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Bescot Banter: Great start for Max Melbourne

We're back with another look at the latest news and action from Fortress Bescot, and it's been a fairly quiet week with just the one competitive outing to get our teeth into.

Max Melbourne scores
Max Melbourne scores

As last weekend's League Two clash with basement dwellers Southend United was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Roots Hall, we all had to wait until Tuesday evening's rearranged meeting with Nigel Clough's Mansfield Town to see our recent recruits in action.

With the departures of Zak Jules and Elijah Adebayo fresh in fans' memories, new loanees Max Melbourne and Derick Osei Yaw, of Lincoln City and Oxford United respectfully, certainly had big shoes to fill as they were named in the squad to face a Stags side which had been in fine form since Clough was appointed.

And, although French forward Osei Yaw began the match on the bench, his fellow loanee, left-back Max Melbourne, did all he could to get in Saddlers supporters' good books as he netted a debut goal, ultimately securing a point against one of the form sides not only in the league, but the country as a whole.

As the increasingly cold weather threatened to claim yet another victim, both match and club officials agreed to move the already early kick-off forward by fifteen minutes in a bid to beat the freeze, and were successfully able to get the game played, ending both sides' lengthy match-less spells in the process.

The only disappointing thing to emerge from the match, other than fans' continued absence from the ground, was that neither side came through the contest unscathed, both picking up a couple of injuries, courtesy of the concrete-like playing surface, something which both players and officials commented on shortly after the previously agreed early full-time whistle.

As Darrell Clarke's first-team continues to train on the artificial pitch behind the HomeServe Stand at the Banks's and play on almost frozen pitches up and down the nation it'll be no surprise to see the already worrisome injury list continue to steadily increase, something which will only serve to put strain on the already stretched squad.

If luck does go our way, and we're able to avoid any more serious injury setbacks, there are plenty of points still up for grabs and, as the midweek draw with the Stags shows, the team is more than capable of competing with the best League Two has to offer.

Hopefully, the gaffer will be able to call upon a few more of his currently absent players over the coming days and weeks as we're about to enter a rather busy spell of games which could either put us within a shot of exiting the league through the front door or confirm at least another season in the fourth tier.

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