The disappointingly bad weather over the festive season all but put paid to the Cheesemen’s Christmas fixture schedule as their matches (at home to Sherborne Town on Saturday 23rd December) and the equally eagerly anticipated Boxing Day midday clash at Bishop Sutton, both fell foul to the conditions.

Because of these two postponements the Toolstation Western League have quickly reacted, and the Sherborne Town game have hastily arranged games is now to be played at Bowdens Park on Tuesday evening 20th February (with a 7.45pm kick off) and the Bishop Sutton game is now to take place on Tuesday 6th February (at Bishop Sutton’s Lakeview ground) with a 7.30pm kick off.

Owing to the postponed games, the (Toolstation Western League Division One) leaders are Keynsham Town (whose game on Boxing Day also fell foul to the weather conditions), and the Bath and North-East Somerset side are on 49 points from 23 games.  In second place are Westbury United (who appear to have gotten back on track well and truly) after their 3-1 defeat of Warminster in front of a big crowd at Weymouth Street on Tuesday afternoon.  Keynsham’s game at Oldland Abbotonians was another that failed to get the green-light owing to the torrent of rain that visited the area of the Christmas period, ruining the sporting fixtures for players and fans alike.

In third place are Andy Gurney’s Roman Glass St George (who Shaun Potter’s team visit on Saturday 30th December, kick off 3pm, details of which are on the club’s Facebook page (  Roman Glass are on 44 points (from 22 games), although their game (at Almondsbury) on Boxing Day was also postponed.

In fourth place, just behind Roman Glass are Radstock Town, who triumphed 3-0 in their local derby against Welton Rovers.  Town are on 40 points from 22 games.  Interestingly, Rovers who are now in fifth position share equal points and goal difference with Radstock although Town have won one more game hence their slightest differential advantage.

The Cheesemen are now in sixth place, owing in small context to the recent abandonment at Devizes Town (the re-arranged game now to be played at Town’s Nursteed Road ground) on Tuesday 16th January (not the ideal place to go on a cold January evening but if the Cheesemen are to be in contention for honours come April/May then these are the places they will need to go to, to come up with the goods).  Shaun Potter’s side are on 37 points from 20 games, but have three games hand over both leaders Keynsham and second placed Westbury.

In the few Boxing Day fixtures that were give the go ahead in the Division, Chippenham Park succumbed to a 0-3 defeat to Calne Town in front of a good-sized crowd at Chippenham Town’s Hardenhuish Park Stadium.  In another Wiltshire derby, Corsham were also defeated (0-1) at home to a revitalised Devizes Town, and towards the lower regions of the league, Sherborne Town were held to a goalless draw at home to Wincanton Town in the Somerset/Dorset borders clash at Raleigh Grove.

Turning to Cheddar Reserves.  Andy Wallis’s high-flying Reserve team were in action in a local derby at Draycott which attracted more than 100 spectators, and although the pitch was heavy it was perfectly playable writes Cheddar Valley Gazette’s Merv Coleneutt.  

Draycott were looking the complete the double over their local rivals and although they dominated the first half it was Cheddar who came out the stronger in the second half and a draw at the end of the 90 minutes summed up the two sides who served up a very competitive game.  The hosts started the match well nut it was Cheddar who created the first real opportunity; Will Wallis’s crossfield ball found Harry Hughes out wide and the cut inside a defender only to see his decent effort saved at the second attempt by George Smith in the Draycott goal. Despite dominating the early exchanges, Draycott had to wait until the 15th to create their first real opportunity as former Cheeseman Wayne Scorse, from 20-yards saw his low drive comfortably saved by Cheddar ‘keeper Sam Talbot

Draycott began to edge ahead in terms of possession and a deep Doug Smith cross was volleyed over the crossbar by another former Cheddar player, Alex Brandrick.   The home side eventually edged in front following a sweeping move between Ollie Sealey and Brandrick enabling the striker to send a fine left foot sot beyond Talbot from just inside the box. Scorse then went close with a volley as Draycott looked to double their advantage and both Brandrick and Sealey had efforts blocked. Cheddar did however end the half looking as though they were capable of getting themselves back into the game with Tom Manning in particular looking a threat in and around the opposing penalty area.

Draycott suffered an early blow in the second half as Brandrick was forced out of the game with injury and with Cheddar making a couple of substitutions the game began to turn more in the favour of the visitors.

Stephen Pennington certainly stamped his authority on the game alongside Tom Manning with the latter beginning to run the show by spreading the ball well to both flanks and creating opportunities for the front runners.  

The equalising goal that Cheddar deserved came on 70 minutes as Manning’s cross was parried by Smith, but it was Hughes who reacted the quickest to slot the ball home from close range.

Cheddar ended the game strongly with Tom Manning probing for openings in the Draycott defence and it was the home side who did well to hang on for a point.

Final score:  Draycott 1   Cheddar Reserves    1

Cheddar Reserves are back in Somerset County League (Division Two) action on Saturday (30th December) when they host Nailsea Reserves at Bowdens Park, in a 3pm kick-off.

In other news, Cheddar Football Club are to officially celebrate their 125th Anniversary in the New Year (2018) news of which will appear in the next website update next week (week beginning Monday 1st January).



Christmas 2017 preview

Shaun Potter’s first team will be looking to gain (temporarily) loss ground when they face three games in seven days, starting off with Saturday’s match (23rd December) against Sherborne Town, which kicks off at Bowdens Park at 3pm.   The Dorset side, who were relegated from the Toolstation Premier Division at the end of last (2016-17) have not endured the best of starts to the season, and are second bottom of the league with just 16 points gained from 20 games played, although they have three games in hand over third bottom side Ashton & Backwell United.  Sherborne pulled off a surprise 4-2 win over Radstock Town last weekend, to do their survival hopes the power of good, and will be in no mood to easily surrender when they visit the Theatre of Cheese tomorrow (Saturday).  The website understands that Shaun Potter has a strong squad to select from tomorrow although he will be without the services of Ricky Bennett who is suspended for one game, following five cautions.

Following tomorrow’s game, the Cheesemen visit local rivals Bishop Sutton on Boxing Day (Tuesday 26th December) in an early (12.00 midday) kick-off at Lakeview, Wick Road BS39 5XN.  ‘Sutton are in seventh place at the time of writing this preview and had good (2-1) win at home to Wincanton Town last time out   It is understood that Bishop Sutton are without a game tomorrow.

A week tomorrow (Saturday 30th December) the ‘Cheese ‘are at Roman Glass St George against Andy Gurney’s vastly improved ‘Glass side that has recently seen them top the table.   Roman Glass are currently third in the table, (41 points from 21 games) and were surprisingly held (2-2) at home by Chard Town last time out.  Tomorrow (Saturday) Roman Glass face Bristol Telephones.

It is normally currently of year that the Division, evens out bit, and current leaders (Keynsham Town) who top the league now with 46 points from 22 games, face games with Ashton and Backwell tomorrow (Saturday) at home, then on Boxing Day they visit Oldland Abbotonians although we understand that they are without a match on Saturday 30th December.

Second placed Westbury United (42 points from 21 games) visit Malmesbury Victoria tomorrow, and visit Warminster Town in a (very) local derby on Boxing Day, then on Saturday 30th December they face Bishops Lydeard.

We have highlighted third placed Roman Glass’s current fortunes, so on now, to Welton Rovers, who leap-frogged the Cheesemen with that 3-2 defeat last weekend.  Rovers who are on the same points total as ourselves (37 from 21 games) and have a +17-goal difference (which is +2 better than ourselves) visit Almondsbury on Saturday, then on Boxing Day they visit Radstock Town in another local derby.  On Saturday 30th December, Welton Rovers are away again with a trip to Bristol Telephones.  The Cheesemen have one game in hand over Rovers; this being the Devizes Town match which is to be re-played (at Devizes) on Tuesday 16th January 2018 (kick off 7.30pm).


Meanwhile, Cheddar Reserves, riding high third place, visit local rivals (7th placed) Draycott tomorrow (Saturday) kick off 2pm.  Andy Wallis’s team will be looking for all three points following their reversal at Bowdens Park earlier this season.  The Reserves complete their 2017 fixtures with a home match against Nailsea United Reserves, who occupy 9th place. kick off 3pm.





Toolstation Western League Division One

Match Report – Saturday 16th December 2017

WELTON ROVERS  3 CHEDDAR  2 (Attendance: 78)


This match had all the ingredients for a pre-Christmas cracker and it didn’t disappoint as spectators were treated to a five-goal thriller at Welton Rovers on Saturday.  With the teams being evenly poised prior to the game, Cheddar holding fourth place and their hosts just three points behind them in fifth place, anything was likely to happen, and supporters of both teams were given edge-of-the-seat entertainment throughout the afternoon, where defenders, at times, found it difficult to control the pace of the game in the sticky conditions that Madame weather had produced leading up to this clash of two of the season’s front-runners

The Cheesemen started the match very brightly pushing the ball around with ease as they exerted pressure on the home side from the off and they were rewarded after just three minutes when two efforts from Adam Jones were both cleared off the goal-line by Joe Garland for a corner  Ricky Bennett’s delivery was spot on and the loose ball fell to Callum Ham on the edge of the box and his crisp right foot shot took the slightest deflection and flew into the net, on just three minutes.  The home side responded quickly and earned two free kicks on the edge of the Cheddar penalty area in quick succession. Liam Kingston safely gathered Chris Piles free kick, before Callum Elms skied his shot over the bar.  Kyle Norris then broke through for Welton, but Danny Griffiths was on hand with a final tackle to thwart the Welton striker, and the ball rolled past the upright to safety.  Chris Coombs then launched a power-driver of a shot for the visitors which was gathered, somewhat fortuitously at the second attempt by Welton goalkeeper Tom Drewitt.  

Welton equalised on 25 minutes when a long throw from Elms was headed on by Garland to Shakiel Green who scored from close range as the Cheddar defence hesitated to clear their lines.  With 35 minutes played Welton were unlucky not to have a netted a second goal when Norris with an open goal at his mercy fired over the crossbar. With five minutes remaining before half time Cheddar regained the lead following a period of sustained pressure by Shaun Potter’s side.  At last three shots on target rained at the Welton goal from Jones, Coombs, and Griffiths, who had pushed up from the back, as the visitors brought heroic defending from the Rovers back-line, but the ball eventually fell to Robbi Maggs on the left, who crashed home from 12 yards; a stunning finish

The home side started the second half in lively fashion and drew level after just three minutes of play.  Good play from Dylan Hall found Elms in space just outside the 18-yard box and with Cheddar’s defence again not clearing their lines sufficiently quickly, the striker calmly lined up his shot to give Kingston little or no chance.   Neither side were settling for a point and play switched quickly from end to end as the referee had to be on top of his game to oversee what can only be described as some swashbuckling tackles in the central midfield area.  Maggs saw a goal bound effort beat Drewit low down only to hit the upright, just as the bearded striker turned away thinking he had notched his second of the game and his side’s third goal.

With fifteen minutes remaining Welton scored what was to be the decisive third goal, Manchester United look-a-like Marouane Fellani, Elms long cross-field pass was failed to be cut out by the retreating Cheddar defence and Welton’s Allen was onto the loose ball in a flash and fired home from an acute angle.   Cheddar though were in no mood to lie down and take defeat on the chin and Drewitt produced a remarkable two-handed save, throwing is body to his left to deny top-scorer Jones, then Craig Mawford’s thunderous free-kick from 18-yards, after Bennett had been upended, went uncharacteristically wide of the target, as the visitors pressed hard for an equaliser.  Then in stoppage time as Cheddar threw everything forward to grab a share of the points, both Jones and substitute Anthony Cleave were denied by an outstanding double save by Brewitt, reminiscent of Gordon Banks notorious stop from Pele in the World Cup some decades ago, to secure the points for the home side, and enable Rovers to swap places with the Cheesemen who move to fifth place.

Following the match, and speaking with the club website following the game, manager Shaun Potter said:

“I was really disappointed with the result today; we were lacking in too many areas and we were punished.  We created more than enough chances to win the game but never converted them. We then made too many basis errors which ended up costing us the three points and ending our winning run.  We lack a bit of grit and determination today, it’s completely out of character and I can assure everyone that it’s a one-off!  We will be doing all within or power to put things right next Saturday (against Sherborne). The referee (in my opinion) was very poor, we had a clear penalty kick not given to the amazement of everyone in the ground, we also had Ricky (Bennett) fouled on the edge of their box by the lad who was their last man and he only got a yellow card!  Unbelievable!  I’m not putting the loss down to refereeing decisions as we only have ourselves to blame, but you don’t expect the officials at this level to get those huge obvious decisions wrong and it’s frustrating. We have a busy Christmas coming up so it’s important that we don’t dwell on this for too long and we come out next Saturday and put things right”

Team captain Craig Mawford also aired his views on the match….

“Today’s game (and result) was a very hard one to take.  We should never be losing a game after taking the lead and going in at half time 2-1 up.  We made errors and needed to be more decisive in front of goal and we didn’t take those opportunities today.   We have to look onto next week and another game against Sherborne.  It is a comfort to be at home and we hope that the weather during the week will do us a favour with the pitch.  Hopefully in the long run we can look at this as a moment where we need a wake-up call and can look at putting another set of results together.   We all feel very deflated at the moment, but we can only look forward to and try our utmost to ensure that on Saturday we put in a positive result and learn from today.  We want to thank all of those that travelled to support us today and offer our apologies for the result”

Man of the match: Robbi Maggs

Robbi was also asked for his thoughts on the match…

“Today’s result was disappointing.  I’m personally gutted that our run has come to an end, but I think that this will be a wake-up call for all of us.  We didn’t deserve to win the game although we did create a lot of chances throughout the game.  We have set ourselves a standard and we were way below that today which is really frustrating.  Luckily, games are coming up thick and fast now, so we now need to put it right, starting weekend against Sherborne”

Cheddar Reserves were at home last Saturday in the first of two local derbies; the first, against Winscombe Reserves.  Here are the thoughts on the game by Reserves manager Andy Wallis:

Cheddar Reserves faced a Winscombe Reserve team who were determined to make the most of a free weekend for their first team and were bolstered by three ‘ever presents’ including this season’s leading goal scorer, Mike Flint.

Cheddar however edged the first quarter of the game, taking the lead after just ten minutes when John Edwards exquisitely curled a 20-yard free kick over the wall into the top corner.   This Winscombe side weren’t going to be swept aside and were soon back on level terms when first-teamer Ware drifted fifteen yards from right to left, 25-yards from goal, taking advantage of the lack of pressure to unleash a ferocious left-foot drive past Kieran Webster in the Cheddar goal.   

The silky-smooth Tom Manning nearly put Cheddar straight back into the lead only to see his deft 20-yard volley ripple the top of the net.  With both teams battling hard on a very difficult surface it was Manning who spotted his namesake Billy Manning and fed the striker’s perfectly timed run over to see his cheeky chip over the advancing Freeman touched over the bar.   Edwards strike from the resulting corner was well blocked but Cheddar’s captain, Adam Davies pounced and fired his side into a half time advantage.

Winscombe came out for the second half looking to take advantage of the breeze, adding young Jamie Moss to the frontline and a more direct approach.  Cheddar struggled to deal with this more robust approach and needed the staunch defending of Davies, Talbot and Hucker who threw bodies at the ball to protect their goalkeeper, Webster.   The visitors were also denied by the woodwork on at least three occasions and the pressure eventually told, when Webster was clattered leaving a free strike at goal putting the game level on the hour.

The home side added fresh legs and soon benefitted when the quick-thinking Will Wallis released the in-form Harry Hughes on the left flank.   Hughes held off his defender and sweetly struck the ball into the far side of the net to give Cheddar the advantage for the third time in the game.  Winscombe’s frustrations and a heavy pitch led to a mistimed Norris tackle who was given his marching orders for a second yellow card.   This game the home side just enough breathing space to hold onto the lead to the final whistle and give them the points in this well contested game.

Final score:  Cheddar Reserves 3 Winscombe Reserves 2

Meanwhile, the ‘A’ team were looking to capitalise on their recent good form in the league with another win, at Sharpham Road against AFC Nailsea; here are manager Jack Griffiths’ thoughts on the game…

The ‘A’ went into the game following their huge win the previous week, brimming with confidence, yet they came up against an AFC Nailsea side six points below them, that have improved and become stronger since the start of the season.  The game started at a very fast pace with the home side dominating affairs with, with a few close shots at goal from Jamie Claridge and Dom Underhill narrowly missing the target.

Cheddar were on top of the game, but then a lack of concentration allowed the visitors with a shot on goal, which unfortunately for the ‘Cheese’ was ‘on target’ and went into the net.  The Yellow and Black’s kept knocking on Nailsea’s door but just could not break through.   The home side must have had all of fifteen shots on goal throughout the game, yet the match finished 1-0 to the visitors, who to their credit defended well and ‘dug-in’ when they needed to.  Cheddar ‘A’ now sit three points off the pace and need to win all their remaining games to maintain a hope of promotion.  They now finish for the Christmas period, and have a well-earned rest before resuming their season in January.

Man of the Match:  Shane Fear

Also, last weekend, Cheddar Ladies were looking to the possibility of finishing their last game prior to Christmas with a win at Combe St Nicolas; but matters didn’t go the Cheese girl’s way on the day and they were defeated 0-2



Toolstation Western League Match Report

Saturday 9th December 2017


(Match Abandoned after 83 minutes; floodlight failure)


There is little doubt that the past two performances by the Cheesemen (at Westbury on 25th November) and at home to Oldland Abbotonians last weekend were in the ‘outstanding’ class but whether Saturday’s performance by Shaun Potter’s promotion chasers fell into that category is debatable.

Fielding a strong side, Cheddar went ahead on 8 minutes, Callum Ham, in only his second full appearance since rejoining the club lashing home with the outside of his right foot from all of twenty yards, picking up a Chris Coombs glorious pass following a headed clearance by the home side’s back line, swerving the ball into the top right hand corner of the net.  

The visitors continued to dominate although a Mike Roberts free-kick for the home side flew goalward and then upwards as it skied over the Cheddar crossbar.

The visitors continued to push forward in the second period without managing to find a decisive second goal, leading scorer Adam Jones going close on two or three occasions and Ricky Bennett also off target with two free kicks from good positions.  

In fact, when the second goal of the game did arrive, it came midway through the second half and went in favour of the home side.

 Jack Hopper was first to react as a poor back-pass from a Cheddar midfield player went sadly astray, and Hopper nipped in to draw goalkeeper Liam Kingston to slot past the young shot stopper, the first goal the on-loan Weston super Mare goalkeeper had conceded in over 250 minutes of Toolstation League football!

The equaliser, scored on 67 minutes, stirred the Cheesemen and they went firmly in search of a further goal as they at times, laid siege to the Wiltshire side’s goal but as they mounted relentless pressure darkness descended at one end of the Nursteed Road ground as the floodlights failed, bringing an early end to the game with seven minutes remaining, and a fixture to be re-arranged.

The Devizes manager, Bud Walters, said after the game: “All credit to Cheddar who were very strong; the last thing anyone expected was floodlight failure.  

“It’s never happened to me before in all the years I’ve been involved in football!”

Man of the match:  Callum Ham (Cheddar)

Cheddar, who because of this abandoned game have now fallen to fourth place, six points behind leaders Keynsham Town albeit they have two games in hand over the North-East Somerset based club.  

The fourth placed Cheesemen have a difficult looking trip to Midsomer Norton on Saturday (16th December) to face the team immediately below them, Welton Rovers who were held to a one-goal each draw by Ashton & Backwell on Saturday.  

Speaking with the club website following the game, Cheddar manager Shaun Potter said: “It was a frustrating end to a frustrating day!  We dominated the game today; we took the lead through Callum (Ham) but then never capitalised on our dominance after that, which gave Devizes that bit of hope that they (Devizes) could nick an equaliser which they did after a mistake from us.

“It’s a learning curve for us, we know unless we kill games off it always gives the opposition a chance, we were pressing for a winner for the last 15 minutes before the lights went out and the game was abandoned.  

“We look forward to another trip to Devizes at the end of the season.”

Winger Chris Coombs added: “We were missing a few plyers but still had a very strong team and I feel that we are settling well and with few boys returning in the coming weeks, competition for places is strong and healthy.

“We started well today and took the game to Devizes.  We were free in our movement and patient on the ball waiting to play in the right areas.  

“We were rewarded with great finish from Callum after some good build up play.  

“We tried to build on that and Devizes had no answers and never looked like scoring.  We began to get frustrated and lose a bit of patience.

“The second half started like the first and we looked like the only winners with Devizes trying to frustrate us at every opportunity and began to work harder and gain some confidence.   

“However, they still created very little but to their credit they capitalised on a rare mistake and punished us.  

“Towards the end of the game we were pushing on trying to get the win until the floodlights failed.  

“We were grateful for this as we didn’t drop points and we didn’t play to our normal capabilities.

“We are looking forward to next week and putting more pressure on our league rivals.  Thanks, as always, to the travelling support.”

Midfielder, turned defender (on Saturday) Ricky Bennett said: “We started the game strong and dominated possession. Hammy scored a good finish and we won the first half comfortably.

“They never looked like scoring throughout the game until I had that horrible feeling after playing the ball back to Liam and seeing their striker latch on to it.  

“Luckily for me I’ve got an opportunity to put it right which could be critical come the end of the season”

This Saturday (16th December) the first team visit Midsomer Norton to take on fifth placed Welton Rovers, who are just one place below the Cheesemen on 34 points although they have played one game (20) more.  

After last weekend’s postponement, the first team have (temporarily we are sure) dropped to fourth position, behind Westbury United in third (who have 39 points from 20 games), Roman Glass St George are in second place with 40 points from 20 games and the league leaders are currently Keynsham Town who are on 43 points from 21 games.

Meanwhile, the Reserve team were in action at Bowdens Park on Saturday.

Here is manager Andy Wallis’s report from the game.

Cheddar Reserves needed to put last week’s poor result behind them as they welcomed an equally inconsistent Yatton & Cleeve Reserves to Bowdens Park.  

Cheddar showed their intent from the start and were unlucky to fall behind following a bewildering penalty decision on 20 minutes.

 This didn’t deter Cheddar’s intent and they were soon back on level terms when Tom Manning’s inch-perfect pass found Harry Hughes charging in and slotting past the advancing goalkeeper.  

Cheddar took the lead in the second half when Billy Manning pounced on the goalkeeper’s fumble and John Edwards 70th minute finish claimed all three points for Cheddar.

This latest win for the Reserve team takes them to third place, three points behind second place Radstock and eleven points behind runaway leaders AFC Brislington.

Man of the match:   Tom Manning

Reserve team manager Andy Wallis speaking after the game said:   “We needed a reaction after last week’s disappointment and I couldn’t have asked for more from the lads.

“We dominated throughout the game and there wasn’t a poor performance across the team.

“This is just what we needed and sets us up nicely as we go into back to back derbies with Winscombe and Draycott”

On Saturday (16th December) Cheddar Reserves host Winscombe Reserves at Bowdens Park, kick off 3pm.

Also, last weekend the ‘A’ team were in action against Hutton Reserves, at Sharpham Road.  Here is manager Jack Griffiths report from the game…

Cheddar started the game positively and piled pressure on early with Jamie Claridge taking aim at the Hutton goal on a few occasions.

After a few unsuccessful attempts Claridge eventually broke the deadlock after a well-worked team gaol ended up with Dom Underhill heading into Claridge’s path to rifle his shot past the Hutton goalkeeper.  

Cheddar then let their lead slip and conceded a cheap goal minutes later.   

After a great solo run from Claridge Cheddar once more took the lead through Liam Jones after Jamie Claridge had worked hard to recover a bad pass and crossed the ball to the unmarked Jones to make it two goals to one.

 But like the first goal, Cheddar were only leading for a matter of minutes before conceding just before the break.  

 Following half time, Cheddar came out strong and were again battering the Hutton goal.  

It wasn’t long before Dan Flowers nestled one in to the top right-hand corner of the goal to take the score line to 3-2 in favour of Cheddar.

The home side then had to exercise caution and learn from their mistakes in the first half and really battened down the hatches.   

With 25 minutes remaining Cheddar ‘A’ were placed under heavy pressure but some ‘world-class’ saves from man-of-the-match Scott Harris kept their lead intact and gave Cheddar their first win in four.

Cheddar ‘A’ now happily sit in fourth place, just three points off third place.  The ‘A’ team face fifth-placed AFC Nailsea on Saturday (16th December).

Man of the match; Scott Harris

On Sunday last (10th December) Cheddar Ladies scheduled home game with Pen Mill Reserves was subjected to a late postponement on Sunday morning due to a waterlogged pitch.  

The Cheese girls are back in action on Sunday (17th December) when they travel to Combe Ladies; kick off 2pm.




Toolstation Western League Division One match report

Saturday 2nd December 2017




In as comprehensive a victory as befits the expression, Cheddar hit four goals for no response past eighth place Oldland Abbotonians to move menacingly into the top three in the division, three points and a game in hand behind leaders Roman Glass St George.

Oldland’s who had previously only been beaten on four occasions were a little shell-shocked by the performance of their hosts, who could and should have scored more goals on the afternoon as despite their previously impressive showing on the road, the visitors did not really pose any real threat to the Cheddar back line such was the commanding performance of the hosts backline, superbly marshalled by the impressive centre-back partnership of Danny Griffiths and Nathan Best, whose dual-performance is improving with every game.

As early as the 11th minute came a controversial incident that chartered the course of the game; Sam King bravely chasing down the Oldland’s goalkeeper’s hesitating clearance saw the ball launch skyward and in a moment Adam Jones was on the scene to stab the loose ball home, but as he attempted to do so, he was pushed from behind by central defender Scott Gregory, the force of which spun both players into a collision with home goalkeeper Chris Manns. With the home fans baying for a penalty and the visitors defence clearly expecting the same, the apparently unsighted match official consulted with his assistant and bizarrely a free kick was awarded to the home defender, one of many bewildering decisions by the officials on the afternoon.

The home side did however take a deserved lead on 24 minutes, as a brilliant angled Chris Coombs assist was met full by Jones who made no mistake, rifling the ball home from 20 yards despite Manns’ despairing dive, for the striker’s 13th league strike of the season. Seven minutes later and Cheddar were two goals to the good; Sam King, in imperious form, weaved his way into the 18-yard box and his dangerous cross was prodded past his own ‘keeper by full-back Luke LeCrass to clear the ball.

Jones went close on two further occasions leading to the break, his first effort being cleared off the line by Shomani Sengor and his second attempt, from another glorious pass, then he dragged inches wide of the woodwork, but the striker missed something of a golden opportunity just minutes into the re-start following a brilliant Robbi Maggs run that had seen the bearded striker weave his way past no less than four defenders before finding Jones who had ghosted past his marker but with just the goalkeeper to beat he hit his shot wide of the target.

Cheddar were 3-0 up on the hour when Ricky Bennett’s superb corner kick curled in at the far post; interestingly the third occasion in Cheddar colours that Bennett had achieved such a feat.   

Manns, the Oldland’s keeper vigorously complained that he had been fouled, although Nathan Best the alleged offender appeared to make little or no contact with his alleged assailant. The Oldland’s keeper however ensured that he kept his side in the game as an avalanche of goals was on the cards, the goalkeeper saving brilliantly well on two occasions from Jones and then denying Danny Griffiths with a flying save from the centre-back’s close-range header, before the home side were awarded a penalty for a foul on Stephen Pennington.  The midfielder, returning to the starting line-up from an extended break in his native Italy, opted to take the spot kick himself and Manns denied the Italian with a superb double save, an outstanding show of athleticism.   Manns again saved brilliantly following man-of-the-match Steve Sokol’s inch-perfect cross, but the goalkeeper ran out of luck on the stroke of injury time when substitute Anthony Cleave stabbed home from close range for his first goal for the club and his side’s fourth of the afternoon to compete the rout.

The Oldland manager Scott Armstrong said of his side’s performance: “We didn’t turn up today, Cheddar look in great form”

Man of the match: Steve Sokol

Match ball sponsor: Dave Jones

Cheddar manager Shaun Potter speaking with the club website following the match, said:

“I was delighted with the performance today, probably the best performance of the season for me. Oldland’s are a good side that a right up there.  We had a depleted squad and the pitch didn’t suit us at all but the way we applied ourselves was superb, we dominated from the first whistle and were solid defensively.  It takes a lot of mental strength to put in a performance like that off the back of the Westbury win last week to be able to keep performing at the level we have, week in week out is superb and deserves a great deal of credit. December is a very busy month in terms of fixtures, but as we have shown previously we can adapt to any circumstances, so we go into the Christmas period full of confidence and aim to keep this winning run going for as long as possible”

Cheddar’s Anthony Cleave, who came on as substitute and scored both his first goal for the club and his side’s fourth goal, said:

“I was extremely delighted for the win and to get my first goal for the team!  It was a fantastic result today and a performance to match, from starting on the bench watching the game, the commitment and desire from the team was immense, the football being played was positive and great to watch.  We controlled the game and it was only a matter of time before we scored.  The team is working extremely hard for each other and playing with confidence.  On a personal note I was very happy to be selected and have the chance to play.  Onto the next game! Up the Cheese!”

Finally, man-of-the-match Steve Sokol, who gave his best performance so far since joining from Wells City, said:

“I thought that we put in a professional performance today against a side that are also challenging near the top of the table.  We made plenty of chances and played some decent football on a heavy pitch.  Our defence prevented Oldland’s from creating many clear-cut chances and our win was fully deserved.  Hopefully we can keep this momentum going in our upcoming games”.


Cheddar FC further commented:

Goalkeeper Liam Kingston has been awarded the November 2017 Toolstation Western League (Division One) ‘Safe Hands’ Award following a string of outstanding performances for the Cheesemen.

Meanwhile, the Bowdens Park club are seeking a motivated and committed individual to fill the role of assistant manager/first team coach; preferably the successful applicant should hold the Level Two coaching qualification. Applicants are encouraged to contact first team manager Shaun Potter by email to for further details and/to register their interest.

Cheddar now face two testing away games at Devizes Town (on Saturday 9th December) and at Welton Rovers the following Saturday (16th December) before they return to Bowdens Park for their final home game of the year on Saturday 23rd December when they host Sherborne Town.

Meanwhile, Cheddar Reserves travelled to Chew Magna on Saturday looking for three further points; here are manager Andy Wallis’s thoughts on the game…

Cheddar Reserves couldn’t capitalise on back to back wins against top three teams when they faced Chew Magna at the weekend.   Cheddar struggled to adapt to a desperately poor playing surface and an equally agricultural style of play employed by their opponents.   Despite Cheddar creating the better chances it was Chew Magna who took the points with one of few chances of the game when the normally dependable Cheddar defensive line were caught out by a huge kick from the Chew Magna goalkeeper and two touches later and the ball was in the back of net.   This was a disappointing performance from the Reserve team who never really had the forefront, and despite the quality in the squad they never really showed it.  Credit must however be paid to Jake Buxton and Ollie Hucker who had outstanding games and it was the youngster Hucker who was awarded his second successive Man of the Match award.

In his post-match response, manager Andy Wallis said:

“I’m so gutted for the lads; we came into this game bouncing but didn’t really show up in the first half and gave away a cheap goal in the first 20 minutes.  Chew Magna then made it hard for us, constantly getting 10 or 11 men behind the ball and defending valiantly.  The pitch seemed to help them rather than us. We need to put this game behind us and get back to winning ways at Bowdens over the next two weeks so that we go into the Draycott game with some confidence behind us”

Cheddar Reserves host Yatton & Cleeve United on Saturday (9th December) at Bowdens Park, kick off 3pm.

Also on Saturday, the ‘A’ team were in action ‘on the road’, with a difficult looking match at Uphill Castle for the second week running in the League Knockout Cup.

The game got off to a bad start as the hosts bagged an early goal but Cheddar soon found their feet and began to dominate the game midway through the first half as centre midfield trio Price, Fear and Catling controlled the game, with the latter bending a free-kick into the top corner to level for the visitors.   Both sides had their chances, but the Cheddar defence held strong against opposition three league’s higher than themselves, however they couldn’t quite close the game out until half time with a long ball catching them out just before the break to put the ‘A’s 2-1 behind.


A half-time team talk proved positive as both sides had been closely matched throughout.  However, an early goal for Uphill left the ‘A’s with a mountain to climb.  Man of the match Harris kept Cheddar ‘just about in the game’ saving acrobatically at times!  But whilst Cheddar’s front three of Underhill, Clayton and Gray through everything at the opposition, the ‘A’s just could not break through.  Two late goals saw Uphill kill off the game as they cruised to a 5-1 victory.

The ‘A’ team will be looking to bounce back on Saturday (9th December) in league (Division Four) action against Hutton Reserves at Sharpham Road in the earlier kick off time of 2pm

Meanwhile, Cheddar Ladies were back in action at Bowdens Park on Sunday last; here is manager Russell Heal’s match report…

Cheddar Ladies hosted Purnell Reserves and knew that it was going to be a tough and close game. Both teams started very determinedly which made it quite a rough but entertaining game with both teams giving as good as they took.  Charlotte Caley did open the scoring midway through the first half, only to see the offside flag deny her.  Purnell then beat Cheddar’s offside trap to take the lead about five minutes before the break.  In the second half, Cheddar pressed high but despite their dominance and playing some great football, they couldn’t get that goal back.

Manager Russell Heal said:

“This was a very good and very entertaining game when the score, but it was Purnell that finally won the game 1-0 at our expense”

Cheddar’s Player of the Match was Sarah McGee, with an outstanding and solid performance at centre-back.

Next Sunday, Cheddar Ladies are again at home when they host Penn Mill in a Somerset Women’s League Division Two match.