Cheddar FC weekend review – 7/8 October 2017

Reserves lose in Somerset Senior Cup, Ladies lose their unbeaten record but the ‘A’ team hit Axbridge Reserves for six!


Cheddar Reserves, despite the inclusion of new signings Steve Sokol and Billy Manning on the bench, lost out to a strong Keynsham Town Reserve team on Saturday in the Somerset Senior Cup (2nd Round); here is Andy Wallis’s report from the game:

Keynsham took advantage, when an excellently taken corner was met with a powerful near post header, leaving Sam Talbot with little chance in the Cheddar goal on 10 minutes.

The home side refused to panic and with 15 minutes played, man of the match Tom Catling intercepted on the half way line and drove through the Keynsham midfield and patiently waited for an opening.  Catling’s slide-rule pass found John Edwards running at speed and his superb cross found Billy Manning in space and the former Clevedon Town player steered his shot beyond the visitors ‘keeper.  However, Cheddar’s lead was short lived, with a stunning 25-yard curling free kick which found the top corner of the net some five minutes later.

Cheddar resumed the second half with the same determination but were thwarted by a well organised and experienced Keynsham team and were soon three goals to one down when the home side failed to deal with a cross and were clinically punished by a Keynsham forward.

Tom Manning was unlucky not to pull a goal back minutes later when his curling free-kick was tipped over; but then Cheddar hit the self-destruct button with a poor back pass which was easily intercepted and easily converted to make the score four goals to one.

Cheddar committed to work hard and recruit Steve Sokol nearly made an instant impact, finding Taryn Selway-Joseph six-yards out, only to see his effort drift inches past the post.  In the final minutes, Town punished another defensive lapse to give them a flattering score line.

Final score:  Cheddar Reserves 1    Keynsham Town Reserves    5

Meanwhile, Cheddar Ladies fresh and eager to go following consecutive away victories and played host to Portishead Ladies on Sunday; Portishead being the only team in the league not to have lost a game:

Here is Russell Heal’s report on the game:

Cheddar had the best of the play and created the better chances in the first half and the score stayed 0-0 at half time.  

In the second half Cheddar Ladies were unable to cope with Portishead’s pressure with too many players playing out of position, after what looked like the hot sun had drained the energy of the Cheddar girls, they still worked hard but made it additionally difficult for themselves as the visitors scored four second half goals.

Cheddar’s player of the match was Rachel Rousell with some spectacular and important saves that prevented the score line from being higher.

Final score:  Cheddar Ladies 0 Portishead Ladies 4

Pride of place this week must go to Jack Griffiths’ ‘A’ team who demolished Axbridge Reserves by six goals to nothing.

Here are Jack’s comments on the game:

Cheddar reacted to their 6-1 loss last week at Congresbury with an emphatic 6-0 drilling of rivals Axbridge Town Reserves.   Debutant Dan Flowers with four goals and two assists won him the man of the match award with Ben Clayton and Liam Jones notching the other two goals. Cheddar ‘A’ moved to fourth place because of this brilliant win.

Final score:  Cheddar ‘A   6 Axbridge Town Reserves   0

Cheesemen Serve Up A Sunday Roast To Move Into Fifth Place

Sunday 8th October 2017


For the football purist this match had everything, five goals, a missed penalty, countless goalmouth opportunities and three top drawer finishes by a Cheddar team who have now moved menacingly into fifth place following their disappointing start to the league campaign.

The match, unusually being played on a Sunday was the culmination of seven Toolstation League games which saw non-league football fans descend on the county, and they were served a treat as both teams went about their roles to serve up one of the best, if not the best, games of football seen at Western League level for some time.

The two sides were locked together in the league table prior to the match but Cheddar started the more promising and totally outplayed their hosts for the greater part of the opening half, somehow missing contriving to miss a hatful of chances, after they had carved out some terrific openings.

Both Robbi Maggs and Ricky Bennett were undoubtedly on top form as they ‘ruled the roost’ and on 8 minutes, the former threaded Chris Coombs with the most wonderful crossfield ball, and Coombs made no mistake with a crisply hit right footed finish goalkeeper Sam Carreau.  

Midfielder Stephen Pennington was next in on the action but hooked his shot wide, before ‘captain Craig Mawford was inches away from adding to the scoreline with an angled drive.  

Bennett was given licence to play a free role and was causing chaos with his ability on the dead-ball and from a Bennett corner, Sam King headed just wide before Adam Jones, who has been in imperious form of late, hit a snap shot that was just held by Carreau.  

By contrast the home side were reduced to lumping the ball forward as their overworked defence took a breather, but the danger soon returned as Jones twice went agonisingly close as the visitors threatened to run away with the game.  

Carreau who was having a tremendous game somehow kept out a stunning shot from Jones from direct range before a further defensive howler let in King but the big defender, turned attacking midfielder contrived to miss badly from close in and the home side drew breath nervously on the half-hour.

Carreau was called into action to save again from King towards the end of the first half but in a cruel twist of fate, the tide suddenly turned and completely against the run of play the home side levelled with arguably their first real chance of the game.

Charlie Wilson escaped his marker in the outside left channel and crossed for James Quick to find the roof of the net via Ben Hebditch on 39 minutes.

It got even better for Lydeard as in the final minute of the first half Quick’s corner was missed by everyone in a yellow shirt and Hebditch was on hand to put his side into the lead to the bewilderment of both the 264-strong crowd and the Cheddar players who couldn’t believe they had fallen behind after creating so many opportunities.

The second half of this pulsating game turned into something of a classic with the inevitable game changer from the penalty spot and more missed chances, which began with Bennett’s sweetly struck free kick that reached Pennington whose header was dramatically turned away by ‘keeper Carreau, in a save more akin to Gordon Banks of World Cup fame!  Cheddar looked to have gift wrapped the points to their hosts two minutes later as referee Kevin Rodd was well placed to see Nathan Best push Quick, but the Lydeard centre-forward’s spot kick lacked the necessary pace and was saved well by Kingston in the Cheddar goal as it rebounded to him off the upright.   

From that moment the game edged away from the home side; Bennett was controlling the game from his central midfield berth and his textbook corner just missed Jones’s head before King fired across goal.  

The same player brought a good save from Carreau as Jones nodded home but from an offside position, and then the goalkeeper was equal to the big centre-forward’s cracking 25-yarder as Cheddar threatened to run riot.  

The home side had a rare foray when Wilson’s shot was just kept out by Kingston but it was the Cheesemen who finally broke Lydeard’s hearts on 65 minutes when Jones hit the sweetest of scissor kicks crashing past the keeper from Maggs delicious assist.  

On 74 minutes man-of-the-match Bennett was given too much space in the inside left channel and with a drop of the shoulder, glided past his defender to finish outstandingly which was well deserved and long overdue.

There were other chances in the final fifteen minutes as the visitors threatened to run riot but the three points were well deserved for the team from the ‘Theatre of Cheese’ as they now prepare to meet National League (South) side Bath City in the County Premier Cup (1st round) on Wednesday evening (11th October) (kick-off: 7.45pm).

Cheddar first team are without a match on Saturday (14th October) due to the Toolstation Western League’s 125th anniversary weekend.

Man of the match: Ricky Bennett

Attendance: 264

Cheddar caretaker manager Shaun Potter said: “Overall I was very pleased with today’s performance.

“Although the scoreline doesn’t suggest it, I think that this was one of our best performances of the season apart from a ten-minute spell at the end of the first half we were superb going forward and comfortable defensively.  

“We played some great football and on another day, it could have been ten!  

“We conceded two goals just before half time; we wanted a reaction in the second half and the lads showed a tremendous amount of character second half and perform as they did so I couldn’t be happier.  

“We look forward to a little break from the league now; we play Bath City on Wednesday night in the Somerset County Premier Cup, an occasion the lads can enjoy with no pressure but I can assure everyone that we will be doing all we can to win the game with our style of football I fancy us to have a good go against anyone so we’re all looking forward to it.”

Weekend Review September 30/October 1

Cheddar Reserves deservedly secured all three points at Pensford with a good 2-0 win. Here is Andy Wallis’s report:

The Reserves were back to winning ways and bounce back from back-to-back defeats.

Facing a Pensford side determined to turn things round were resilient opponents but the in-form John Edwards was denied a goal by a clearance off the line after 15 minutes.

The Pensford goalkeeper kept the scores level minutes later when Adam Filer, found Edwards in space once again. Cheddar’s flank players Jay Murray and Callum Sully were a constant threat but couldn’t find the final killer ball.

On 37 minutes the Pensford stopper managed to get a toe-end clearance to deny Harry Hughes from adding to the score.

With Robbie Wallis and man-of-the-match Tom Manning dominating the centre and captain Adam Davies marshalling the defence, Cheddar stuck to their guns and thought that they had broken the deadlock just after the hour, only for Robbie Wallis’s 20-yard effort to shave the post.

With just 20 minutes remaining, Edwards guile and application became apparent as he danced past three defenders before slotting the ball back to Tom Manning who hammered home from 12 yards.

The rampant Reserve team were now in total control and Edwards raced onto a through ball only to see his effort clip the bar.

But the same player made no mistake a minute later as he outpaced the home defence from Kieran Webster’s intelligent long clearance and coolly slid the ball pas the advancing Pensford goalkeeper. Late in the game Jay Murray was denied a third goal by the match

official, not noticing that the ball had crossed the line before it was hastily cleared by the Pensford centre back.

Man of the match: Tom Manning

After the game, Cheddar Reserves manager Andy Wallis said: “It was really pleasing to see the lads bounce back from back-to-back defeats and get back to winning ways. Whilst Penford were bottom of the league, they were resilient and robust and it was good to see us have the confidence, patience, and skill to break them down.

“Having the added quality of Tom Manning again this week was a bonus and it was good to see him break the deadlock. John Edwards deserved the get the second and seal the victory. What was most pleasing was the way the team pulled together after the last few results and we’re looking to build on this in the coming weeks.”

Next Saturday (7th October) Cheddar Reserves are at home to Keynsham Town Reserves in the Somerset Senior Cup (2nd round), kick-off: 2.30pm.

Also on Saturday, Cheddar ‘A’ travelled to Congresbury ‘A’ although unfortunately this wasn’t to be their day and they finished on the wrong side of a 6-1 score line; Liam Jones scoring for Cheddar.

Next Saturday, the ‘A’ team host Axbridge Town Reserves.

And now, onto Sunday’s match, and the Cheddar Ladies, the team they’re all talking about…

After last weekend’s amazing result (12-1 at Crewkerne), the Cheesegirls followed this up with an equally eye-catching 4-3 victory ‘on the road’ at Evercreech.

Here is manager Russ Heal’s report:

Another away game, this time at Evercreech. The game started with the home side applying the greater pressure but this well soaked up by the visitors.

The Cheesegirls started to take control of the fast forward moving of Evercreech but on 14 minutes Cheddar were caught out by a long ball from Evercreech who scored with a one-on-one with the Cheddar goalkeeper.

The Cheddar team then started to get in behind the Evercreech defence creating their own chances.

Then on 20 minutes Judit Salamon finally got her reward with a fine low shot, making the score 1-1 at half-time. Cheddar re-organised themselves for the second half and it appeared that they (Cheddar) had control of the game as Valerie Walsh blasted her first of the game on 69 minutes.

Cheddar continued to create chances but it was Evercreech who scored again to make the scores 2-2. Valerie Walsh then scored again for Cheddar, striking in both the 76th and 79th minutes to secure her second hat-trick in two games.

On 83 minutes the home side reduced the deficit but Cheddar could well have scored more goals with both Bella Jonas and Judit Salamon both hitting the crossbar with good efforts, and Jade Burton’s effort being scrambled off the line.

This was a very entertaining game with end-to-end football but the Cheddar girls deservedly took all three points.

Next weekend the girls returning to home soil when they host Portishead Ladies (kick-off: 2pm).

Cheesemen Hit Four As They Move Up To Eighth Place In The League Table

Toolstation Western League Division One match report

Saturday 30th September 2017

Cheddar 4 Portishead Town

Cheddar Football Club appear to have gained a new lease of life under the guidance of caretaker manager Shaun Potter as they swept aside second-bottom Portishead Town by four goals, with no reply on Saturday.

For a team that were bottom of the table at the start of the month, the Cheesemen appear to have undertaken something of a transformation following this uncompromising demolition of their luckless opponents.

The home side were in the ascendancy from the start and took the lead on eight minutes, Jake Mawford finding Ricky Bennett and the cultured midfielder quickly found striker Adam Jones with an excellent lofted ball. Jones clearly had the legs on the Portishead defence who were, frankly, left stumbling in his wake, and the big striker with just the goalkeeper to beat made no mistake, hitting his shot firmly past Portishead goalkeeper Ryan Scott. 1-0.

Jones was again on target shortly afterwards, Chris Coombs’ brilliant crossfield ball finding the striker lurking at the back post, and although off-balance Jones somehow steered his volley goal wards only for Scott to save with his legs.

The only threat from the visitors was being posed by their centre-forward Dan Elson, who went close twice before the home side doubled their advantage midway through the half, Robbi Maggy brilliantly setting up Coombs with a pin-point accurate pass into the danger area allowing the fleet-footed winger to slot home with the most delicate of side foot strikes from close range.

Elson, the Portishead No 9 again went close moments before the half time break with a good effort from 30-yards but overall it was the home side that deservedly went in at half time well worthy of their two-goal lead

The Cheesemen added a third goal on 58 minutes from an infringement on Coombs, 27 yards from goal. A brilliantly executed free kick, right out of the coaching manual, observed a Ricky Bennett step-over and what followed was a cannonball free kick from Craig Mawford which rebounded off the upright with such force that the ball was hardly noticed by the Portishead ‘keeper before he stooped to retrieve the ball from the back of his net.

Shortly after Cheddar’s third goal, Ricky Bennett who was in imperious form, had another free kick brilliantly turned over the crossbar by the back-pedalling Portishead ‘keeper and it came as no surprise when the home side added a fourth on 63 minutes. A long clearance by man-of-the-match Stephen Pennington found Adam Jones on the left flank. And Jones, running at full speed quickly redefined the meaning of a ‘lost cause’ as he superbly kept the ball in play, then crossing sublimely for Chris Coombs to smash home his second of the afternoon. The winger did brilliantly to read the situation and grab his brace for the afternoon to secure this emphatic win for the Cheesemen who appear to be playing with more belief and confidence than they have all season.

With 25 minutes remaining, Adam Jones was withdrawn from the action, and the match became a little scrappy, but by then the Cheesemen had done their duty, and the team had secured a very worthy three points.

Speaking to the club’s website following the match, caretaker manager Shaun Potter said;

“I couldn’t be happier with today’s performance, we executed our game plan very well. I felt that we controlled the game from the start with a high tempo and some real quality in possession. I was pleased also to get a clean sheet, we were solid back there today and we dealt with everything that they (Portishead) threw at us. Overall, September has been a very good month, we’ve managed to string together some wins and climb the table which is testament to how hard these lads work every week. We look forward to a nice eight-day break now before we play Bishops Lydeard (away) next Sunday (kick-off: 2.15pm). The lads will be back, fresh and raring to go again”.

Cheddar captain Craig Mawford, also provided his thoughts were:

“It was a good performance today, lots of positives to take from the game. We looked dangerous going forward and made a lot of chances. We took our foot off the gas a little bit in the second half but we gathered some real momentum going forwards and are looking very forceful again. It is very pleasing that we are back to a point where we have competition for places. Robbi has put in some fantastic performances on the left side of midfield which has given us more options again, Adam is looking sharp and we can continue to build week by week. It is good to have an eight-day break so we can recover from knocks. The game on Sunday won’t be an easy one but it is one that the boys are looking forward to, fingers crossed for another win. C’mon you Cheesemen!”

Man of the match: Stephen Pennington

Next weekend, the first team visit Bishops Lydeard (as part of the ‘Western League’s ground hop weekend) in a league match that kicks off at 2.15pm on Sunday (not Saturday) 8th October