Western League Division One match report – 26 November 2016
Bishops Lydeard 2 Cheddar 3
Two late goals secure a massive three points as the Cheesemen move up to joint third
Cheddar secured a monumental three points at sixth placed Bishops Lydeard with a terrific second half three goal blast at Darby Way to extend their unbeaten run to an incredible eleven games, so securing their fifth successive win in this entertaining but competitive match.
The Bishops, last season’s Somerset County league champions have taken to Western League football extremely well in their first season having lost one of their previous six games such has been their current form.
It was understandable therefore that the opening exchanges were a shade cautious as both teams looked to test one another.
Lydeard on the back of their impressive showing in last weekend’s Les Phillips cup tie against Premier league opposition sought to take an early initiative.
Zac Ryder, who had caused the Cheesemen problems in his side’s 4-2 win at Bowdens Park in August, took on the practically the whole of the Cheddar’s rear-guard before being bravely tackled by Craig Mawford to overt the danger, although after this early scare and on 4 minutes a brilliantly delivered Ricky Bennett forward ball found striker Adam Jones, who bustled past his marker to send a scorching shot just wide.
Moments later Jones rummaging forward at every opportunity, closed down Lydeard keeper Nathan Whatley incredibly well and was only thwarted by a strange looking off-side flag as his effort sailed towards goalward.
The Cheesemen were creating problems to the home backline whenever they could, both Mawford and Lewis Matthews overlapping runs causing concern to the home backline, who deployed a fifth defender at times to counteract Cheddar’s attacks.
On 19 minutes an energetic Matthews, not for the first time, got behind a defender, sending in a scything left-foot cross into the 18-yard box, but Booth, running into the area on the blind-side was pulled back just as he was about to connect.
With their normal penalty taker 16-goal Callum Ham, absent through suspension, up stepped Bennett whose well hit spot kick beat the goalkeeper but cannoned back into play from the angle of the crossbar and upright.
Just minutes afterwards, the visitors had due reason to curse their luck as Bennett’s perfectly flighted corner found Jones whose header flashed past the near post.
The home side, who had been on the back foot for much of the first half came well back into the game on 30 minutes, and an impressive Grame Wilson – Ryan Andrews left sided move, found James Quick in space, but the striker’s well hit drive was bravely deflected, Cheddar ‘keeper Kieran Webster using his feet to clear the danger.
The first half ended with home ‘keeper Whatley parrying Sam King’s 35-yard pile driver as Cheddar finished the half well ahead on points.
The pace of the game noticeably increased in the second half as Lydeard manager Brett Andrews reorganised to cope with the enthusiastic visitors, and with the home side’s front two pressing forward, they capitalised some indecision in the Cheddar’s midfield and catch the defence off-guard, James Quick running between the visitors’ twin centre-backs to put his side 1-0 up inside four minutes of the restart.
Five minutes later and the Cheesemen were back on level terms, Jones finishing off well from close range following good work by Booth and Mason Gardener.
Indecision on Cheddar’s left flank was to prove their undoing again on 63 minutes as the visitors left a gaping hole in their back line to give Wilson time and space to drill an effort through to Joe Chamberlain who fired past Webster from 10 yards to put the home side ahead for a second time.
As has occurred on more than one occasion this season the Cheesemen, finding their backs against the wall
and in danger of losing their unbeaten run against an effervescent and spirited Lydeard side again found added resourcefulness.
Driven on, not for the first time, by a determined Booth, the Cheesemen again pushed forward, and the Cheddar captain was desperately unlucky to see his diving header flash wide of a post on 65 minutes, but pushing upfield for all they were worth the visitors were on level terms for the second time, Matthews showing tremendous close control inside the area, slotted a superb pass for the hard-working Mason Gardener to net his second goal of the season from 12 yards.
The game was still not finished and just three minutes after Gardener’s dramatic equaliser, Booth was on hand to finish crisply from six yards, after the Lydeard keeper failed to hold Jones powering header.
An outstanding overturn of adversity by the Cheesemen, who on the balance of play well deserved the three points and have scored now 18 goals in their last five successive wins.
Speaking to the website after the match, Cheddar ‘captain George Booth said:
“I thought we played well in the first half today but to their (Lydeard’s) credit they deserved to stay in the game. In the second half, we outplayed them and we deserved the win but the whole team must work on our (occasional) defensive lapses, but overall, a great three points today”
Cheddar visit much improved Welton Rovers on Saturday, who were unluckily beaten by the odd goal in three at second placed Wellington at the weekend.
Man of the match: Adam Jones