MELKSHAM Town chairman Mick Perrin has paid tribute to player-boss Wayne Thorne following The Conigre outfit’s impressive start to the league season.

Melksham lie fourth in the Toolstation League Premier Division following their 3-0 victory at Ilfracombe Town on Saturday, five points behind leaders Dawlish Town but with two games in hand.

And chairman Perrin admitted he was surprised at how well ex-Chippenham Town defender Thorne had got his team playing.

He even voiced fears that Thorne could take his management skills to a higher level.

When asked if he thought the league season would go as well as it had, Perrin said: “No, I must be honest. What he (Thorne) has done is quite remarkable.

“He’s got a tremendous spirit there, he’s got a very professional approach and he’s a winner.

“I often said about Kelvin (Highmore, former boss) that he was a very good manager to work with and Wayne’s exactly the same.

“He’s very cooperative, he will listen and he’s not demanding. He’s been absolutely superb.

“From a league point of view you couldn’t ask for anything more. The performance against Bideford (a fortnight ago) was probably one of the best I’ve seen.”

And Perrin added the clubs higher up the league ladder could come calling if Thorne’s success continues.

Perrin said: “I think he could go onto better things.

“If they move on then we accept it. It’s part of the level we play at.”

Melksham notched up their latest away victory at Ilfracombe on Saturday, meaning they have won five away league games out of six this season.

The visitors took the lead when David Thompson’s mis-hit cross flew in after 15 minutes, and soon after it was 2-0 as the in-form Natty Auckland stroked home Jonny Davoile’s through ball.

In the second half, Greg Tindle, who is still wanted by Chippenham Town, beat several men and smacked a superb srtike into the net from 20 yards.

Melksham play Calne Town at The Conigre tomorrow, a derby overshadowed by the recent death of Calne chairman Brian Hillier.

Perrin, who planned to attend the funeral this week, said: “I knew Brian quite well. I spoke to him this year when he came into the ground and had a beer.

“He was a nice bloke to speak to and Calne are a nice club. I know a lot of the players and I’ve got great respect for them.”

Melksham host Frome Town on Monday.

Perrin said he expected The Robins to be in the hunt for the league title this season.

He said: “They are going to be in the mix at the end of the year.”