The Cheesemen, having undergone training sessions at Cheddar’s Kings Fitness Centre twice weekly for the last month, were in pre-season friendly action at Marcliff Gloucestershire County League side, Thornbury Town on Saturday, with a morale boosting 3-1 win.
The Cheddar management team opting to travel with a squad of 18 players comprising a mixture of first team players, reserves and trialists, went ahead on 24 minutes from Sam King’s well placed far post header following Ricky Bennett’s precision free kick.
Further efforts from the visitor’s twin strike force of Adam Jones and Robbi Maggs were denied by the acrobatics of home keeper Tom Shepherd before Thornbury’s all action midfield player Tom Webb had the Cheddar rear-guard busy keeping their defence tight as the diminutive youngster tested the Cheesemen with his darting runs.
Cheddar however added to their tally on 45 minutes, Will Wallis stepping-up from the reserve team, slotting calmly past Shepherd from close range after good combination work from Bennett and Cheddar captain George Booth.
The home side reduced the arrears against the run of play a minute later, Jim Brock stealing through to hit a firm shot past Weston super Mare and England Colleges loanee Liam Kingston, and then just before the half-time whistle, Adam Jones thought he had added a third, but his scorching volley was cruelly ruled offside.
The Toolstation Western League side made the game safe on 70 minutes, trialist Anthony Cleave finishing well after fellow trialist Taryn Selway-Joseph’s effort was parried, to give the match a pleasing score for the visitors.
For the statisticians amongst you, the starting line up on the day for the Cheesemen was:
1. Liam Kingston
2. Joe Grant
3. Adam Davies
4. George Booth (capt)
5. Sam King
6. Nathan Best
7. Kristian Bell
8. Ricky Bennett
9. Robbi Maggs
10. Adam Jones
11. Will Wallis
And in the second half, the team was:
1. Liam Kingston
2. Jacob Staines
3. Sam Merreywether
4. Jake Buxton
5. Danny Griffiths
6. Tom Manning
7. Ricky Bennett
8. Adam Davies
9. Anthony Cleave
10. Taryn Selway-Joseph
11. Adam Jones (capt)
Following the match, Cheddar manager Jared Greenhalgh said: “Today was a great start for us, the new players blended well, and the shape and team communications were great.
“We still have players to come into the squad and against a good Thornbury side I think we created some good chances especially in the first half. We made six changes for the second half but this didn’t halt our progress although we did lose a little of our shape which is only to be expected.
“As a start I couldn’t be happier, we still have work to do over the next few weeks but I am looking forward to getting the team ready for the new season.”
The club are additionally pleased to announce the signing of two top additions to their squad, with the signing of goalkeeper Liam Kingston on a season long loan from Vanarama Conference South side Weston super Mare, together with experienced centre back Nathan Best, formerly of Bristol City, Weston super Mare, Shepton Mallet, and Bridgwater Town.
Speaking earlier this week, Liam Kingston, 17, said: “Last season I had originally signed a contract at Weston super Mare and the agreement was for me to go out on loan to gain experience.
“This meant that I started playing close to 20 games for the club. After this, Weston moved me on from Cheddar to Bridgwater Town.
“I stayed there (Bridgwater) until the end of the season. At the beginning of last season, I had trials to be a part of the England Colleges team. It was decided that I was the reserve goalkeeper for England colleges \but in April of this year I was given the chance to play at game (at Filton) against Wales. I then got to attend a presentation at Walsall FC and was given an England colleges cap.
“This season I have signed another season long deal with the same arrangement to get more experience. Luckily, the gaffer (Jared Greenhalgh) is happy to let me come back and play for Cheddar this season.
“I’m glad to be back at Cheddar and I’m looking forward to being involved with everyone again this season. Up the Cheese!!”
Next to be interviewed was new signing Nathan Best, a well-renowned central-defender.
Nathan said: “I’m joining Cheddar because I want to play at a decent standard. The club has a really good set up with a great bunch of lads that I’m really looking forward to being a part of.”
With their first pre-season friendly having taken place, the Cheesemen travel to Glastonbury’s Abbey Moor stadium tonight (Tuesday (18th July, kick-off: 7.30pm) with a further away match at Burnham United on Saturday (22nd July, kick off time 2pm) before two consecutive home friendlies, initially on Wednesday 26th July (kick-off: 7pm) against a Yeovil Town XI followed by a match against Welsh League Division Three side, Ely Rangers which takes place on Saturday 29th July (kick-off: 3pm).
Details (including admission prices) will appear on the club’s website and new Facebook page www.Facebook.com/CheddarFootballClub over the next few days.
Elsewhere, Cheddar Reserves, still buoyed by their 4-3 win over West End last weekend, are in pre-season matchday action again at the weekend, travelling to Wiltshire to take on Trowbridge Town on Saturday (22nd July).
With last season’s third place finish, the Cheesemen have again qualified for the FA cup and have been given a home tie in the Extra Preliminary Round against Toolstation Western League Premier Division side Willand Rovers, who they face on Saturday 5th August (kick-off: 3pm).
Should the match require a replay the match will take place at Willand Rovers Silver Street ground on Wednesday 9th August (kick-off: 7.30pm).
Meanwhile, the Cheesemen have been drawn to play Vanarama National League (South) side Bath City in a match that is scheduled for early October. As soon as the confirmed date of this exciting looking fixture is made known, this will of course be published as normal.
The club are also advertising for a new physiotherapist, who should be available on matchdays on Saturdays and for occasional evening games.
Ideally applications would be welcomed from individuals who wish to become involved at a senior football club and would suit an individual in training and applications (which should include experience and qualifications gained) should be emailed to the secretary (Alan Cooper) at firstname.lastname@example.org preferably by not later than 31st July 2017.