Toolstation Western League Division One match report – Saturday 28 January 2017
Calne Town 1 Cheddar 1
CHEDDAR CONTINUE UNBEATEN RUN IN TOUGH WILTSHIRE ENCOUNTER
Sometimes, expectations don’t always bear fruit, and this was exactly the case at Calne’s Bremhill View on Saturday, as the Cheesemen travelled to Wiltshire in search of three valuable points that would have taken them to second place.
Racing out the traps like rapier missile it looked a case of how many goals Cheddar would score as they threatened to demolish their second-bottom opponents early on as front man Adam Jones, finding space, tested home ‘keeper Steve Allison, that the big stopper did well to stop.
Two minutes later Callum Ham’s searching left-wing cross found Chris Coombs in space, but the winger’s shot was hurried and went wide of an upright.
Further efforts by Jones and then George Booth, were safely gathered by Allison, as the visitors continued to threaten.
On 17 minutes Coombs raced down the right wing, side stepping a defender before finding Jones lurking near the penalty spot, but an audaciously brave tackle from Calne’s Neurin Jones, robbed the Cheddar striker as he was about to pull the trigger, and the ball was cleared for a corner.
Having been under much pressure for the opening quarter, Town quickly moved the ball upfield and took an unlikely lead in their first real attack almost immediately after the corner and with the Cheddar midfield retreating, Mark Dolman nipped in between two defenders to prod the ball home, as Cheesemen shirts hesitated around him.
With half an hour played, top scorer Callum Ham seized an opportunity, leaving two defenders in his wake, and his goalbound effort from 18 yards was deflected ‘keeper Allison’s feet.
Again, the home side retaliated and they were unlucky not to go further ahead as Calne’s Jones and Aaron Hopkins, who was a constant danger on the left flank, combined menacingly although the move ended with Sam King stopping Hopkins and was rewarded with a yellow card for his efforts.
The pace of the game significantly increased in the second half and Sam King was again the man-of-the-moment.
Surging forward from his defensive berth, his superb initiative was cruelly unrewarded and his shot was safely gathered by the Town keeper.
Alliison himself was having an incredibly good game, and he immediately set up Billy Boakes who powered down the right channel, but although the player chose to feed Hopkins instead of going it alone which would have been a better option, and his final ball was too far in front of the Town winger.
Much of Calne’s forward play was becoming too close for comfort as both Mark Dolman and Stuart Windsor were proving more than a handful for the Cheddar defence, whilst at the other end, Town’s wing backs defended so resolutely, as if their car careers depended retaining their lead as they toiled to achieve an unlikely win.
With 19 minutes remaining, cue super-sub Kristian Bell linking exceptionally with Coombs, who in another fine, darting run at the Town defence, sent in a fizzing, grass cutting cross, that was turned past his own ‘keeper by Hamilton as he attempted to clear.
With the scores level, the Cheesemen had their tails up and Adam Jones forced Allison into an incredible two handed save.
Minutes later, George Booth was upended at the edge of the 18-yard box, but instead of pointing to the penalty-spot the match official chose to award a free-kick two yards outside the penalty area, from which Cheddar failed to take advantage and the opportunity was wasted.
As the minutes ticked away, Calne’s ‘Dolman blasted over with the goal seemingly at his mercy from five yards, but a draw was just about a fair result, as the home side produced a valiant performance to deny the Cheesemen victory.
Man of the match: Sam King
Jared Greenhalgh said:
“Following my pre-match comments I knew that this would be a difficult game, with players missing were vulnerable at times. I think we needed a little more composure in the first twenty minutes and I did get frustrated at four efforts on goal all near post, however it is also easy on the side to say ‘could have’, ‘should have’, and to be honest I felt it was only a matter of time before we scored. If we had scored I think that the game would have gone our way, as Calne would have had to chase. Instead they got a breakaway goal, mainly due to some poor tracking back and lack of alertness to danger. I felt that the team a whole was at fault. I think that this rocked us a bit and I thought that their [Calne Town’s] spirit and organisation was a credit to them; they certainly didn’t play like a team at the bottom of the league, aligned with some excellent goalkeeping, and it was always going to be as tough afternoon”
“I thought that we applied ourselves really well second half and the switch of Craig [Mawford] to right back certainly freshened the pace up, after Granty [Joe Grant] quite understandably tired. I thought that Chris [Coombs] despite his frustrations was a constant threat and is certainly one of the most potent attacking forces in the league, and he showed this with his pace and a great cross for the equaliser”
“After that it was attack versus defence with Calne dangerous on the break. We had several chances as did Calne, but I think we will look back on this as a point gained”.
[Captain] Adam Jones said: “It was a tough game today, and the pitch was hard to play on.
“We were poor first half but came out strong in the second and I think we should probably have taken all three points with some of the chances we made as a team”
[Midfielder] Ricky Bennett said: “Tough conditions out there today, which didn’t suit us.
“But I think we have more strings to our bow to be able to come back from a 1-0 deficit to get a point out of the game, especially when we weren’t at our best.
“This time of year, we are going to struggle to play our normal possession based game so we need to be able to adapt and find a way to get results”.
Nevertheless, this hard-fought draw in Cheddar’s furthest away trip of the season added to their unbeaten run which now adds up to 19.
Remaining unbeaten since 1st October, Jared Greenhalgh’s team face two tough assignments in the next 10 days where they travel to Westbury on Tuesday night (31st January, kick-off: 7.45pm) for their Les Phillips (League) Cup tie before facing, potentially, their toughest test so far when they make the journey down the M5 to face league-leaders Wellington.
Albeit an exceptionally tough call, should the Cheesemen gain all three points at the weekend, it is likely that they will assume the league’s leadership, although this of course depends on (currently second placed) Keynsham’s result on Saturday (Keynsham have a potentially difficult away match at Chippenham Park)
Full Toolstation Western League Division One results from the weekend are as follows:
Almondsbury v Bishop Sutton P
Bishops Lydeard 1 v Radstock Tn 1
Chard Town 1 v Chippenham Park 1
Corsham Town 1 v Ashton & Backwell Utd 1
Hengrove Ath 4 v Roman Glass St George 0
Keynsham Town 0 v Westbury Utd 2
Oldland Abbots v Warminster Town P
Portishead Town 0 v Welton Rovers 0
Wellington 0 v Devizes Tn 0
Wincanton Tn 5 v Malmesbury Vics 0
Next weekend (Saturday 4th February), as has already been published, the Cheesemen travel to Wellington in the match of the day, whilst (2nd placed) Keynsham travel to Chippenham and 4th placed Hengrove (who appear to have returned to form with a bang) host Bishops Lydeard.
Wellington still lead the table (played 29, 64 points), Keynsham are currently second played 30, 62 points), we have played 29 and have 61 points (so are just one points behind Keynsham and have a game in hand) and fourth placed Keynsham have played 28 and have 55 points).
The Cheesemen do not return to home territory until Saturday week (11th February) when they face top three side Keynsham Town, the last team to they suffered a defeat to back on 1st October last year.
Elsewhere at the weekend, Cheddar Reserves were held 0-0 by 1610 Taunton United at Bowdens Park.
Robbie Wallis took charge of the team and his summary is as follows:
“The first half was a scrappy affair with Taunton managing to find themselves at times with four up front, however our defence of French, Buxton, Filer and Heal) were able to cope with any attacking threat.
“We worked hard to counter the mis-match in numbers with three one-on-ones missed and a few other good chances not taken.
“The second half saw an older Taunton side start to tire and to add to this, they were reduced to ten men with their substitute only being on the field for 10 minutes before being dismissed, a straight red for a forceful challenge on centre-back Adam Filer.
“This allowed even more attacking threat for Cheddar to exert on Taunton. In the final 15 minutes the opponent’s goalkeeper made three great saves and the woodwork was rattled!”
Cheddar Reserves man of the match: Tom Catlin
This point for Cheddar Reserves ensures that they retain tenth place in the Somerset County League Division Two (West) with 9 points from 14 games. The Reserve team host Ashton & Backwell Utd Reserves at Bowdens Park next Saturday (4th February), kick-off: 2.30pm.
Meanwhile, the ‘A’ team hosted local rivals Ship ham, unfortunately losing 0-3 at Sharpham Road. The ‘A’ team retain seventh place in the Weston & District Football League Division Four, and have 8 points from 11 games.
Cheddar Ladies scheduled match on Sunday (29th January) against Ilminster Town Ladies was postponed due to an unfit pitch. Next Sunday (5th February), Cheddar Ladies are without a game.
All at Cheddar Football Club heartily encourage a good travelling support to Saturday’s match-of-the-day at Wellington FC, kick-off: 3pm. The address for those driving is North Street Car Park, Wellington TA21 8LYH\c inf