Scott Rogers praised his players’ second-half performance as they pushed league champions Melksham Town all the way before falling to a 2-1 defeat.

Knowing that a win would secure the title, Melksham went into half-time 2-0 ahead thanks to goals from Shaun Benison and Gary Higdon.

Yet Willand improved in the second half and grabbed a goal back on 65 minutes when Tom Bath finished from close range after Dean Stamp’s 20-yard drive was parried. Rogers’ side were unable to force an equaliser but the player-manager was still pleased with what he saw.

The Silver Street chief said: “In the second half, we were very good to a man.

“We could have got something out of it but, to be fair, Melksham threw their bodies on the line and got themselves the result they needed, although they didn’t need it in the end due to the fact Buckland lost.
We had a right good go in the second half but just couldn’t get there.

“In the first half, we were a little off the pace and they punished us, but in the second half we did the same to them as they did to us but, unfortunately, two goals were a little too much to claw back.”

Willand now host Slimbridge in their final league game of the season on Monday and Rogers feels a win is vital ahead of this weekend’s Les Phillips Cup final against Barnstaple Town.

He revealed: “Slimbridge is a massive game, it’s the biggest game of the season for us before the final because we want to finish in the top three. If we beat Slimbridge, we can do that, which will be great.

“I’m pleased for Darren Perrin, the Melksham manager, as he’s a really good friend of mine and I told him to have a good night celebrating.

“We’ve now got to make sure we can do the business on Monday.”