STRIKER Phil Ormrod scored a hat-trick for Melksham Town on Saturday as they won 4-2 away at promotion rivals Slimbridge.

Three more points to the club’s tally pushed Richard Fey’s men up into sixth place in Southern League Division One South – victory over the Gloucestershire outfit was Melksham’s seventh league win in a row.

Though there was to be no repeat of the nine goals that saw Melksham emerge 6-3 winners in the reverse fixture at the infiLED arena, there was no shortage of action at Thornhill Park.

A clinical first-half showing put the visitors two goals up at the break before Slimbridge netted twice themselves either side of Josh Ford’s dismissal for two yellow cards.

But two late goals for the visitors saw Fey’s team land an important three points in their quest for promotion.

Able to name an unchanged starting XI from the previous week’s win over Cirencester Town, Melksham wasted no time in putting their familiarity with each other to good use.

Jack Ball twisted his way into the penalty area before finding Ormrod for his first goal of the afternoon after just four minutes.

Slimbridge threatened to come back into proceedings with a brief spell of pressure – only to be hit on the counter by another Melksham goal minutes later.

Jake Mawford took possession of the ball in midfield before drifting into a central position and driving a fierce effort into the corner from just outside the box.

Melksham held their lead for almost an hour until Slimbridge were awarded a penalty in the 67th minute.

After Ford had been shown a yellow card, the hosts scored the penalty and, with their hopes stoked, went on the attack once more two minutes later.

Again Slimbridge were awarded a penalty and Ford was once again booked, resulting in his untimely dismissal.

The spot kick was dispatched and Slimbridge had squared the game at two apiece.

And while Melksham would have been forgiven for holding on for a point, the league’s team of the month for December continued to try for the win.

In the 87th minute, Will Christopher’s inch-perfect cross was headed home by Ormrod to snatch the points.

Ormrod then completed his hat-trick deep into added time when he intercepted a pass in the final third before calmly slotting the ball past Slimbridge’s goalkeeper to wrap up the scoring.