Match report – Five goal Halloween thriller, October 29

Toolstation Western League Division One match report – Saturday 29th October 2016

Cheddar 3 Oldland Abbotonians 2

Games between these two clubs invariably have a competitive edge to them and this encounter was no different.

As the score line, would suggest, the match was a five goal Halloween thriller in which the Cheesemen extended their unbeaten run to seven games whereas the Abbots haven’t hit the ground running this term despite last season’s impressive finish.

Belying their lower mid-table position Oldland’s opened the stronger of the two sides, their danger man Tom Morgan threatening to cause havoc with an early misunderstanding in the home defence, Cheesemen striker Adam Jones being forced to play in goal due to a goalkeeping crisis on the day, and the striker turned-keeper was required to pull out all the stops twice in opening minutes.

Much of the visitors attacking forays were spurred through David Stone who was getting through an immense amount of work as the visitors forced three corners in the opening 20 minutes.

Settling into their stride, Cheddar increase the pace of the game and Callum Ham, playing central striker was unfortunate not to put his side in the lead twice on the half hour, receiving quality through balls on both occasions from Ricky Bennett and forcing Oldland’s agile ‘keeper Josh Dempsey into two top drawer saves.

Further attempts on aided abetted by Craig Mawford and the returning Lewis Matthews overlapping at will, were to be of no available as the Cheesesemen continued to develop territorial advantage, but as they continued to press a goal came on 43 minutes, Mark Armstrong’s overall industry being rightly rewarded with a good near post header in the net from Ricky Bennett’s precision corner.

Following the first half play of very much cat and mouse the pace of the game noticeably increased I the second half and shortly after the re-start Oldland’s excellent keeper dived swallow like to his left to keep out Bennett’s yard piledriver; minutes earlier Dempsey, probably one of the best ‘keeper’s seen at Bowdens Park so far this season, had closed down Billy Vaughan sufficiently well to put the midfielder off his stride after moving forward at pace after receiving Ham’s superb 50 yard crossfield pass.

Much to their credit the visitors were in no mood to lie down and on 65 minutes of this enthralling second half a mistake by a Cheddar defender allowed Morgan to dash into the area and slot neatly past Jones.

The visitors went on to score a second goal with the Cheesmen slow to clear their lines, on 74 minutes, Morgan’s close control taking him past a defender, and side stepping another to hit home his side’s and his own second goal.

As if stung by this second goal, this created instant positivity by the home side as their fought back with admirable defiance, and through the intelligent running of box-to-box player Armstrong, the technically clever Bennett and the tigerish instincts of captain George Booth, Cheddar equalised on 79 minutes, Booth latching on to substitute Tom Manning’s clever lay off, turned a defender and shot viciously past the keeper from 12 yards on 79 minutes.

2-2 and game on!

Substitute Tom Manning obviously back to his inventive best immediately on his introduction earlier had the impact of a super-sub, such was his industry and linking brilliantly with Bennett the flame-haired midfielder threaded through a quite brilliant ball to the on-running Bennett who hit home Cheddar’s winner through a crowd of players amidst scenes of celebration, as the Cheesemen defied the odds and celebrated all three points.

Cheddar man of the match: Mark Armstrong

Match ball sponsor: Steve Sage

Following the match, Cheddar manager Jared Greenhalgh said: “This was a welcome and in the end a hard-fought win. It is testament to the team that even with 10 minutes to go and 2-1 down we still had the desire and ability to steal the victory.

“Despite having seven absentees again, and having Jonah deputise in goal and having to change our system of play to suit the players available I still think we had the best of a scrappy first half and deserved the lead.

“Second half I think we were a little lacking in intensity and the game was drifting which is dangerous at 1-0 and we paid the price, with Oldland’s scoring two quick goals.

“I think changing to a 4-3-3 system made us more comfortable but more than that I think the goals sparked us into life and the pressure we exerted was excellent and the returning Lewis Matthews typified the desire with some great runs which led to the equaliser.

“It was a great shift by all 14 lads and we are unbeaten in 7 and looking to catch the top 3.”

Weekend Preview October 29/30

The Cheesemen fresh from last weekend’s 2-2 draw at high flying Malmesbury Victoria, host 16th placed Oldland Abbotonians in tomorrow (Saturday’s) big game at Bowdens Park (kick off 3pm).
Games with Oldland Abbotonians are always high competitive affairs and in spite of the ‘O’s’ fairly average start to the season, Dale Dempsey’s side are inevitably a top team to contend with, so their current league position is very much seen as a false one.  StatistIcally however Oldland’s have played 16 league games winning six, drawing one and losing nine.
In their last eight games (in all competitions) Oldand;’s have perhaps surprisingly, won just once where they defeating Cheltenham Civil Service in the GFA (Gloucs) cup, and amongst these past eight have lost to Chard (0-3), Ashton & Backwell Utd (1-2) and Devizes Town (0-3).
In our games last season with Oldland’s the Cheesemen lost at Bowdens Park (0-2) and won away by the same score, Chris Coombs and Robbi Maggs scoring for Cheddar.
Cheddar will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to seven games on Saturday whilst at the same time he hoping to get back to winning ways after four successive draws.
Cheddar FC are very grateful to Mr Steve Sage for his kind match ball sponsorship for Saturday’s game.
Elsewhere tomorrow, the Reserve team travel to Ashton & Backwell Utd Reserves,whereas the ‘A’ team travel to Nailsea Utd, both of these fixtures are league games.
On Sunday (kick off: 2pm) Cheddar Ladies host Evercreech in the Somerset Womens League.

Weekend Review – October 22/23

Cheddar Reserves suffered a 4-1 loss at Tunley  this weekend, having beaten that same team 5-0 in last week’s fixture at Bowdens Park.

The Reserve team will be hopeful of better fortunes next weekend as they make the comparatively short journey to the Lancer Scott Stadium to play Ashton & Backwell United Reserves whilst the ‘A’ team are also on the road at Nailsea United and the Ladies team host Evercreech at Bowdens Park on Sunday.

Also at the weekend, Cheddar Ladies went goal crazy again with a 5-0 thumping of Ilminster on their home ground.

Travelling to South Somerset with the usual problems they have been suffering with this season, seven players unavailable and only one substitute, both teams cancelled each other out with very few chances at either end.

Midway through the first half the Cheesegirls started to find their rhythm that worked for them, Megan Dyer slotting home from 16 yards.

From then on for the rest of the game Jade Burton, Val Wash and Megan Dyer stole the show with Burton and Walsh putting the visitors 3-0 up at the break.

The second half saw the home side come out strongly but Cheddar’s display was faultless to the end with Dyer and Walsh adding to their goals.

Cheddar Ladies Star player: Megan Dyer

The Ladies team host Evercreech at Bowdens Park on Sunday.

Match report – Cheesemen extend their unbeaten run as Bennett grabs equaliser

Toolstation Western League Division One match report – Saturday 22nd October 2016

Malmesbury Victoria 2 Cheddar 2

Cheesemen extend their unbeaten run as Bennett grabs equaliser in the last ten minutes

Ricky Bennett’s 83rd minute equaliser at Malmesbury’s tidy Flying Monk Ground ensured that the Cheesemen extended their unbeaten run to six games on Saturday.

With manager Jared Greenhalgh again being forced to travel without his four recognised strikers, Jones brothers Adam and Sam, together with Robbi Maggs and Chris Coombs it was literally an uphill battle as the home side enjoyed much of the early possession.

The ‘Vics’ went ahead in the eighth minute, Andy Baker’s long ball being met by Sam Parker whose header looped over Kieran Webster and into an empty net.

Despite being not at their best the Cheesemen levelled the scores on 33 minutes, defender Craig Mawford’s 20-yard free kick scorched into the net leaving home ‘keeper Josh Lashley clutching thin air.

Malmesbury enjoying the best of possession throughout the first half scored a second goal less than two minutes later, Parker flicking on a defender’s long ball into the path of Josh Russell, and with the visitors attempted challenges being less than positive, winger Josh Russell ran in and fortuitously lobbed goalkeeper Webster.

The second half was a much more even affair and Cheddar were a rejuvenated side; manager Greenhalgh brought on substitute Mason Gardener and strikes from Callum Ham and man-of-the-match ‘captain George Booth deserved far better fortune, the latter’s goal bound effort splintering the woodwork.

Ricky Bennett was a constant thorn in the side of the home defence, twisting and turning with his probing runs and the midfielder was allowed space to run into the area and shoot firmly past keeper Lashley for a deserved equaliser with seven minutes remaining.

Following some unusually topsy-turvy results this week, Taunton based side Bishop Lydeard leapfrogged the Cheesemen to move to fifth place with an impressive 1-0 win at Oldland Abbotonians although Cheddar have a game in hand on four of the five teams in front of them and could well move significantly up the table with two home wins in the next week against Oldland’s and Chippenham Park.

Man-of-the-match: George Booth

Captain, George Booth said: “We struggled in the first half and gave away two sloppy goals but even though we weren’t at the races we were still in the game. Second half we were a lot better, we dominated and had countless chances to win; it looked like there was only going to be one winner but we didn’t take our chances and we will take the point and move on”

Centre-back Shaun Lambert said: “I thought we were unlucky in the end not to get all three points. We made a few individual mistakes in the first half but dug in in the second half and upped the tempo of the game and should’ve won the game in the end. We crested a lot of chances and when Mason [Gardener] came on up top, but we were unlucky again with injuries.”


Cheesemen Review

Cheddar have now gone six games unbeaten their last defeat coming at the hands of Keynsham Town at the beginning of the month, so as October ends (not including next weekend’s home match) a return of one defeat, two wins and four draws looks to be a positive month for them as they gear up for the remainder of the year least, with some less intense looking games on paper, although no games at this level are easy.

The Cheesemen host 16th placed Oldland Abbotonians on Saturday in October’s last game before heading for chilly November.

Games with Oldland’s are always tightly contested affairs, so not too much notice should be given to Oldland’s current false league position.

The following Tuesday, Cheddar are at home in the last (scheduled) midweek league game until the New Year when they play at home to last season’s surprise package, Chippenham Park.

A message from Cheddar FC manager

Statement from the manager, Jared Greenhalgh, regarding the match on Tuesday October 18:
“I would like to apologise for any offence caused by my language last night in a highly charged and at times hostile game.
“I let my emotions overcome my judgement.  Although there was a misinterpretation of the direction of my outburst which was later acknowledged by the linesman, it still does not excuse the language.
“Discipline is of paramount importance and that includes non-playing staff.
“Thank you for your great and continued support.”

Match report – All square at Bowdens Park as the Cheesemen extend their unbeaten run

Toolstation Western League Division One match report

Tuesday 18th October 2016

Cheddar 1 Wellington 1

All square at Bowdens Park as the Cheesemen extend their unbeaten run

This explosive match saw the Cheesemen extend their unbeaten run to five games, although the last three matches have ended in 1-1 draws, two of which have been away from home.

It was a little unfortunate that the home side were faced with at times some quite brutal challenges from a side that appeared at times to be confrontational.

The first half was dominated by both defences and with both sides wanting a victory to keep themselves in contention for a promotion push, Cheddar had to deal with an excessive amount of late challenges, especially in the second half when they had the greater slice of possession.

The best opportunity of the first half fell to the visitors, centre forward Sam Fowler having a good effort brilliantly saved Kieran Webster.

The Cheesemen opened the second half strongly, Craig Mawford’s stunning free kick well saved by ‘keeper Connor Stoley-Adams at full stretch. Stoley-Adams followed this up with another top drawer stop to deny Callum Ham.

The home side’s pressure earned them a deserved lead on 67 minutes, man-of-the-match Sam King rising high to power a header past the goalkeeper, from Ricky Bennett’s pin-pointedly accurate corner.

With two minutes of injury time already having been played at the end of the game, Jack Tadler, headed home from close range to earn Wellington a point they hardly deserved on their second half display and the visitors’ celebrations for their equaliser were at the very least, overly excessive.

The harsh facts for the Cheesemen at the end of the game were that manager Jared Greenhalgh was sent to the stands for something he said to the match official, words to appeared to be more contentious on the night that the number of fouls that went unpunished.

Cheddar visit fourth placed Malmesbury Victoria on Saturday (22nd October) in their third successive top six clash, and could possibly go to fourth place, if they achieve all three points, should Victoria lose tonight at Calne Town.

Man-of-the-match: Sam King

Cooper’s Player Ratings: Webster7; Mawford 8; Griffiths 7; Armstrong 8; KING* 9; Lambert 8; Ham 7; Bennett 7; Jones 7 (inj); Booth 7; Bell 7

Substitutes: Gardener 7; Manning 7; Vaughan 7

Pre-match – Cheesemen to host second placed Welllington AFC

The Cheesemen host second placed Welllington AFC in tonight’s big Toolstation Western League Division One fixture.
‘The Tangerines’ as Wellington are known, are looking to achieve the league leadership at the expense of Keynsham Town who are without a game in midweek.
Manager Jared Greenhalgh who was “pleased the team’s peformance” at Hengrove on Saturday is unlikely to make drastic changes to the squad who performed so well at Hengrove on Saturday, but is entirely aware of the task facing his squad as they seek to gain three points themselves to take his side to 29 points (and one point behind Malmesbury Victoria, who Cheddar visit on Saturday).
A little bit of arithmetic tells us that should Cheddar beat Wellington tonight, and Malmesbury fail to defeat Calne (at Calne) on Wednesday night, followed by a win (at Malmesbury) for the Cheesemen on Saturday, could see Greenhalgh’s side leapfrog Malmesbury into fourth place and (possibly) be level on points with (currently third placed) Hengrove, who play away to Bishop Lydeard on Wednesday night and play an FA Vase fixture on Saturday.
For the record, Wellington AFC finished in 12th place in the league last season and were Division One champions in season 2007-08.
Gates open for this attractive match tonight at 6.30pm, and the game kicks off at 7.45pm.
C’mon you Cheesemen!

Weekend Review – October 15/16

With the first team in fine form at the weekend, the Reserve team went one better with a five goal hammering of luckless Tunley Athletic in the Somerset county league Division 2 cup.

Things looked positive before the game started with the visitors struggling to raise a side but Athletic edged the early possession and looked the better team with their direct approach and it was only two good saves from Cheddar debutant keeper Reece Joint that kept the scores level.

The home side continued to try to play good football and slowly tried to create good chances and James Parker celebrated his 2st birthday with an excellent volley to put his side in the lead.

On 50 minutes Parker was withdrawn from the action, his goal celebrations having taken their toll and Callum French was introduced to the play alongside Robbie Wallis.

Within seconds of the substitution John Edwards slipped a good pass to Dan Fowler who coolly chipped the advancing keeper.

The home side were now filled with confidence and a great team move was finished off by Callum French. With 10 minutes remaining John Edwards danced through the Tunley defence to slide the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net for a long awaited and well deserved win.

Elsewhere on Saturday, despite a brave fight, the ‘A’ team were beaten by four goals to two by a strong Milborne Port Reserve team in the Somerset Intermediate Cup. Dom Underhill and Josh Picton netting for Alex Cooper’s side.

Next weekend, Cheddar Reserves travel to Tunley Athletic in the second leg of the Division Two cup, and the ‘A’ team are without a game.

Cheddar Ladies, who were without a game this weekend, travel to Ilminster Town Ladies on Sunday (23rd October).

Team of the week: Cheddar Reserves

Player of the Week: Kristian ‘Batman’ Bell

Match report – Bell’s five-star show gives Hengrove a fright

Toolstation Western League Division One match report – Saturday 15th October 2016

Hengrove Athletic 1 Cheddar 1

Bell’s five-star show gives Hengrove a fright

The Cheesemen secured their second away draw of the week, with a very performance team performance at Hengrove Athletic on Saturday, where they can justifiably count themselves unlucky not to have come away without securing three points.

Les Phillips League cup holders Hengrove who were very much in the mix for promotion last season and are seen as favourites for promotion this term, were presented with the ‘team of the month’ award prior to kick off having won their last ten consecutive games, were outplayed by a highly cohesive Cheddar performance in the first 45 minutes, and had the first half perhaps been extended by a further 10-15 minutes, there would perhaps have been no way back for the hosts.

Cheddar manager Jared Greenhalgh almost pulled off a pre-match masterstroke prior to the match, fieldling former Millfield school starlet Kristian Bell for his first start, and the teenager didn’t disappoint.

Bell gave the Hengrove defence a torrid time at throughout the afternoon, and could well have netted the winner, had luck been more on his side.

As early as the fifth minute, the hosts were caught on the back foot, George Booth linking well with former Hengrove midfielder Billy Vaughan who slid a slide rule pass to Craig Mawford whose shot skimmed just wide of the target.

Two minutes later and Bell’s delicious cross found Adam Jones, and reacting quicker than the defence, fired just over the bar. With the game just 14 minutes old, defender Danny Griffiths foraged upfield and was desperately unlucky to see his curling drive glide just wide of the right hand post.

Hengrove were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the area for an innocuous looking challenge by Mawford but the normally lethal Josh Hemmings dead ball kick was well over the bar, and it was Cheddar who continued from where they had left off and took a well-deserved lead on 28 minutes, a deft Mark Armstrong header on the edge of the box, was headed on by Vaughan and finding himself in space, Jones finished strongly from 15 yards, his shot cannoning in to the net off the inside of a post.

A great goal if there ever was one! On 39 minutes came one of the most exciting points of the match, winger Bell, given a free-rein dropped into midfield and ran all of 50 yards, beating three defenders and shooting on target, for keeper Carl Bush to save at the second attempt; had the teenager’s effort gone in the league would have been talking about this goal for the remainder of the season, if not next.

To put it mildly, the home side were simply let off the hook in the first half but their wily manager Jamie Hillman, a shrewd tactician if there ever was one, reorganised things in his dressing room at half time, and within three minutes of the re-start Athletic had equalised, although there was some fortuitousness about the goal.

Mark Fear in the outside right position, for once beating the Cheddar defence and his shot squirming, unluckily for the visitors, underneath Kieran Webster’s body.

The equaliser was just the boost the home side needed and on 50 minutes, centre-forward Ben Crewe closed in menacingly, but Webster was equal to the task and pushed the striker’s shot over the bar.

Cheddar were by no means unnerved by Hengrove’s sudden surge of activity and a cleverly overlapping Mawford, sent over an inch-perfect cross that was thudded against the underside of the

crossbar by Jones, before Armstrong splintered the wood-work with another blistering shot. With Vaughan – who had given his all against his former team-mates – manager Greenhalgh sent on impact sub Callum Ham, and form his first mazy run at the defence, shot just wide, and then on 70 minutes, his perfectly weighed 40 yard “Hollywood” pass superbly found Bell, running in from deep, headed just wide from close range, for what would have been a copy-book goal.

To their credit, and as expected, the hosts retaliated with vigour and keeper Webster had to be at his alert best to keep out shots from Craig White and his brother Asa, and on 82 minutes Hengrove thought that they had netted the winner but with shouts from half the home side claiming the ball had crossed the line, ace defender Sam King had cleared safely off the line in full view of the assistant referee.

With five minutes remaining Joe Grant’s ‘howitzer’ throw landed in Ham’s path but his well-drilled shot fizzed just wide, and as the heaven’s opened, and almost on the referee’s whistle Asa White’s close range shot shaved the near post. A win for the home side at this stage would have been an injustice and draw was the right result on the day, with honours effectively being even.

Manager Jared Greenhalgh said: “If someone had offered us a point before the game considering our depleted squad and Hengrove’s form, I would have taken it.
“But at the end of the game we were disappointed only to leave with a point.  I think that in the first half we dominated and our one goal lead flattered them [Hengrove].
“The second half was a lot more even with both sides having chances but I think that we edged it still.
“We now go into Tuesday night’s with Wellington against another in-form team and I hope that we casn continue to dominate but just convert a few more opportunities….”

Man-of-the-match: Kristian Bell (Cheddar)

Cheddar who retain fifth place with this very good performance, face second placed Wellington Town at Bowdens Park on Tuesday night (18th November) before a difficult looking away trip to league new boys Malmesbury Victoria, who have taken the league by storm this season, such has been their enthusiastic start to the season and find themselves in third position.

Cooper’s player ratings:

Webster 7; Griffiths 7; Mawford 8; Armstrong 8; King 8; Lambert 7; BELL * 8; Bennett 7; Jones 7; Booth 7; Vaughan 8

Subs; Ham 7; Gardener 6; Grant 6

Weekend Preview – October 15/16

The Cheesemen are now faced with three very big games in a matter of days, firstly when they travel to last season’s Les Philllips cup winners, third placed Hengrove Athletic on tomorrow (Saturday 15th October) before facing early season pace-setters, second placed Wellington Town on Tuesday night (18th November) kick-off: 7.45pm and then travel to third-placed and league new-comers Malmesbury Victoria next Saturday (22nd October), and although Cheddar are currently in fifth place, good results from these next three games should see a massive shake up at the top.

For the record, Hengrove have played 14 games, winning 10, drawing 1 and losing 3; Wellington Town have also won 10 games, drawn 2 and lost 2 of their 14 games, whereas Malmesbury have played 15 games, winning 9, drawing 3 and losing 3.

Cheddar are not far behind having won 8, drawing 1 (at Chard on Wednesday night of course) and losing 4. Cheddar won at Hengrove last season before being held to a 0-0 draw at Bowdens Park prior to Christmas last year.

Meanwhile, Cheddar Reserves looking for their first win of the season, face Tunley Athletic at Bowdens Park, kick off 3pm, and the ‘A’ team face Milborne Port Reserves (from Sherborne on the Somerset/Dorset border) in the Somerset Intermediate Cup.