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Ilfracombe Town v Melksham Town: match preview

By NDJAndrew  |  Posted: April 11, 2014

Ilfracombe Town beat Melksham Town 3-2 the last time they met at Marlborough Park in October 2012

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Ross Middleton has again demanded an end to the errors that have put Ilfracombe Town in Toolstation Western League relegation danger.

Not for the first time the manager has been frustrated by individual mistakes.

The bubble of last week’s 4-0 win over Radstock Town was quickly burst when Gary Skinner conceded an early penalty at fellow strugglers Slimbridge on Saturday and Danny Chandler scored from the spot.

Goalkeeper Kurtis Parkin then took a heavy touch from Mark Clunie’s backpass and saw Sean Lawson steal the ball and make it 2-0.

An excellent volley by Jack Twyman gave Slimbridge a third goal before Clunie lost possession and Dean Turner completed a 4-0 win for the home side.

“Mistakes cost us again,” said Middleton. “The momentum should have been there (after the Radstock win) but we shot ourselves in the foot within three or four minutes by conceding the penalty.

“We put ourselves on the back foot instantly, which is frustrating.

“The first 10 minutes of the second half was all us and I was thinking we were going to get an equaliser but unfortunately we made another howler. It’s things we have gone over a lot.”

Ilfracombe are third from bottom in the Premier Division, one point clear of Hengrove Athletic but five adrift of Radstock. They have games in hand and their fate is likely to be sealed in a run of four games in 10 days – all against top-half teams.

They start with the visit of seventh-placed Melksham Town tomorrow. Combe then visit Sherborne Town on Wednesday, host Bitton on Good Friday and go to Willand Rovers on Easter Monday.

“We have to make the home games count,” said Middleton. “We have got to be hard to beat at home and we have certainly got to be keeping clean sheets.”

Ilfracombe hope to have forwards Stan Paxton, Ed Yeo and Shaun Lewis back from injury. “That attacking area has been ripped apart,” said Middleton.

Previous meetings

Mar 8, 2014: Melksham Tn 1 Ilfracombe Tn 0

Feb 16, 2013: Melksham Tn 3 Ilfracombe Tn 1 (Holland)

Oct 27, 2012: Ilfracombe Tn 3 (Holland, Darch, Tucker) Melksham Tn 2

Feb 18, 2012: Ilfracombe Tn 2 (Middleton pen, Rossiter) Melksham Tn 0

Dec 5, 2009: Ilfracombe Tn 3 (Lewis, Gough 2) Melksham Tn 3

Oct 31, 2009: Melksham Tn 1 Ilfracombe Tn 3 (Marinaro, Gough, Taswell)

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