In the Autumn sunshine at Nurstead Road, Devizes Crossblades FC and FC North Wiltshire met for the second time in two weeks with the hosts looking to avenge their 6-1 defeat in the reverse fixture. As per the Fourth Division match at Leafy Lane, those in attendance were treated to 7 goals, however this was a much closer affair with North Wilts winning 4-3.
FC North Wiltshire arrived with no substitutes on the bench and, with several defensive players in particular missing, were also forced to name a rather makeshift backline including debutant Daniel Kelly at left back who put in a solid performance. Crossblades buoyed by recording their first win of the season last week started the better and it was somewhat against the run of play that North Wiltshire took the lead. The ball arrived at the feet of right winger Paul Colegate inside the box, whose scuffed effort from 12 yards found the back of the net to the surprise of both teams.
Crossblades continually tested the visitor's defence with through balls and balls over the top which were generally dealt with well especially by keeper Mark Salen and centre back Adam Atack. As the half drew to a close space opened up for Dan Deacon to rifle a low strike into the bottom corner of the Crossblades net from the edge of the penalty area. North Wilts saw out the rest of the opening 45 and went into the break satisfied with their 2-0 advantage.
The home team did not let their heads drop and came out fighting after the break. Firstly a long range strike sailed into the top corner from Gareth Cole gave Crossblades real hope of a comeback. Then a through ball split the North Wilts centre backs and Cole shot’s beat the advancing Mark Salen to level. Crossblades then turned the game on it's head as another long range effort this time from Ben Owers dipped just under the bar to give them a 3-2 lead as North Wilt's players looked on in disbelief.
North Wiltshire's confidence had gone but to the team's credit they showed determination to battle back. Right back Stuart Donnelly chested down a half clearance from a corner on the edge of the area and saw his tame shot go all the way through and hit the post and roll weakly along the goal line before finally being cleared. Dan Gilbert leveled matters soon after with only 15 minutes remaining with a lifted shot into the top far corner from about 6 yards out.
North Wiltshire have never drawn a game and that record remained intact as Dan Deacon bagged his second of the game with a tap in to make the score 4-3 to FC North Wiltshire. The visitors switched to a defensive formation in the final minutes in the hope of seeing the game out and despite a few scary moments they managed to hang on, largely due to the efforts of centre back Atack.
Credit should be given to both teams for making comebacks from losing positions as well as for the great spirit in which the game was played which resulted in referee Martin Chown having to make very few decisions.