead away against Ashton & Backwell United to lose 3-2.

Missing Jamal Chevelleau and Fabian Stanislas from the previous win at Sherborne Town, Calne’s defeat meant they missed out on the chance to close the gap on leaders Longwell Green Sports.

Calne joint-manager Trevor Rawlings wasn’t too hard on his players in the aftermath of Saturday’s untimely defeat, particularly given the club’s rather desperate circumstances.

Rawlings was forced to play his first-choice full-back up front to bolster Town’s attacking options.

And the move surprisingly appeared to work as Declan McStravik and Aaron Witchell scored two goals in the space of six minutes towards the end of the first half to establish a two-goal lead.

But Backwell fought back and netted three times in the second half, reversing their deficit into a one-goal win.

Rawlings said: “The re-shuffle looked like it was going to work. But Ashton & Backwell put us under a lot of pressure in the second half and we’re disappointed to have crumbled.

“Balls kept going into dangerous areas, and it was a case of backs against the wall.

“Injuries and player unavailability are always a challenge at this level, and we’re grateful to our squad depth because we are relentlessly changing the team.

“I can’t recall having the same XI all season – someone will always be away or working.

“Luckily, that depth has helped us get to where we are. Of course, our options at front didn’t help on Saturday but we still scored two goals.

“We were up against it.”

Saturday aside, Rawlings – in company with fellow boss Ben Redford – has certainly been taken by surprise with regards to his side’s remarkable start to the season.

After a major squad overhaul in the summer, Rawlings targeted a top-10 finish this term – never did he expect to be mixing it at the top.

He said: “At the start of the season, we hoped to be a top-10 team given that we’ve got a new side.

“We had players leave in the summer, and replaced those with youngsters who have gelled well together.

“There’s a decent team spirit and we have done well.”

Also on Saturday, Corsham Town drew 0-0 at home to Cheddar, while Warminster Town lost 1-0 away at Hengrove Athletic.