The points were shared between Melksham and Manor Farm after an incredible second half at Oakfield, writes Jack Davies.
The tone was set early in this one as both sides could have led in the opening 10 minutes. Farm striker Ben Bament had a goal ruled out for offside before home wide man Albie Hopkins hit the bar from distance. Farm began to take control as the frantic early pace settled down but found home keeper Mac Boyd in good form. He saved smartly from Jake Gosling and Jayden Nielsen before the referee’s very eventful afternoon began at the half hour. Nielsen was hauled to the floor inside the area and the only man in the ground who didn’t think it was a penalty was the man in the middle. Despite that setback, Farm would take a lead into the break. Prolific frontman Owen Howe lashed home an unstoppable drive for his 23rd of the season.
A crazy second half began just a few minutes in. Melksham drew level as Hopkins found himself unmarked in the area before placing the ball in the far corner. That man Hopkins wasn’t done there either. He turned the game completely on its head before the hour, bursting into the area and driving the ball off the underside of the crossbar. The third goal in a frantic 12 minutes saw the teams draw level again. Bament slid in the equaliser for Farm just moments after they fell behind. Neither side would finish the game with their full complement of players, and it was the home side who felt the wrath of the officials first. Aaron Witchell lashing out at Farm keeper Ben John. Owen Howe joined the Melksham man in being sent for an early bath 10 minutes later, given a straight red for an incident missed by most in the ground. Farm looked like they’d done enough to get a big away win as teenage sensation Luco Ponsillo put them ahead inside 30 seconds after being substituted on. With just seconds left on the clock, it would be the hosts who would have the final say on Good Friday at a sunkissed Oakfields Stadium. Experienced frontman Luke Hopper rolled back the years when he managed to beat Harry Lucas to the ball and rifle in a late equaliser.
STAR MAN – Jayden Nielsen.