Acott winner seals Ashby Ivanhoe's comeback victory over league's high-fliers

By Josh Kay

9th Oct 2023 | Local Sport

Action from Ashby Ivanhoe's win over Melton at the NFU Ground. Photo: Josh Kay
Action from Ashby Ivanhoe's win over Melton at the NFU Ground. Photo: Josh Kay

Ashby Ivanhoe 2 Melton Town 1

Ashby Ivanhoe came from a goal down to defeat high flying Melton Town thanks to Chris Acott's second half winner.

With manager Andy Gray receiving a touchline ban, assistant Pete Dunn took charge after himself missing Tuesday due to illness.

Despite this, Ivanhoe delivered one of their strongest performances of the season, commanding the game for large parts.

They would be forced to respond after 15 minutes when a defensive error gave Melton the early lead.

Sam Preston who has made an excellent start to life at Ashby, failed to spot Tom Wakley lurking and allowed the centre forward to pounce on the loose ball and loft over Sam Taylor.

Ivanhoe's response was swift however as Acott drove down the left flank and poked the ball past the goalkeeper. Melton's defender attempted to clear on the line but was only able to bundle the ball into his own net.

Chances in the first half were few and far between, with both teams showing a clinical edge to take advantage of their only real sights of goal. The only other chance of the half saw Sam Grouse's one on one effort saved at the near post by the goalkeeper.

The second half was played similarly to the first, the visitors were only able to challenge Taylor by shooting from range as Ashby's back four atoned for their earlier mix up by stifling Melton's attackers throughout.

Acott was once again at the centre of the action as Ashby led for the first time with just over 20 minutes to play. This time it was Melton's defence who made the mistake, as a misplaced pass saw the ball at the winger's feet, who fired a shot which cannoned off the near post and nestled in the other corner.

Acott has had a frustrating few months after recovering from injury but has been one of Ivanhoe's standout performers over the past couple of years and was back to his best, using his pace to cause havoc for Melton's full backs.

The standout moment in the final 20 minutes as Ashby looked to hold on came when Harry Stewart held off two men to burst down the left, then standing firm against a shoulder charge to send the Melton player flying onto his back, then almost setting up Will Mansfield who fired narrowly wide after receiving the cross.

Melton's best chance to level came as former Nottingham Forest midfielder Paul Anderson curled a free kick over the bar with the final kick of the match.

There had already been over six minutes played of added time and Ivanhoe may have felt hard done by had Anderson managed to find the net with his effort.

Dunn said of his team's performance: ''It was an even game with both midfields cancelling each other out, but to see how exhausted the lads were afterwards showed how hard they worked for it.''

It will be straight back to league action next time out as Ashby make the trip to Derbyshire to face Heanor who sit a place behind Ashby in 11th.


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