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

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).

Weekend Review – September 23/24

Cheddar Ladies were in outstanding form on Sunday when they disposed of Crewekerne Rangers 12-1 (yes, 12-1!). Valerie Walsh opened the scoring in the first minute, the first of four for her. Returning to play after breaking her arm in pre-season was Megan Dyer who scored a hat-trick, two goals came from Charlotte Caley and one each for Holly Hael, Jade Burton and Judit Salamon.

Player of the match was Megan Dyer

Elsewhere, Cheddar Reserves lost 5-0 at AFC Brislington….

Cheddar Reserves walk away with the result they didn’t want. Poor preparation led to a poor starting performance from the Cheesemen with Brislington dominating play, and they capitalised on 17 minutes when a free kick was awarded on the edge of the Cheddar box. A horrible ‘bobble’ led to ‘keeper Kieran Webster spilling the ball into the path of the incoming forward who poked the ball home.

Cheddar responded well with great link up play between John Edwards, Taryn Selway-Joseph and Harry Hughes, the latter having his shot well saved by the Brislington goalkeeper. From the resulting corner, ‘skipper Adam Davies hit the bar and three shots in a goalmouth scramble were cleared. A free kick awarded to the opposition on the counter attack was poorly prevented and the home side played quick getting around the outside of the Cheddar defence, a Brislington player sliding the ball past Webster to make it 2-0.

Leading up to half time Cheddar controlled the game with Davies, Manning and Edwards controlling the ball freely and wide men Sully and Murray utilised to deliver the ball into the box. Opportunities from Sully, Selway-Joseph and Hughes were well defended leading into halftime 2-0 down.

After the half time break it got worse for Cheddar as young centre-back Connell Edwards headed past his own ‘keeper when trying to clear the danger. The home side dominated from thereon in as Cheddar heads dropped. Brislington were awarded a penalty on the hour when the referee adjudged a poor challenge from the back tracking of Hughes.

With ten minutes remaining, Brislington scored their fifth goal, rounding the side of the Cheddar defence, and pulling the ball back for a tap in for a Brislington striker to slip home.

Despite the vast experience of this young Cheddar squad they were unable to perform to the highest level possible on the day and therefore unable to make a statement of intent for the coming weeks. The team all agreed that they did not do enough and needed to work better as a unit to fulfil the expectations they have put upon themselves for the season.

Cheddar ‘A’ team were also beaten 4-1 by Burnham ‘A’ team on Saturday, Cheddar’s only goal being scored by Jamie Claridge.

Weekend Review – 16/17 September

Cheddar Reserves were without a game at the weekend, but the ‘A’ team were in action and went level third with an excellent 4-0 win at AFC Nailsea Reserves. The ‘A’ team were looking to build on their first victory of the season against a tough Nailsea side.

The game started slowly and Cheddar ‘A’ were struggling to get into their flow with many misplaced passes and shoddy touches, however it was the home side that nearly took the lead, missing from five yards.

Cheddar came out for the second half re-energised and with a point to prove; John Edwards took the game by the scruff of the neck and curled a 25-yard free kick into the top corner to get his team ‘in motion’, Tom Catling, making his first appearance for the ‘A’ team this season, having only signed on forms the previous day, then doubled the lead that was picked out by a ‘pirlo-esque’ ball from Adam Willis.

Edwards then doubled his tally for the day making it 3-0 with Ben Clayton rounding off the rout with a back-post header to make it 4-0.

The ‘A’ team march on with six points, sitting third in the league having yet to concede and scoring seven goals in two games.

Man of the match: Tom Catling

On Sunday, Cheddar Ladies were in action for the first time this season on home soil…

The Cheesegirls were a bit were a bit thin on the ground to start with, and only had two substitutes including one who had been held up in Plymouth!

Cheddar created the better chances but it was visitors Ilminster Ladies Reserves took the lead on 13 minutes. Shortly after this, Sophie Jones limped off with severe ligament damage, so Cheddar had to use their only substitute. Ilminster scored quickly in the second half after fielding players from their first team who play in the South West Premier Division, three divisions above Cheddar.

The Cheesegirls then had their new debutant Sarah McGee needing to leave the field of play also, and were now down to ten and trying to adjust when Ilminster scored their third goal with fifteen minutes remaining.

Lauren Faulkner also had to leave the field of play with a knee problem, so the girls were down to nine fit players!

Cheddar again re-adjusted and held off their high-profile visitors and could well have scored to get back into the match, but the game was far out of reach and a bad day at the office with injuries.

The girls, as normal, were as credit and worked their socks off and gave their all and should not be at all downhearted after this very hard-working performance and misfortune with injuries.

Player of the match: Rachael Rousell

And a look forward to the next Cheddar matches:

Cheddar first team: Malmesbury Victoria (Tuesday 19th September) kick-off: 7.45pm (home); Almondsbury (away) Saturday 23rd September (kick-off: 3pm)

Cheddar Reserves: AFC Brislington (away) Saturday 23rd September (kick-off: 3pm)

Cheddar ‘A’ team: Burnham United (away) Saturday 23rd September (kick-off: 3pm

Cheddar Ladies: Crewkerne Rangers (away) Sunday 24th September (kick-off: 2pm)

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 move to second place in league with a strong performance

Saturday 11th February 2017

Cheddar 2 Keynsham Town 0

Cheddar manager Jared Greenlight was forced to field what appeared to be a weakened side in their top of the table clash with Keynsham Town on Saturday but this match said much for the Cheeseman’s strength in depth, winning the match 2-0 in an at times feisty tussle.

Regular first team starters Mark Armstrong, Sam King, Chris Coombs, and Danny Griffiths were all missing together with long-term injury victims Sam Jones and Lewis Matthews, but with a new-look back-four in place, it was testimony to the Cheddar manager and his squad that they dug in to earn a deserved victory.

Both sides created early opportunities with Keynsham striker Adrian Harvey testing Kieran Webster with a low drive and then Ash Wintle, the visitor’s goalkeeper doing well to save low down at the back post from Adam Jones header.

Cheddar midfielder Billy Vaughan, making his first appearance following a three-match suspension was causing problems for the visitors with his strong running their defence, although he did receive a caution for a challenge on Nathan Curnock having skipped past three defenders, the fourth more a case of over-enthusiasm rather than intent.

Keynsham’s Matt Brown then created a chance out of nothing but goal bound effort on the turn was brilliantly blocked by the impressive Craig Maw ford who was filling at the heart of the Cheddar defence.

The home side who had been marginally the better of the two teams in the opening third of the game took the lead on 34 minutes with a quality goal.

A deep Kristian Bell cross to the back post found the head of Adam Jones, who had peeled away from his marker and his cushioned header cross the face of the six-yard box was skilfully slotted home by Shaun Lambert from close range.

Cheddar could well have been punished just before the half-time break s George Booth was cautioned for a late challenge on Ben Harris who then saw his free kick brilliantly turned to safety by Webster in the Cheddar goal.

The visitors started the second half strongly and on two occasions Adam Jones was forced to make superb headed clearances to deny Harris and Brown the opportunity to get their side back in the game as they lurked at the back post in space.

It was Cheddar though who edged the game in the final third despite losing Shaun Lambert through injury, Adam Jones once again showing his versatility by moving alongside Craig Mawford in central-defence.

Mawford went close for Cheddar late on with a spectacular free-kick and Jones went close with a flying header from a Ricky Bennett corner.

The game was settled on 85 minutes when the hard working Robbi Maggs was bundled over in the penalty area by ‘keeper Wintle as the striker chased Mason Gardener’s long ball.

Substitute Callum Ham stepped up to coolly convert the penalty kick for his 22nd goal of the season to seal the victory for Cheddar

In summary, it was quite remarkable that the game went ahead, groundsman Russell Heal working wonders to make the pitch playable and with it an exciting encounter between two of the top three teams in the league.

Next Saturday (18th February) Cheddar face another potentially difficult match when they travel to eighth placed Portishead Town.

Speaking after the match, Cheddar manager Jared Greenhalgh said: “This was our best performance in two years, all 13 players put in a performance today, I’m proud of them”

Cheddar captain Adam Jones added: “I felt that this was our best performance of the season so far with a couple of the lads playing out of position, we dealt with it so well. I think that we dominated the game and bullied them off the park. An all-round great performance from the lads.”

Match Sponsor: Chambers Services (Cheddar)

Man of the match: Adam Jones

Weekend Roundup

Elsewhere on Saturday, Cheddar Reserves travelled to Kewstoke Lions, losing by the only goal in the match. Meanwhile the ‘A’ team lost a five-goal thriller at Sharpham Road, Sam Smith, and Ben Clayton netting for the ‘A’s’.

These two results leave Cheddar Reserves in 10th place in their division with 9 points from 16 games, whereas the ‘A’ team remain seventh in their division (in the Weston & District League Division 4) with 8 points from 12 games. Next Saturday (18th February), the Reserve team entertain Nailsea United Reserves at Bowdens Park, kick-off 2.30pm. The ‘A’ team do not have a match at the weekend.

Cheddar Ladies return to action on Sunday (19th February) when they visit Wellington in the Somerset Women’s League ‘Chairman’s Cup’.

Weekend review December 10/11

As previously published, the first team’s impressive home win over Almondsbury UWE on Saturday (10th December 2016) catapulted the Cheesemen to third place, where they leapfrogged Hengrove Athletic. Goals on Saturday came courtesy of a second half hat-trick from captain Adam Jones, who celebrated the win with his second man of the match performance in three games; the game’s other goals were scored by Shaun Lambert and Callum Ham and an own goal from an Almondsbury defender. The weekend’s other Toolstation Western League results were:
Bishops Lydeard 3 Chippenham Park 0
Chard Town 4 Keynsham Town 2
Devizes Town 0 Portishead Town 2
Hengrove Athletic 0 Malmesbury Victoria 1
Radstock Town 3 Calne Town 0
Roman Glass St George 1 Westbury United 1
Warminster Town 0 Bishop Sutton 3
Wellington 3 Corsham Town 0
Welton Rovers 3 Ashton & Backwell Utd 4
Wincanton Town 7 Oldland Abbotonians 0

Wellington currently lead the league with 53 points from 23 games followed by Keynsham Town in second place with 52 points from 24 games and ourselves in third with 49 points from 23 games. Cheddar have so far scored 60 goals this season which is the best ‘goals for ratio’ in the league at the moment.

Meanwhile, Cheddar Reserves travelled to Nailsea United Reserves, with the only change to last week’s starting eleven seeing Robbie Wallis replace Chris Coombs who was recalled by the first team.

Cheddar started the game strongly and following some great team were rewarded with the opening goal after 15 minutes from Jake Buxton, who brought the ball down well in the box, cleverly side-stepped a defender and drilled the ball into the bottom corner. Nailsea battled well and with pitch conditions deteriorating rapidly, Nailsea’s first attack saw a strong header blaze past Recce Joint in the Cheddar goal for the equaliser

The visitors kept their shape and game plan, keeping good possession, and threatening the Nailsea goal at will. The pressure soon told with Buxton getting his second of the game on the half hour with a well worked corner; powering in a header after the ball was flicked on at the near post.
In the second half Cheddar continued to dominate play and Will Wallis got his second goal in as many matches, when his accurate right foot shot left the Nailsea ‘keeper with no chance. It continued to be all Cheddar until the final 10 minutes when the pitch became more like an ice-rink; Nailsea took the direct approach from a long free kick to scramble the ball over the line. With only minutes remaining Nailsea continued to pump the ball forward and got lucky again, the ball falling fortuitously to the feet of a home striker in the 6-yard box, grabbing a point in the dying seconds, leaving Cheddar wondering how they came away with so little after dominating the game for 80 minutes. Cheddar Reserves remain in eleventh place.
Cheddar Reserves caretaker manager Sean Burrough said:

“This young and improving Cheddar side were professional and responsive; we played great football on a poor playing surface.”

Elsewhere on Saturday, Cheddar ‘A’ unluckily lost 3-5 to Selkirk United, with Cheddar’s goals coming from Mike Carpenter, Ben Clayton and Ben Harris. Cheddar ‘A’ remain in 7th place in WSM League Division Four on seven points

On Sunday, Cheddar Ladies hosted Hamilton at Sharpham Road. The girls went into this game full of confidence after an outstanding performance (at Glastonbury) last weekend, and as they were playing league bottom placed team Hamilton they set up an attacking system and straight away ut pressure on the visitor’s defence. Jade Burton opened the scoring on 4 minutes and the Cheesegirls created many more chances before Judith Salmon made it 2-0 on 16 minutes after sending the ‘keeper the wrong way with a well taken and controlled effort. Burton scored her second goal with a very good individual effort, beating three defenders and slotting past the goalkeeper. Val Walsh got her first of the game to make it 4-0 at half time. The second half got under way and the goals kept coming with a second from Judit Salmon and with outstanding performances and hat-tricks from Charlotte Fay-Fineran and Valerie Walsh, Cheddar moved on to a 10-0 lead. Cheddar were getting problems all day from the Hamilton’s right back all day until she decided to catch the ball with both hands right on the goal-line, surely it should have been a red card but the referee only awarded a penalty. After Cheddar had already missed a penalty in the first half and two other penalties in previous games, the manager ordered Holly Hael to take the spot kick. A perfect penalty into the corner of the net and a well-deserved goal to make the final score 11-0 in favour of the Cheddar Girls.

Cheddar Ladies moved up to third place in the Somerset Women’s League (Division Two) with this great win.

The Player of the Match Award went to Ashle Bennett playing left midfield for most of the game with so much determination; an outstanding performance.

Team of the Week: Cheddar Ladies

Player of the Week: Adam Jones

Weekend Review – December 3/4

Away from first team action, Cheddar Reserves hosted Weston St Johns hopeful of following on from their win at Burnham last weekend.

It was the visitors who started the more confidently and looked like a side who were used to winning, dominating the early encounters but it was Cheddar who created the first clear cut chance when the unmarked French blasted over from 10 yards closely followed by Parker’s diving header which flashed just wide of the back post.

This Cheddar moved spurred on St Johns and the visitors went ahead two minutes later when the home side failed to clear a lofted free kick from the half-way line, which was subsequently scrambled in from five yards out.

However Cheddar fought back and within as minute, Chris Coombs returning to fitness was released just inside the Weston half and sped past two defenders before clipping the ball past the ‘keeper.

Both teams traded blows for 10 minutes until as poor clearance from the normally reliable Reece Joint, was punished by a 30-yard lob.

Cheddar, still in shock from this unlucky blow, let the Weston striker time and space to turn his defender and get his shot in the box to give the visitors a three goal lead on 20 minutes.

Earlier in the season Cheddar would have crumbled but this side showed real courage and played with added determination and belief in the second half.

Callum French and Will Wallis started to dominate the centre of the pitch, consistently releasing Morgan Rose and Will Price who took advantage of the space out wide.

This positive play was rewarded on 65 minutes, Jake Buxton deftly heading in Adam Davies’ superb free kick. Cheddar’s back line looked far more composed and were able to launch after attack, and the pressure told again on 78 minutes when Will Wallis fastening on to a loose ball just outside the box, let fly with a rasping left foot drive that sailed past a despairing ‘keeper

Now it was all Cheddar with both Sam Merreywether and Adam Price surging forward on either flank and both were denied strong penalty shouts in the final minutes, but the experienced St Johns just about held on for all three points.

However, this young and talented Cheddar side should take a lot of positives against a strong and experienced opposition that had not lost in the league since the beginning of September.

Final score: Cheddar Reserves 3 Weston St Johns 4

Meanwhile, Cheddar ‘A’ entertained Portishead ‘B’ in the Vardon Cup. Cheddar ‘A’ went into the game with as bare 11 and were unfortunate to lose James Burke on 20 minutes with a dislocated shoulder.

After going in 2-0 down at half time, the 10 men turned the game round and missed a hatful of chances to even go on and win the game, but succumbed to a 2-1 defeat. The ‘A’ team can take great heart from this performance and move on to the next game.

Final score: Cheddar ‘A’ 1 Portishead ‘B’ 2

Meanwhile on Sunday…

Cheddar Ladies travelled to Glastonbury knowing it was going to be a very difficult game against an in-form, well organised Glastonbury team.

The home side started well, stayed organised and played some good football but the Cheesegirls settled they then also played some great football.

With both teams creating and defending really well chances on goal were at a premium but the home side broke the deadlock midway through the first half although probably against the run of play.

Cheddar Ladies never wobbled and began to press hard again and got their just reward 10 minutes later, Megan Dyer composing herself well and slotting home through a congested penalty area to level the scores.

Cheddar continued to press and won several corners but could not get that elusive second goal.

As the second half got under way it was the visitors who exerted much of the pressure but could still not get past a near-faultless Cheddar defence.

The Cheesegirls nearly took the lead midway through the second half as Jade Burton’s shot hit the underside of the crossbar only to bounce straight down the goal line and back out again. Cheddar forced several more corners but still couldn’t find the back of the net.

The final 15 minutes were end to end and entertaining football with both sides looking for that winning goal.

Both goalkeepers were kept busy with the home side hitting the post in the dying minutes. The game could have gone either way but both teams shared the points, after a very good and entertaining game.

After a hard decision the player of the match award went to Char Scriven for a faultless and commanding performance.

Final score: Glastonbury Ladies 1 Cheddar Ladies 1

Team of the Week: Cheddar First Team

Player of the week: Sam King

Weekend Review – 26/27 November 2016

Cheddar Reserves on the back of an unlucky defeat last time out at Worle, got back to winning ways at Burnham United.

Despite entering the weekend game following three consecutive defeats to Worle, the Cheesemen second string are a team that has seen improving performances, confidence and looking like a team who are starting to gel.

Cheddar displayed their intent from the start, Will Price poaching Connor Heal’s touch inside the box, only to be denied by the linesman’s flag within five minutes. The visitors dominated possession with Morgan Rose a constant cause of problems on the left flank.

The visitors however were to suffer a huge blow on 25 minutes, John Edwards was through on goal, unselfishly clipping the ball into the centre only to be cleared out by the ‘keeper and ending his afternoon, and not even being awarded a penalty kick for his pain.

The Cheddar team were forced to reshuffle and Wilmott slotted into a wide ride berth and Rose took up a more central position. Against the run of play on the half hour, Burnham’s star player dispatched an inch perfect 15-yard lob that saw Burnham move into a 1-0 half-time lead.

Not despondent, Cheddar got off to a dream start in the second half. Within 30 seconds of the whistle, Heal outpaced the home defence, the goalkeeper was unable to deal with the cross and Wilmott was on hand to bundle the ball home from close range to equalise.

Farinha and Wallis continued to win the midfield battle and their distribution to Parker, Heal and Wilmott created constant pressure on the Burnham back line. Halfway through the second half, Cheddar found the breakthrough they deserved, James Parker’s back post header sailing over the keeper’s head to put the Reserves into a 2-1 lead.

To their credit, Burnham tried to find a response but Cheddar’s defensive back line of Merreywether, Buxton, Price and Willies had an assured look about them and competently dealt with any threats and saw out the game for their first win of the month.

This results elevates the Reserves to tenth position on 7 points whereas Burnham drop to eleventh place. Cheddar host joint second placed Weston St Johns on Saturday at Bowdens Park, kick off 2pm.

Final score: Burnham United Reserves 1 Cheddar Reserves 2

Elsewhere, Cheddar ‘A’ went into Saturday’s game on the back of a good result the previous week. Although starting the game poorly at Nailsea based Selkirk United, the Cheesemen third string soaked up the pressure in the first half before Dom Underhill gave Cheddar a late first half lead.

The ‘A’ team continued to battle and outplayed a strong Selkirk side for 35 minutes of the second half only to concede two late goals after the home side pushed numbers forward and bombarded the Cheddar goal. Cheddar remain in seventh place in the Weston super Mare & District League Division Four whereas Selkirk move to joint top on 21 points. On Saturday, the ‘A’ team face Portishead Town ‘B’ in the Vardon Cup; the game takes place at Sharpham Road, kick off 1.30pm.

Final score: Selkirk United 2 Cheddar ‘A’ 1

Cheddar Ladies who were due to travel to Pen Mill, had their game postponed to the pitch being unsuitable.

The Cheesegirls occupy joint fourth place in the league but face a potentially difficult trip to local rivals (and fourth placed) Glastonbury on Sunday (4th December).

Team of the weekend; Cheddar First Team

Player of the Week: Adam Jones

Midweek review – November 23

Cheddar’s first team’s match scheduled for last Saturday (19 November) fell victim to the weather conditions such was the amount of rain that hit the Bowdens Park surface due the latter part of last week and on Saturday, making play impossible (in their scheduled Les Phillips (League) cup tie against Westbury United), on the positive front this extra day layoff gave one or two of the first team squad an extra week to recover from injuries.

Meanwhile, the Reserve team travelled to Worle for the third time in as many week, bolstered by a full squad and looking to improve on the previous week’s 2-1 defeat, but despite playing the more attractive and composed football in the opening minutes, it was Worle who took the lead through a deflected shot in the 7th minute.

Cheddar’s midfield comprising Booth, Vaughan and Wallis dominated possession with their skill and vision creating plenty of opportunities for Price and Rose on the flanks but the team lacked quality on the final ball. After continued pressure the Worle defence upended Billy Vaughan in the box, but the midfielder picked himself up and dispatched the penalty-kick but only after playing a one-two with the goalkeeper.

The match was very much end to end, Cheddar’s defence of Heal, Buxton, Filer, and Willies resolute. Recce Joint. Cheddar’s goalkeeper twice denied clear goal-scoring opportunities for the home side. Such was the Cheddar backline’s performance that they only looked troubled at set pieces and in the dying minutes of the first half, Worle converted a corner with a towering header to put them in the lead at half time.

The Cheesemen’s second string responded well and the introduction of the in-form Callum Ham for an injured Price was explosive. A matter of minutes from his introduction. a defensive slip allowed Ham to dash through and coolly slot home. The winger turned striker added his second fortuitously 10 minutes later his cross-come-shot floated into the net at the far post for Cheddar to take the lead for the first time.

The home side with only one defeat all season weren’t going to lie down and as the pitch cut up their direct play started to pay dividends, scoring two scrambled goals. With five minutes remaining James Parker released the foraging Heal down the left flank and his delightful cross was met by the hard-working John Edwards who skilfully headed back over the keeper’s head. 4-4.

With the score line level, neither side were happy with a draw and it was Worle who yet again deliver the sucker punch, catching Cheddar on the break as they sought the winner. But it could have been so different as Edwards danced past four defenders in the dying seconds only to fire directly at the ‘keeper from 8 yards out leaving an improving Cheddar side wondering what they can do to get a result.

Final score: Worle 5 Cheddar Reserves 4

Elsewhere, Cheddar ‘A’ entertained local rivals Winscombe in the first round of the Attwell Shield at Sharpham Road on Saturday. Winscombe’s ‘Blues’ play two divisions above the ‘A’ team in the WSM League Division Two and Cheddar knew that they would have put in a better performance that they did last weekend against a poor Burnham side.

Straight from the off it was evident that Cheddar were up for the game, exposing the Winscombe back line to a barrage of runs from Dom Underhill and Sam Smith, and it wasn’t long before the home side took the lead. Following a solid build up Sam Smith was played in, and after some slipping and sliding, the striker managed to put the ball past the keeper who also wasn’t too sure on his feet.

The visitors did come back but Cheddar held firm until Ryan Llewellyn clearance hit an opponent’s elbow and flew past Finn Travis from 20 yards. Travis more than made up for his error with some cracking saves to keep Cheddar in that first half.

With the second half, underway the hosts had a few chances to take the lead but couldn’t find the net; Winscombe also had their chances yet the Cheddar back line managed to keep their efforts to a minimum. Cheddar brought on Ben Clayton for Sam Smith, a young striker showing great promise, and inside ten minutes of his introduction Clayton was played in by Sam Probert to finish neatly.

The Cheddar team had to dig deep, and although 2-1 in the lead there was still 20 minutes remaining. Winscombe threw everything at Cheddar defence, only for the Black and Yellow’s to hold firm and see out the game as 2-1 winners.

Cheddar can take good heart from this excellent performance into their next game this forthcoming weekend.

Final score: Cheddar ‘A’ 2 Winscombe 1

Team of the week: Cheddar ‘A’ team

Player of the week: Shane Fear

On Sunday, Cheddar Ladies game against Minehead was called off as their opponents have dropped out of the league.