MELKSHAM Town suffered a first Southern League Division One defeat since mid-October on Monday night when mid-table Sholing grabbed a 1-4 win at the infiLED Arena.

Sholing struck three times in the first half and once more in the second as Richard Fey’s side ended their quite remarkable unbeaten run that has launched them into the fourth tier’s play-off frame.

Luke Ballinger scored Town’s only goal of the game with just over half-an-hour played, but an inspired comeback couldn’t be achieved as Southampton-based Sholing escaped with all three points.

Despite Monday’s loss, the week hasn’t been all that bad for Fey’s side as they beat Wiltshire rivals Highworth Town by a goal on Saturday in a fiercely competitive game.

In front of 438 spectators, Melksham – fresh from their win over league leaders Thatcham – proved their ability to grind out a result against a Worthians XI packed with youth and experience.

Highworth made a bright start to the game and were first to threaten – Edjidja Mbunga broke past the hosts’ back line before squaring the ball to Ashley Edenborough who was denied by Jamie Bartlett.

Bartell went on to enjoy an excellent game, and deservedly picked up man of the match afterwards.

It was Highworth that still looked more likely to score as the first half reached its conclusion, though Melksham were denied a couple of chances from well-taken corners.

Half time substitute Steve Murray immediately impacted the game once it restarted. Just after the hour-mark had passed, Murray controlled possession well on the edge of the penalty area before a well-directed shot was well saved by Connor Johns.

Roared on by a strong home crowd, Melksham enjoyed more possession as the second half progressed.

Ballinger went close to grabbing a winning goal when his excellent strike from 20 yards was tipped over the crossbar by Johns, and he very nearly scored directly from the resulting corner.

Though Highworth threatened on the break, Melksham struck in the 78th minute to bag three valuable points – new signing Murray responsible for the goal.

He burst through Worthians’ back line before calmly slotting the ball past the ‘keeper – his shot clipped the post before rolling into the net.

Melksham are next in action on Saturday when Cinderford visit the infiLED Arena.