Cheddar Reserves record their second successive win

Cheddar Reserves 3 Banwell 0

Cheddar faced a much improved Banwell side, looking to build on last week’s victory over Kewstoke Lions, although due to circumstances they were without Jake Buxton and Callum French but reinforced by first team players Lewis Matthews, Callum Ham and Adam Jones who made themselves available due to the first team being without a match.

The home side started confidently dominating play without creating any clear-cut chances.

The experienced pairing of Tom Manning and Lewis Matthews controlled the central area, pulling the strings, and allowing full-backs Connor Heal and Sam Merreywether to attack the flanks at will. As the game progressed, Callum Ham and Callum Sully created further opportunities to run at the Banwell back line who never looked comfortable combatting the Cheddar frontline.

Both Harry Farrell and Adam Jones hassled and worked the visitors defence, who were under increasing pressure and it was big centre forward Adam Jones who broke the deadlock on 25 minutes finishing with a powerful header from a well delivered Ham corner.

Despite continued pressure on the visitors, Cheddar were unable to add to their tally and the centre-back pairing of Mike Carpenter and Adam Filer dealt well with occasional pressure from the visitors’ frontline, as Banwell went in at the break on a high after a series of corners in the final few minutes of the half, causing goalkeeper to warm his gloves.

The home side opened the second half determined to put game out of reach for the visitors and it was a touch of class from Ham whose sweet strike on 50 minutes gave them breathing space.

This second goal deflated Banwell and with Cheddar attacking at will and with Ham exploiting some tired legs of the visitors, the darting winger grabbed his brace in the 75th minute for his 25th strike of the season.

Substitutes Stefan Pennington, Carlos Farhina and Tom Catling all did well when they came on and the scorellne could have been more emphatic had Ham, Jones and Catling all converted good chances in the closing 15 minutes. Overall, this was a good win for the Cheddar second-string who have deserved more this season and are looking to finish their final four games strongly.

Meanwhile, Cheddar first team, who were without a match on Saturday, and lying in fourth place in the Toolstation Western League (Division One), gear up for a busy week with three home games in the space of seven days.

They kick off their first match in April on Saturday (1st) hosting eighth placed Chard Town, before entertaining new league-leaders Hengrove Athletic who displaced Wellington on Saturday, winning 3-0 at Roman Glass, Wellington only managing a 1-1 draw at Devizes. Then on Saturday week (8th April) Cheddar face a third-successive home match; when they host Roman Glass St George.

Although now fourth in the table, promotion is still a distinct possibility but all in the Cheesemen camp are acutely aware of the importance of three successive home matches before they move into their last four games, three of which are away from home.

Manager Jared Greenhalgh said: “Obviously the last few weeks have been challenging and we have to come through this patch.

“We have been playing well and I know that we can turn things around with a win on Saturday.

“We haven’t had the best of times with officials which hasn’t helped with some very strange decisions going against us, and the decisions both ways against Ashton & Backwell were somewhat confusing.

Now Wellington and Hengrove are favourites and have favourable run-ins but we will just keep going and try to put points pressure on them and see how we go”

Referring to the forthcoming match on Saturday (v Chard Town), the Cheddar manager said:

“Knowing the Chard manager, he will have them well organised and it will be a physical challenge.

“I think that we will need to go back to some basics, understand individually what our roles are and carry them out efficiently and well; the bottom line is that we need a win for confidence and to keep the pressure up on the two favourites, we know only too well after last season what can happen in the last three games.

“We have seven cup finals now and I still believe that we can push into the top two, come the end of the season.”

Cheddar’s Weekend Review

As Cheesemen supporters will have already read from the match report previously posted, Jared Greenhalgh’s first team, following their two losses over the past week (0-4 at Wellington on Wednesday and 2-4 at Ashton & Backwell on Saturday) have temporarily dropped down to fourth place in the Toolstation Western League Division, as Hengrove Athletic leapfrogged our heroes following their 6-0 annihilation of Calne Town at the weekend.

Wellington (who beat Wincanton Town 3-0) still lead the league table with 75 points from 35 games.

In second place are Keynsham Town (72 points from 37) who impressively beat Bishops Lydeard 4-2 away; in third are Hengrove with 70 points from 33 and in fourth are ourselves, also on 70 points (from 35 games). Hengrove’s goal difference is 57 whereas ours is 38.

A disappointed but philosophical manager Jared Greenhalgh said: “We should have been 4-1 up at half-time on Saturday. Second half was not my Cheddar team, it was shambolic and won’t happen again. Promotion is now out of our hands.

“We need to get back to playing with freedom and expressing ourselves whilst executing the basics.

“We have two weeks to prepare for the next game [Saturday 1st April vs. Chard Town] and we will put everything into winning the game, that is all we can do.”

An equally disappointed, but determined captain Adam Jones, said: “We were hoping to push forward from our defeat to Wellington in the week.

“The team was in a good mood going into the game at half-time 2-1, playing down the slope but playing into the wind and it was a good first half. But a poor show in the second half from us.

“There was a harsh red card on Danny [Griffiths] for his tackle. We have two weeks before our next game against Chard where we must put this right and hope to go the rest of the season unbeaten to put pressure on the top two sides.”

A thoughtful George Booth added; “A disappointing week for us and a poor second half performance from us on Saturday.

“Being 2-1 up we should be killing the game but instead we conceded 30 seconds after the restart. Again the red card didn’t go our way but that wasn’t the reason why we lost the game.

“We were carrying too many players on Saturday and the team knows that. Jared [manager] and Shaun [assistant manager] had some harsh but very fair and correct words to say after the game, we must take it all on board and put the last two games right!”.”

And a final word from electric winger and leading goalscorer Callum Ham: “To start with I would say we were dominant in midfield and all over the pitch in the first 10-15 minutes.

“I felt that when we went 1-0 up we had control of the game and we had no problem dealing with what Ashton & Backwell had to offer.

“They then got a lucky goal against the run of play which deflated us a little but to us being the better team we then went 2-1 up and as a team we were still comfortable and in the game.

“The gaffer said at half time ‘go out and kill the game’ but we ended up doing the opposite which had a massive impact.

“The other thing that had a massive impact was the sending off; it was totally unnecessary and as soon as that happened Ashton had their tails up.

“The game overall was good in the first half and poor in the second half.

“The lads are deflated, we have had a tough week and we ned to get ourselves back on track.

“We have a nice little break 2 now and we need to work hard in training and put things right, we have a massive team spirit and from me and all the lads in the team we can only apologise to the fans for the last two performances but we appreciate the supporters sticking by us. We owe it to the club and to the gaffer to get promotion.”

Elsewhere at the weekend, the Reserve team recorded an excellent 2-1 win over Kewstoke Lions, with Callum Sully scoring the first goal and Mike Carpenter grabbing a 90th minute winner.

This super win by the Reserves means they climb the table to eleventh position, with 13 points from 19 games.

The side can move further up the table with another home win on Saturday (25th March) against sixth placed Banwell.

The match kicks off at 3pm.

Meanwhile, the ‘A’ team made it three consecutive games unbeaten with their 1-1 draw against Burnham United ‘A’ on Saturday, Jordan Podbury scoring Cheddar’s goal. This result takes the ‘A’ team to sixth place in the league table on 15 points from 15 games.

The ‘A’ team are without a match this forthcoming weekend.

And penultimately, Cheddar Ladies are currently in third place in the Somerset Women’s League Division Two (20 points from 14 games).

The remaining matches for others teams in the league will decide if they stay in 3rd, or move down to 4th of 5th.

Champions (to be confirmed) are Purnell Sports (30 points from 11 games) and runners up are Weston super Mare (27 points from 11 games).

These league positons will be confirmed at the proper time. …. finally, if you can’t make the Cheesemen’s next home game on Saturday 1st April (vs. Chard Town) make sure please you record this date in your diary…

TUESDAY 4th APRIL KICK OFF 7.45 PM CHEDDAR vs HENGROVE ATHLETIC WE NEED YOU ALL BEHIND THE TEAM FOR THIS ONE!!

Jitters For The Cheesemen As They Enter The Final Straight

Toolstation Western League Division One match report Saturday 18th March 2017 ,

Two defeats and eight goals conceded in a week

ASHTON & BACKWELL UNITED 4 CHEDDAR 2

 

Two recent quotes on Cheddar’s perceived momentous season have revealed that all their remaining games could well be ‘cup finals’ and that the team being in such an elevated league position could well become ‘targets’.

These statements have never been truer than of their past two performances.

With the disappointment of Wednesday night’s 4-0 drubbing at Wellington still ringing in their ears, the Cheesemen went about putting the record straight at Ashton and Backwell’s Lancer Scott Stadium on Saturday, and the game could not have got off to a better start as the visitors, playing almost the perfect style of precision football went ahead in under six minutes with ‘captain Adam Jones finishing off a delightful move engineered by defender Shaun Lambert’s intelligent long ball to Chris Coombs, quickly finding the overlapping Craig Mawford whose slide-rule cross was smashed into the net from close range for the big centre-forward’s 20th league goal of the season.

Minutes earlier, George Booth playing a central pivotal role had bravely won the ball in midfield and feeding the returning Lewis Matthews, the fleet-footed defender, skipped past a defender finding Jones whose header looped just over the crossbar.

On nine minutes, Jones could well have secured his hat-trick, as he threw himself torpedo-like at a Chris Coombs cross, only for Lewis Coombes in the Ashton goal to get his body behind the full force of the striker’s header.

Games with Ashton & Backwell have been notorious in the past for their industry and passion and the hosts demonstrated that they were in no mood to make up the numbers on the afternoon.

Perhaps realising that they had been given something of let off following almost 20 minutes of incessant pressure from Jared Greenhalgh’s promotion chasers, the home side were back in the game on 22 minutes.

Following a cleverly executed free-kick, the loose ball fell to Sam Skidmore whose inch-perfect lob sailed over Kieran Webster’s and into the net.

The visitors restored the lead on 27 minutes however when Callum Ham, skipping across the sodden turf as though it was a tartan running-track, sped into the 18-yard box, turning two defenders before being unceremoniously tripped by Sam Thomas, Ham despatching the resulting spot kick with ease for his 21st league strike of the season.

On 36 minutes gone, Jones was again unlucky driving his shot just wide of Coombes left hand post following good work by Booth, engineering yards of space for himself in an effortless assist.

With their noses in front at the break, the Cheesemen might rightly been expected to seal the game at the turn- round, although with minutes remaining as the Ashton demonstrated their intent, Cordell Young forced Cheddar ‘keeper Webster into a onehanded save, but although off-balance Lambert was on hand to clear the Skidmore’s follow up shot off the line.

It was Ashton & Backwell’s turn to pile on the pressure and from a corner the Cheddar back-line failed to effectively clear the danger, their clearance only reaching the edge of the penalty area, Thomas was on hand to rifle his side’s third goal for his second goal of the game on 66 minutes.

The odds were stacked up against the visitors a little over ten minutes later when Danny Griffiths was adjudged to have committed a rash-challenge and was dismissed by an over-zealous match official, but despite re-arranging their side to cope with the onslaught from the rejuvenated ‘Stags’ Cheddar’s fate was further compounded and they found themselves further behind with just 12 minute remaining, Thomas scoring his side’s fourth and completing his hat-trick, with a rising shot from the edge of the box that gave Webster no chance, for Ashton and Backwell to complete a double-victory over Cheddar following their win at Bowdens Park in August.

The Cheesemen who drop to fourth place following these two defeats in the space of a week, are without a match on Saturday (25th March) but return to Bowdens Park for three successive league games on Saturday week, facing Chard Town (Saturday 1st April), Hengrove Athletic (Tuesday 4th) and Roman Glass St George on Saturday 8th April, in games that are likely to define their season.

Cheddar’s run of three successive home game, including their notable engaging tussle with fellow promotion hopefuls Hengrove, leaves Greenhalgh’s side with just four games remaining, including two away matches during the Easter weekend, before their final home league match (against Westbury United on 22nd April) and last game of the season (at Devizes) the following weekend.

Cheesemen midweek review and weekend preview

As supporters will be aware, the Cheesemen were in midweek action this week, when they travelled to Wellington on Wednesday night (15th March) to take on the ‘Tangerines’.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t to be the best evening for our heroes as they went behind to a penalty kick on 10 minutes after Ricky Bennett was adjudged to have ‘handled’ on the line to prevent the ball entering the net, and Ricky was subsequently shown a red card.

Then just minutes before halftime ‘captain Adam Jones was (harshly) adjudged by the match official to have committed an illegal challenge on a Wellington striker, and a further penalty kick was awarded and subsequently scored.

Both Robbi Maggs and Adam Jones had opportunities to reduce the arrears late in the first half, the latter being unlucky with a shot that was somehow stopped by a defender trapping the ball with his kneed and legs after the ball had bobbled on the goal-line.

A two-goal deficit at half time left the Cheesemen with a mountain to climb with ten men and despite a valiant effort and hard work by the team, Wellington scored two further goals, both from ‘breakaway efforts’ one on the hour and a fourth goal on 80 minutes to give the result a flattering look for the home side.

Following the match, manager Jared Greenhalgh said: “It was a disappointing result tonight but these things happen, it was just one of those days when everything that could go wrong did go wrong, but I am not blaming the players in any way, they couldn’t have worked harder and it just didn’t go for them tonight to be honest.

“Had we held them to 1-0 by half time it may have been another story and on another day had chances gone our way then we could well have pulled something back but the second penalty was a bit harsh, and we just couldn’t pull it round in the second half….but, we push on don’t we! Saturday (at Ashton & Backwell) is really important, and we have to try to get some sort of result from the game.

“We have 8 games left now and if we win all 8 then we are in with a shout without any shadow of doubt Hengrove are chasing the pack fast, as we expected, so we will just have to keep on sticking to our beliefs, our squad is very capable, and we have the players to do it.”

Following the match some of the players spoke with Cheesemen Newsbeat……

Captain, Adam Jones, summing up the thoughts of the team said: “We’re gutted about the result to be honest.

“The team kept going until the final whistle and didn’t give up which just shows that we’ll fight until the end.

“This weekend though we hope to put it right and plan to push forward to gain promotion and to win the league. We have eight games left which are all ‘cup finals’ and the team will be pushing hard until the end of the season, make no mistake.”

[Cooper’s comment: Fighting talk from the captain, I should say…]

George Booth said: “An early red card and penalty changed the game. We were going up the slope in the first half and wanted to get to half-time 1-0. Then, just before the end of the first half we conceded another penalty.

“Second half they caught us on the break twice and tiredness came in. We played the better and can’t fault anyone’s work rate.

“It just didn’t go for us, everything that could have gone against us did just that.”

 

Mark Armstrong said: “Ricky got sent off early on, and then it was hard work. We played quite well considering!

“The score line flattered them definitely”

And a brave, but understandably disappointed Ricky Bennett, said: “I can only say that it was an instinctive reaction, which I immediately regretted.

“From then on it was always going to be an uphill task for the lads. However, the boys didn’t stop fighting until the end and that shows how much of a tight knit squad we are.

“We have enough time to put it right and it’s important that we put it right on Saturday.”

 

And to the weekend ….

The Cheesemen with eight games remaining, travel to Backwell’s Lancer Scott Stadium on Saturday (18th March) to take on sixth placed Ashton & Backwell United in what is always, always (comment: no apologies for the repeated word…) a tough match.

United who are currently in sixth place in the league won (2-1) at Almondsbury UWE last weekend but interestingly, lost their previous four games (0-1 at Devizes, 0-2 at home to Shepton Mallet in the Les Phillips Cup, 0-1 home to Westbury, and 0- 4 at Brislington in the Somerset Premier Cup.

Prior to these games, Ashton & Backwell had convincingly beaten Warminster Town (5-1) on home territory after having travelled to Malmesbury to record an impressive (2-1) away win.

For the record, earlier this season, Ashton & Backwell inflicted a 2-1 defeat to the Cheesemen with a late winner at Bowdens Park on 23rd August, and last season earned a 1-1 draw at Bowdens Park late in the season (on 19th April to be exact) although the Cheesemen won 3-1 at Backwell in an outstanding team performance on the day (28th November) played in torrential rain with superb goals through Mason Gardener, Craig Mawford and Callum Ham.

Also at the weekend, Wellington (now top of the league with 72 points from 34 games) entertain Wincanton, whilst fourth placed Hengrove (67 points from 32 games host Calne Town.

Elsewhere, third placed Keynsham Town (who appear to be out of the running with 69 points from 36 games) face a difficult looking match (at fifth placed Bishop Lydeard). The facts remain that should Wellington fail to win on Saturday (and are held at home – or beaten – by Wincanton) and the Cheesemen gain all three points at Backwell, then Cheddar will return to the top of the league by 4.45pm on Saturday.

With the Cheesemen currently in second place (70 points from 34 games), the league programme tells us the remaining fixtures of both ourselves and Wellington …. Wellington currently top of the league (72 points from 34 games) whilst we have 70 points also from 34 games …

For Wellington…

1. Wincanton Town (H)

2. Warminster Town (A)

3. Devizes Town (A)

4. Calne Town (H)

5. Bishops Lydeard (A)

6. Chard Town (H)

7. Malmesbury Victoria (A)

8. Radstock Town (A)

[Eight games remaining, three home, five away 3

And ourselves…

1. Ashton & Backwell Utd (A)

2. Chard Town (H)

3. Hengrove Ath (H)

4. Roman Glass St George (H)

5. Bishop Sutton (A)

6. Chippenham Park (A)

7. Westbury Utd (H)

8. Devizes Town (A)

[Eight games remaining, four home, four away]

 

Meanwhile….. Cheddar Reserves host Kewstoke Lions in the Somerset County League Division Two (West) on Saturday (18th March), whilst Cheddar ‘A’ host Burnham Utd ‘A’ at Sharpham Road in the Weston & District League Division Four. Both games kick off at 3pm.

Weekend Review – Cheddar Ladies go goal crazy and Cheesemen have weekend off

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Cheddar Ladies went goal crazy this weekend – see full match report below

With three Cheddar of the sides unusually not having a match at the weekend, the players had the opportunity to take a breather from their recent heavy schedule; but as the season enters its most critical phase Jared Greenhalgh’s table topping Cheesemen, with just nine matches left to play, have had the opportunity to gear up for two crucial games during the next week.

Elsewhere in the Toolstation Western League this week, Wellington were beaten (0-1) at home by cup holders Hengrove Athletic in the last sixteen of the Les Phillips (League) Cup as Athletic ‘smell’ a second success cup final appearance and move into the Quarter Final stage of the competition.

Keynsham had the chance to move to the top of the league with a home match against Radstock Town, but failed to grasp the opportunity as they were held 2-2 by their visitors.

On Wednesday, this week (15th March) the Cheesemen travel to second placed Wellington (kick-off 3pm) in what could well be termed as one of the games of the season.

Although a huge ask, three points at Wellington could well put Cheddar in pole position and four points ahead of their closest rivals with eight games remaining.

Then on Saturday (18th March), Cheddar travel to Backwell’s Lancer Scott stadium to take on a resurgent eighth placed Ashton & Backwell United, who inflicted a 2-1 defeat to Cheddar back in August, one of only two home defeats suffered by the Cheesemen this season.

Cheddar then face a further free weekend on Saturday 25th March before facing a hectic period of three home games in the space of eight days, with matches against Chard Town (Saturday 1st April, kick off 3pm); Hengrove Athletic (Tuesday 4th April) (kick-off: 7.45pm) before facing Roman Glass St George (Saturday 8th April, kick off 3pm).

This then leaves Greenhalgh’s title chasing side with two away Easter fixtures (Bishop Sutton away on Good Friday (14th April) Chippenham Park on Easter Monday, 17th April) before rounding off their season at home to Westbury United (Saturday 22nd Westbury United) and their final match at Devizes Town the following Saturday (29th April).

On Sunday (12th March), Cheddar Ladies completed their season with a resounding 8-0 victory over Ilminster Ladies, Valerie Walsh scoring a hat-trick, Jade Burton with two goals, and further strikes from Bella Jonas, Gabi Underhill and Megan Dyer inflicting the damage for the Cheesegirls to move into a highly creditable third position in the league table, a great achievement in only their second season in the Somerset Women’s League Division Two;

Russell Heal reports ….

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From the start of the game it took Valerie Wash just under 40 seconds to put the Cheesegirls 1-0 up after breaking through going one-on-one with the Ilminster ‘keeper and calming slotting the ball past her; Cheddar then completely dominated the game creating chance after chance as the home goalkeeper could only watch the game from a distance.

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It was then Bella Jonas hammering in a goal from a tight angle on the edge of the penalty area to make it 2-0.

Valerie Walsh got her second goal of the game shortly afterwards as Cheddar dominated the show to make it 3-0 at halftime.

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The home side then made five substitutions and then played a slightly different formation in the second half, as they continued to dominate the game.

More goals came from substitutes Jade Burton with two goals and one from Gabi Underhill, player-of-the-match Megan Dyer added to the tally and Valerie Walsh grabbed another goal to gain her hat-trick and her 20th goal of the season.

A tremendous effort by the Cheddar Ladies

Weekend Review – March 4/5

As readers will be aware, Jared Greenhalgh’s first team leapfrogged both Keynsham Town and Wellington on Saturday to take over the leadership of the Toolstation Western League Division One, following their outstanding 2-0 win at a vastly improved Oldland Abbotonians, the ‘Abbots’ having lost just one game in eight prior to Saturday’s encounter.

Quality second half goals from Danny Griffiths and Adam Jones (scoring his 19th goal of the season) secured this great win. The Cheesemen now lead the division with 70 points from 33 games; Wellington (without a game at the weekend) are in second with 69 points from 33 games and in third are Keynsham (who lost 3-0 at Welton) with 68 points from 35 games. Hengrove who were also without a game at the weekend lie in fourth place with 64 points from 31 games.

Speaking with Cheesemen Newsbeat following the game, captain Adam Jones said: “We didn’t know how the game was on! The pitch was waterlogged, the ball wasn’t rolling which made it difficult for both sides.

“We struggled in the first half to create some decent opportunities. Second half we came out firing which showed from our first goal with some real nice play between Ricky [Bennett] and Danny [Griffiths] to set up the first goal then we went into control the game. It was a good way to bounce back from our defeat last week.”

Defender, Craig Mawford (arguably the best right sided defender in the Toolstation League) said: “It was a good performance by the lads today on a difficult pitch; Danny, Mark, Callum, Adam and many others all had great games, we moved the ball really well.

“It was a great team performance, we’ve got nine games left now and we have just got to see where it takes us”

And the last word on Saturday’s win at Oldland’s goes to Mike ‘Tank’ Dangerfield: “Great performance……Sh*t pitch.”

With the Reserve team match against Clevedon United Reserves falling foul of the weather conditions and a badly waterlogged Bowdens Park pitch, it was left to the ‘A’ team to fly the flag in Cheddar on Saturday, and how…. read on….

The ‘A’s went into Saturday’s game full of confidence after their 5-1-win last weekend and knowing that nothing less than a win wouldn’t help them.

It took half an hour to break down AFC Nailsea Reserves after constant pressure from the home side when Callum Sully was brought down in the box for a penalty which James Parker comfortably converted.

The second half continued similarly with Cheddar applying all the pressure which eventually led to more goals through a great Dom Underhill finish and a good move that finished with an own goal.

With 10 minutes remaining, Nailsea fought back snatching two Oates goals but the ‘A’s held on to gain the three points. With two games remaining this season, Alex Cooper’s team now that they must continue this winning form to assure their place in the Weston & District League Division Four next season.

With six points (and eight goals) from their last two games, the ‘A’s are in seventh position in the league with eleven points from thirteen games played.

Man of the match: Dom Underhill

Meanwhile, Cheddar Ladies took on the likely champions elect, Weston super Mare Ladies at Sharpham Road on Sunday.

Gale force winds were emanating from the reservoir as Weston kicked the game off playing into the wind, going 0-1 up in the first minute.

Cheddar with the wind on their side equalised shortly afterwards through Jade Burton, but the Ladies then missed a hat full of chances and really should have taken advantage with the wind blowing strongly in their favour.

Weston then scored again but Cheddar hit straight back through Jade Burton again and then just before half time Linda Sharpe made it 3-2 with a fantastic shot from 30 yards.

The second half started but this time Weston had the wind on their side, scoring two very early goals. C

heddar then got a fourth goal through Charlotte Fay-Fineran but Weston kept coming with the wind advantage and took their chances.

The Cheesegirls got a fifth goal through Gabi Underhill.

At the end of the day, the score could have easily been 12-12 with the strong winds, but the difference was that Weston took their chances whereas Cheddar didn’t.

A thoroughly entertaining and exciting game but the final score ended Cheddar Ladies 5 Weston super Mare Ladies 10.

Cheddar Team of the Week: Cheddar First team

Players of the Week: Mark Armstrong and Dom Underhill

And finally, a look forward….

All three Cheddar men’s teams are without a match next weekend but the Cheddar Ladies team host Ilminster Ladies on Sunday (12th March) for their last match of the season, where a win is expected to put the Cheesegirls into fourth place.

Jared Greenhalgh’s first team are next in action on Wednesday next (15th March) when they travel to Wellington in a re-arranged league fixture (kick-off: 7.45pm) before a further away game (at Ashton & Backwell) on Saturday 18th March, kick-off: 3pm.

A preview of both games will appear on the website early next week, together with a review of the Cheesegirls final league game of the season.

My thanks to you all for reading, and to Charlotte for her continued excellent efforts with the website…

Cheesemen regain league leadership courtesy of two quality second half strikes

Toolstation Western League Division One match report

Saturday 4th March 2017

OLDLAND ABBOTONIANS 0 CHEDDAR 2

Two quality second half quality strikes through Danny Griffiths and Adam Jones were enough to secure the points at a vastly improved Oldland Abbotonians on Saturday, as the Cheesemen leapfrogged both Keynsham Town and Wellington to take over the league leadership.

With Callum Ham back in the starting line-up, Ricky Bennett back in his favoured central midfield positon and Craig Mawford in a full back berth, those same three players combined impressively as early as the eighth minute pressing the home defence, Ham getting behind the Abbots back line and shooting just past the far upright.

Games with Oldland’s are notably competitive, well-matched affairs and the opening exchanges of this tussle were to prove no different, and Cheddar goalkeeper Kieran Webster had to be on his toes to make a good stop from a marauding Owen McCullum on 11 minutes.

Ricky Bennett so often the architect of Cheddar’s foray’s forward kept Cheddar’s wide men, Coombs and Ham supplied with several quality passes to engineer final third supremacy as Mark Armstrong in an unfamiliar centre-back role kept matters tidy a the back with George Booth filling in, in defensive midfield role, and with the Cheddar midfield doing their level best to control the pace of the game, Ham was again unleashed on 16 minutes, picking up a loose ball, and with the drop of a shoulder, drifted past his marker but shot just wide of the left hand post.

Ham was again in the action two minutes later, weaving his way forward but skying his shot over the bar when well-placed.

The visitors thought that they had taken the lead on 21 minutes, Adam Jones strike from 18 yards was acrobatically headed off the line by Oldland’s centre-back Jordan Richards.

Oldland’s had been enjoying an impressive run of late, with just one defeat in a run of eight games and they proved just why on the half hour, a short corner finding Dave Stone who tested Webster with a stinging drive, which the Cheddar keeper at full length did well to turn round a post.

With the second half just seven minutes old, the hard-working Cheddar central striker Adam Jones, who simply does not know when to give up, brilliantly laid a clever back-pass to Ham, and the nippy winger bursting through, forced Abbots ‘keeper Shaun Semmens into a dramatic full length save to prevent the visitors from taking the lead.

Cheddar were working well for one another putting some attractive moves together on a difficult surface, and on 66 minutes Danny Griffiths finished off a move he had orchestrated with an outstanding opening goal, winning the ball in midfield, the Cheddar centre-back linked exceptionally well with Bennett who returned the compliment with an exquisite pass, and taking the return ball in his stride Griffiths lobbed the ‘keeper with precision to put his side into the lead.

A clever substitution by the Cheddar management team swapped the tiring Billy Vaughan, who had covered every acre of grass, on the hour with Mason Gardener and his use of the ball immediately aided the visitors industry creating space for his team-mates. Having been on the field of play for just five minutes, Gardener set up Chris Coombs on 70 minutes and the latter’s excellent crossfield

ball found Ham, again darting into open space one on one with the Oldland’s keeper but Semmens was equal to the task on that occasion, dashing from his line to avert the danger.

To the neutrals in the near 100 crowd, a further goal for the visitors was not far off, and the Cheesemen even had the home fans applauding their skill on 77 minutes, Chris Coombs dashing to the by-line to send over a pin-point accurate cross, skilfully connected by Adam Jones, who sent his downward header powering past Semmens from 10 yards, for his 19th goal of the season.

With the visitors likely to score a third goal, it was unfortunate that the game ended on a rather unsavoury note, Oldland’s Ryan Dunn, blocking his copybook with a crude tackle on Ham, and receiving h is marching orders from the match official.

Following the match, Cheddar manager Jared Greenhalgh reflecting on his side’s win, said: “After losing our unbeaten streak last week it was important we didn’t follow suit and have back-to-back games without a win.

“Momentum can be interrupted but once it’s gone it’s hard to regain so I was determined to make sure last week was a ‘bump in the road’ as opposed to a major diversion!

“It was interesting as Oldland’s have had some good results recently, in particular being two nil up at half time away to Wellington.

“They seem to have scored on a frequent basis, to go with one isolated striker left me a little taken aback.

“It was clear that Oldland’s tactics were to use the small pitch to stifle our game by pulling six into the back-line, playing deep and making it difficult for us.

“They offered very little of their own creation, but to give the credit their defensive organisation was good, and their captain, Ashley Bernard had an outstanding game.

“We had to be patient and use movement off the front line to pull them [Oldland’s] around and create spaces. Callum [Ham] and Coombsy [Chris Coombs] working off Adam Jones created a lot of chances without a clear cut one.

“The pitch wasn’t conducive to our game, and the tactics worked well into the second half.

“After 65 minutes Mason [Gardener] came on and made a real impact in the ‘hole’ benefitting from Billy’s [Billy Vaughan] tireless hour of running, his ball manipulation seemed to give us fresh impotence.

“Then a great halfway pickup and surge by Danny [Griffiths] through to chip the ‘keeper, which would have made a striker proud. This released the pressure and we attacked with success frequently, the second goal was always coming and Jonah [Adam Jones] finished a great cross from Chris Coombs.

“The Oldand’s right back let himself down by stamping on Callum [Ham] in the last minute, who had been outstanding all afternoon, and we now need to cross our fingers he [Callum] will recover for the Wellington game

“We now have 9 cup finals, and it is in our hands if we can gain promotion. I think Keynsham’s chances have probably now disappeared after this week’s loss [0-3 at Welton], Wellington and Hengrove have favourable run-ins, so I would probably say they are still favourites above us, however we have to play them both and wins against our main rivals would put us in a great position.”

Cheddar are without a game on Saturday (11th March) but travel to Wellington on Wednesday week (15th March)(kick-off: 7.45pm), before a further away game (at Ashton & Backwell) on Saturday (18th March)(kick off: 3pm)

Cheesemen lose unbeaten league record

Toolstation Western League Division One match report – Saturday 25th February 2017

Cheddar 1 Malmesbury Victoria 2

Cheddar lost their 21-match unbeaten league record with a surprise home defeat the hands of league newcomers Malmesbury Victoria.

The hosts were without captain Adam Jones, pivot Sam King – who sustained an injury in the warm-up – and leading scorer Callum Ham, their unavailability on the day was to prove crucial to Jared Greenhalgh’s side seeking to regain the league leadership whereas the visitors were in uplifted mood following the appointment of a new management team, the side’s last manager having decided to step down following a string of disappointing results.

And it was the mid-table Wiltshire visitors who appeared to adapt better to the conditions than their high-flying hosts from the start as the home side’s goalkeeper Kieran Webster was forced to pull off several quality sides to keep the scores level as the visitors launched a series of attacks. Full back Danny Cook tested Webster after just 6 minutes, his stunning volley brilliantly turned wide of the post by the goalkeeper at full-stretch.

Following the resulting corner Jamie Parker’s header was again pushed to safety by the Cheddar ‘keeper. Webster then brought off a quite miraculous save at full stretch to deny Anthony Brown as Cheddar struggled to find their rhythm in the conditions.

The home side were again thankful to Webster midway through the opening half he bravely saved at the feet of Parker.

Against the run of play, Cheddar took the lead on 26 minutes, Chris Coombs volleying home from just inside the 18-yard box after the Vics defence had failed to clear a Craig Mawford free-kick.

Webster then came to Cheddar’s rescue once more just before the half time break as he turned aside another effort from Josh Hughes.

The visitors were back in the game shortly after the restart, when on 50 minutes they were awarded a penalty-kick after George Booth was adjudged to have committed an illegal tackle inside the box, Anthony Brown hitting his spot kick firmly past Webster’s despairing dive. Malmesbury went further ahead six minutes later, Josh Russell’s cross headed home powerfully by Sam Parker.

Jamie Packer almost added s third moments later as Malmesbury threatened to control the game. Jamie Parker had an effort cleared off the line by centre-back Shaun Lambert late in the game, but despite late pressure, and shots on target by George Booth, Chris Coombs and Robbi Maggs, Josh Langley in the Malmesbury goal was equal to everything that the home side had to offer. This was just was not to be Cheddar’s day with the score line reflecting the difference between the two sides.

With league leaders also losing at Keynsham on the day, this result moves the Cheesemen back to third place on 67 points although they are just two points behind the leaders with a game in hand, as well as being just a point behind second placed Keynsham Town with two games in hand over the BANES based side.

With just ten games remaining Cheddar now gear up for a visit to much improved Oldland Abbotonians on Saturday (4th March) who have had a noticeable resurgence in form of late. Entering March, Cheddar face a difficult trip to leaders Wellington in a re-arranged match scheduled for Wednesday 15th March, kick-off 7.45 with an equally difficult encounter to follow at Ashton & Backwell the following Saturday 18th March.

With the Cheesemen hopeful that work will at last be given the go ahead to repair their floodlghts, the club’s evening game against Hengrove Athletic has been re-arranged for Tuesday 4th April, with a 7.45pm kick-off.

Cheddar Football Club Host Sporting Dinner with former Spurs Legend Steve Perryman

The Cheddar Cheesemen ‘kicked off’ their off-field celebrations for their 125th year with a sporting ‘Fundraising dinner’ held in their clubhouse on Saturday (25th February).

The special guest for the evening was Steve Perryman MBE who was the most successful captain in Tottenham Hotspur’s history.

Perryman is Tottenham’s most prized asset in terms of appearances and their youngest ever captain in a playing career that saw him play for Spurs on 866 occasions in a playing career that spanned 17 years. Perryman is still very much involved in football and is the Director of Football at League Two side Exeter City.

The former Tottenham Hotspur legend spent hours talking to many of the fans who have followed his career, also speaking to the sell-out audience on the highs and lows of being a professional footballer.

The highs were emphasised by his manager during much of his playing career, Bill Nicholson, and the lows included a nine-hour heart operation he had some years ago.

Amongst the players that the Spurs legend held in high regard were Pat Jennings, Glenn Hoddle, Ossie Ardilles, Ricky Villa and Gary Mabbutt.

There was also plenty of humour his address a including how much looking he was compared with Gary Neville and how he turned down a trip as a 12-year old to visit Cheddar Gorge! Perryman also added that at grass roots level the work that had gone on behind the scenes in making the event such a successful night was the input of Cheddar secretary Alan Cooper and commented that this had been the best organised dinner he had attended.

A raffle and auction was also held on the evening raising funds for the club.

Photographs by Kim Wall Photography.