Swindon open up pre-season with victory over Melksham

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Swindon open up pre-season with victory over Melksham
Swindon open up pre-season with victory over Melksham

SWINDON Town opened up the club’s pre-season campaign with a 3-2 victory over Melksham Town at the Oakfield Stadium on Saturday.

Two trialists netted for Swindon either side of Ricky Aguiar’s first-half strike as head coach Scott Lindsey made a winning start to his tenure.

Luke Ballinger had equalised for Melksham initially before former Swindon striker Sol Pryce put the hosts ahead.

But Swindon’s superior quality showed in the end, and Melksham tired after playing Bristol Rovers on Friday night.

Lindsey fielded a first-half XI that featured just four recognised names and seven hopeful trialists. Aguiar began the friendly along with Mo Dabre – fresh from signing a new contract – Harrison Minturn, and goalkeeper Sol Brynn.

After the professional side survived an early scare courtesy of a Pryce header, Lindsey’s men opened the scoring in the 15th minute.

Swindon broke on the counter-attack and Dabre picked out trialist number 10 on the left edge of the box. He shifted the ball onto his left foot and slammed a powerful shot into the top right corner.

But just three minutes later the Southern League Division One South side hit straight back. Albie Hopkins delivered a sumptuous ball in from the left and Ballinger, who made space between the two trialist centre-backs, nodded down to the left of Brynn.

No more than five minutes after that, Melksham went ahead via another well-taken goal. A through-ball from midfield was dummied by Ballinger and Pryce held off Dabre before dinking a classy finish over the on-rushing Brynn.

As Melksham looked to escape down the tunnel with their lead intact, Aguiar pulled Swindon level in the 39th minute. Swindon shifted the ball from the left wing back to Aguair down the centre. He took a touch out of his feet and drilled the ball low into the bottom right corner with his right boot.

The second half featured far more substitutes than clear-cut chances. George Cowmeadow, who came on at the break, tested Melksham’s stopper while another trialist striker went close on a couple of occasions.

Melksham remained a slight threat despite tiring, with Ballinger and Ralph Graham firing narrowly over as the rain hammered down.

But with 15 minutes to play, Swindon scored the game’s winning goal courtesy of a lovely move. Harry Parsons picked the ball up in space and slipped a perfectly-weighted through-ball down the left for George Cowmeadow to latch onto. He firmly passed across goal and trialist number five steamed in from right-back to slam home and clinch the victory.

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