Cheddar’s season was again forced to a further stop-start situation when their match at Wincanton was called off on Saturday morning, meaning the second time in three games that their League match had faced a late postponement thanks to the wintry weather!

Manager Shaun Potter speaking with the club’s website said:

“It’s a frustrating time having games postponed every week as we are desperate to get out there and get a winning run together.  The backlog of fixtures we are going to get between now and the end of the season isn’t ideal but we will aim to use this to our advantage, playing games in quick succession will benefit us when trying to go on a run and we are also hoping that the pitches improve between now and the end of the season which also benefits us with the way we play  The lads are itching to get these games played and are more determined than ever to climb the table.  Hopefully our game next Saturday will be on and we can get going again”

The Cheesemen’s next game is scheduled to be on Saturday (27th January) at Malmesbury Victoria, kick off 3.00pm, and they are due to return to return to home soil where they are to play Warminster Town on Tuesday night (30th January) in a league match, kindly sponsored by Roosters Country and Western Music Club, kick off 7.45pm.

Cheddar’s Reserve team were also without a match at the weekend but are due to host Chew Magna on Saturday, kick off 3pm.  The club’s ‘A’ team’s match was also called off on Saturday at Sporting Weston, but the team are due to be back in action on Saturday when they travel to FC Milton.

Cheddar’s Under 18s team also faced a postponement when their scheduled match at home on Tuesday night (23rd January) also fell victim to the weather conditions.

Meanwhile, Cheddar’s match at Wincanton Town has been re-arranged for Tuesday 13th March, kick off 7.30pm.


Toolstation Western League Division One Match Report

Saturday 13th January 2018


Whenever these sides have met during the past three seasons, the match is either tinged with excitement or controversy or both, and this match was certainly true to form for these promotion hopefuls who took it upon themselves to serve up an early New Year cracker for the Cheesemen’s first home game for some six weeks.   On the last occasion Cheddar played at home the supporters were treated to four goals, and with this game serving up a further six, then Bowdens Park would appear to be the place to be for fans seeking goals and entertainment.

True enough, Cheddar (in seventh place and with games in hand prior to the start of the game) adapted to the sticky conditions quicker than their fourth placed opponents, who had understandably caught the eye with their recent emphatic 3-0 victory over Welton Rovers, as the home side’s new signing, Ross McNab, making his home debut, who had had just two minutes earlier narrowly missed the target, hammered his side in front from six yards latching on to Adam Jones’s back header. McNab went close again on 22 minutes although goalkeeper Glen Murley was unable to hold the striker’s stinging drive and midfielder Stephen Pennington was first to react, driving the lose ball home from close range, giving Murley no chance.

Cheddar could perhaps be forgiven that after having scored two quick fire goals in the opening quarter, that the game was as good as won, although they equally neglected to remember that the game wasn’t over until the final whistle, and they really ought to have learned this from previous encounters with this good, hard-working Radstock team, that there is never an easy game at this level. The visitors, as is spurned by this two-goal set back were soon back in this game less than two minutes after conceding, Fin Haines scoring a quality individual goal, appearing to effortlessly weave past two defenders to slot past Kingston after Jack Biddiscombe had been afforded two much space, and too little attention on the right flank, allowing the nippy winger to deliver a relatively unchallenged cross.

On 38 minutes a telepathic move of some note between Jones and Ricky Bennett saw the latter unleash a powerful 20-yard shot that agonisingly served past the woodwork, but then with less than five minutes remaining on the referee’s watch the visitors were again on level terms.  A needless looking back pass form the Cheddar midfield caused all kinds of issues for the Cheddar backline and Morgan Skipp, running in from deep, didn’t waste his opportunity and lobbed the outrushing Kingston as Town reduced the deficit after having been two goals down just twenty minutes earlier.

The second period of the game notably increased in pace if inasmuch in style, as both sides huffed and puffed for possession, with both sides going close to adding a decisive third goal.  On 50 minutes, Town’s Will Stead went close with Kingston saving at the second attempt and Chris Coombs who had been moved up front to a more customary wide-attacking role, forced Murley into an impressive back-peddling save as the goalkeeper arched backwards, appearing to be off-balance but still managed to tip Coombs’s effort over the cross bar.  The hard-working Adam Jones had the ball in the Radstock net on 73 minutes but to be fair to the assistant match official who adjudged the Cheddar frontman to have strayed offside, the official was up with play and had to be given the benefit of the doubt.  Two minutes later though the burly Jones running at full pace, to connect with substitute Joe Grant’s low throw, hit a goal bound shot that beat the goalkeeper but was bravely diverted off the goal-line by the Radstock central-defender and captain Tom Stocks.

With the home side continuing to push upfield for a third goal they were again to leave themselves overly open for a counter punch and this is exactly what happened with 14 minutes remaining. Matt Minnis was felled in the Cheddar box following Danny Griffith’s last-ditch tackle and Town’s leading goal scorer added to his tally sending Kingston the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Sensing the game was won, the visitors changed their formation in an attempt to close down the game and steal all three points but captain Craig Mawford, so often Cheddar’s talisman hit a thunderous free kick that the goalkeeper did exceptionally well to turn round the post to safety and then with just two minutes of normal time remaining, Mawford was giving the sort of opportunity that the player of his class doesn’t miss, and hitting the all-important equaliser from 10-yards after the match official had correctly noticed a pass-back in the box hand been  handled by the goalkeeper. The goal was simply a stunning effort and the Cheddar captain crashed his effort into the net despite the close attentions of six defenders and goalkeeper Murley trying to prevent the ball crossing the line.

A draw however was just about a fair result in this all-action game as both teams pushed for a winner as the minutes ticked away.  Defences were so often the Achilles heel for both teams, whose motives on the day were quite clearly to go on the all-out attack but it is thought highly likely that that they will both be in the mix when the season ends in April.

Man of the match:  Ross McNab (Cheddar)

With six draws in the league on Saturday the Cheesmen remain in seventh position, although should they achieve a win at sixth placed Devizes on Tuesday night (16th January) (kick-off: 7.30pm) that they could well advance their league position, possibly as high as fourth position.  

On Saturday (20th January), Shaun Potter’s side are again away from home with a match at fourteenth placed Wincanton Town.  On Saturday week (27th January) the Cheesemen play a third successive away match (at Malmesbury Victoria) before returning to Bowdens Park for two homes games in a week (30th January vs Warminster Town and Saturday 3rd February vs local rivals Ashton and Backwell).

Following the match, manager Shaun Potter spoke to the club website, saying:

“It was a tough one to take today, we started very well, we were in control at 2-0 up and then got a little bit complacent and allowed Radstock back into the game.  We came out second half a little bit sluggish and again allowed Radstock to take the lead, we showed a bit of fight towards the end and managed to get a draw, but this is a game we all know we should have won, we paid the price for not being switched on for 90 minutes.  it’s something we will learn from and put right, we’ve got a lot of games in a short period of time coming up which I think we need, it will help us get that flow back and get some consistency back into our game”!

Further postponements for the Cheesemen manager Shaun Potter gives is mid-season review and the club announce major plans for their 125th Anniversary Weekend in May

The unpredictable weather that has been playing having with the festive season fixture list struck a further blow at the weekend, the Cheesemen having the ignominy of further match postponed when their match against Warminster Town was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Bowdens Park, causing even more headaches for the club’s hardworking groundsman Russell Heal.  Saturday’s postponement has in effect meant that their last match day action on home soil was almost six weeks ago when they defeated Oldland Abbotonians 4-0 on 2nd December.   Matches after that outstanding win and team performance have seen Shaun Potter’s team suffer an abandonment at Devizes and defeats on the road at Welton Rovers and Roman Glass, as well as three successive league postponements.  Matches will of course be rearranged, but Shaun Potter’s team, with just one game under their belts since mid-December, now find themselves in catch up mode with re-arranged matches at Devizes (16th January); Bishop Sutton (6th February) both away and home games with Sherborne Town (20th February) and now Warminster Town (30th January).  Due to a fixture re-arrangement headache the Bowdens Park club find they have dropped to seventh position in the Toolstation League Division One, albeit they have four games in hand over league leaders, Westbury United, but are scheduled to be back in league action on Saturday (13th January) when they host fourth placed Radstock Town, who are just three points ahead of the Cheesemen who have a game in hand over their visitors.  Saturday’s match kicks off at 3pm.

Speaking with the club website at the weekend, manager Shaun Potter, reviewing his team’s season so far said:

“We’ve had a good overall season so far; a shaky start perhaps but since the Sherborne game in September we have been very good.  We were rock bottom in early September, so to even be in the promotion mix now is a great achievement and it’s what the lads deserve.  Since taking on the job on a permanent basis I’ve tried to give the lads some belief and put some enjoyment back into the game and the players have responded really well.  In my opinion we are the best footballing side in the league, so the winter months are usually the trickiest for a side like us, but we have dug in and picked up some great results.  The last two games haven’t quite gone as we had planned and the Christmas period was a little bit stop-start due to postponements which hasn’t really helped but these lads have a great attitude and those two defeats have really hurt them so I’m expecting a big response this month.  We have quite a few games in January which will only be good for us as we look to get back to winning ways and put another run together.  My aim is of course to get promotion this season but more than that, it’s to enjoy the game every week and play good football. We do that by being consistent and sticking to our principles. The players trust the philosophy and there is a real belief that we can win every game we play.  We take it game by game and try not to look too far ahead; we know that if we perform week in, week out the end goal is inevitable.  It’s a great club to be involved in and I’m looking forward to seeing how far we can go in the next few seasons”

What was particularly impressive was the evidence of high team morale and an excellent spirit this weekend, as the full first team squad gathered as one at a leading gym in Weston super Mare at the weekend to undertake a period of strenuous exercise and ‘Boxercise’ training.


Elsewhere last weekend (6th January) the Reserve team continued their recent good form with a great 2-0 win at Tunley Athletic.  Here are assistant manager Mike Carpenter’s thoughts on the game:

Cheddar Reserves went into the game with an unchanged squad for the fourth successive game. Tunley however started the brightest earning an early free from just outside the box which went uncapitalised.   From that moment it was all Cheddar; the midfield of Callum French, Tom Manning and John Edwards dictated play, moving the ball freely and creating vast opportunities in the final third

The deadlock was broken on 27 minutes when Manning found Hughes out wide and with a lot to do he managed to get in a cross-shot which aided by a small deflection found the back of the net. The Cheesemen Reserves had several attempts on goal throughout the half and through Billy Manning and John Edwards, but these were to no avail.

The second half began, and Cheddar started to make their presence felt with substitute Connell Edwards making an immediate impact in the defensive line.  The width of Hughes and Selway-Joseph was causing early problems for the home defence.   After ten minutes second half play, Hughes was found by a brilliant French through ball, but the striker hit his shot straight at the goalkeeper.  The Cheese maintained their pressure with substitute Tom Caitlin hitting the bar and the Tunley goalkeeper pulling off some fine saves.

Cheddar’s second goal came on 67 minutes, Tom Manning finding his namesake Billy with a delightful chipped pass and the latter made no mistake, slotting the ball past the goalkeeper from just inside the penalty box.  The visitors remained well disciplined and retained their shape, sticking to their game plan, and could easily have gone for more goals.   The last few minutes of the game were played out with neither side pushing for goals with Sam Talbot in the Cheddar goal a virtual bystander to another good performance.

Speaking to the website after the game, Mike Carpenter said:

“The boys did a great job, and all realise the job in hand regarding our strong promotion push.  Today we could have thrown it away looking for goals, but we remained well disciplined and kept it safe with the result going our way.  Our focus is now onto the next game to look for those next three points”

Meanwhile, the club have announced some important diary dates for the Spring.

The club are to hold their Annual Presentation and Awards Evening on Saturday evening 28th April, starting at 7.00 for 7.30pm, and two weeks afterwards are to hold their very special 125th Anniversary weekend, which is to take the form of two successive evenings in a marquee at the club’s Bowdens Park ground.  The first of two major events to hosted by the club is to take place on Friday 18th May when the club have literally pulled off what they consider something of a coup, when they are to welcome former Arsenal and England top name Ray Parlour to a Sportsman’s Evening.  The eloquent Ray Parlour who is additionally current talkSPORT and Sky TV pundit is expected to be big draw for the local public and will be accompanied by a top comedian.   A ‘Harvest Home’ styled dinner dance that will feature top entertainment will take place on the Saturday night (19th May). The club have advised that ticketing arrangements together with further news on these major events will follow shortly here on the club website and its Facebook

Finally, onto the weekend (Saturday 13th January), with just the first team in action (as reported earlier in this update the Cheesemen are in action at Bowdens Park for the first time since early December with a home Toolstation League Division One clash against fourth placed Radstock Town, kick-off is at 3pm)  Both the Reserve team and the ‘A’ team are without a match this weekend, with the Under 18’s match on Tuesday night (9th January) also having seen a late call-off due to an unsuitable playing surface.

Cheddar FC dates for your diary

As a ‘Look Forward’ we are aiming to give all our club members and supporters as full information as is currently available for our 125th Anniversary weekend which is to take place on Friday 18th May and Saturday 19th May, but in the meantime please do make a note of the date of the Annual End of Season Presentation/Awards Evening which is to take place on Saturday 28th April 201



Faced with the prospect of playing this match without his two key strikers for this important top-six clash, Cheddar manager Shaun Potter was forced to take urgent remedial action on the eve of this game, drafting in former Taunton Town and Mangotsfield United striker, Ross MacNab to bolster his attack.   The inclusion of the former Southern League striker could well have paid dividends as his agility won his side a penalty on the stroke of half-time, which was in effect the game changer.

The windy and near freezing conditions on Roman Glass’s artificial surface made flowing football a premium and the first-half was inasmuch devoid of any real chances, although the home side did however open the scoring penalty kick on 15 minutes after Ken Oni was upended in the 18-yard box by a Cheddar defender.

In what was generally thought to be a game changer by the neutral spectator, the Cheesemen were awarded a penalty kick on 45-minutes following MacNab’s foray into the box that saw him barged off the ball, and the normal lethal Chris Coombs subsequent penalty-kick thudded against a post and was cleared to safety.

After the turn-round, both teams fought hard for supremacy, but it was Roman Glass who edged further in front on 50 minutes, Rhys Hodgson taking full advantage of a poor clearance from Cheddar’s back-line, his shot beating Liam Kingston’s dive.  Roman Glass’s two goal lead was reduced just after the hour when the lively Callum Ham, maintained his record of scoring in each game since his return to the tCheddar line-up, and he beat the home goalkeeper with a well-taken shot on the turn.  This goal however further energised the home side who regained control of the game with two quick goals in a five-minute spell.  Substitute Jordan Yeo fired an unstoppable shot past the helpless Kingston following another mistake in Cheddar’s backline and virtually from the re-start Roman Glass added to their lead with an effort from Lewis Wentland, before the visitors could regain their composure.

With the game entering its final ten minutes. Cheddar reduced the deficit, Danny Griffiths heading home strongly from a Coombs corner but despite the best efforts of the Cheesemen to get something from the game, their performance levels on the day sadly didn’t merit any reward. The result did in fact tell its own story as Roman Glass who had been imperious form at their Oakland’s Park home took their unbeaten run to 13 games as Cheddar, who up until three games ago had won ten straight games slumped to their second successive away defeat and have conceded seven goals on their travels, scoring four in return.   

Asked how the game went from his point of view, Roman Glass’s (former Weston super Mare manager) Andy Gurney said, “Your boys didn’t really create a lot; we had a bit more quality in the final third and that I think was the difference”

After such a promising start at the beginning of the month, with a 4-0 thumping of Oldland Abbotonians, December has been a source of disappointment for the Cheddar manager, who will now look to put in a plan of action to get his side’s season back on track, his side having their first opportunity to do this on Saturday (6th January) when they host Warminster Town, kick off 3pm.  The Cheesemen are again at home on the following Saturday (13th January) when they host Radstock Town.   The Bowdens Park club end the first month of the New Year with three successive away games details of which are below.

Speaking to the club’s official website after the game. Potter said:

“It was a tough one to take today, we were nowhere near the level we’ve set for ourselves over the last few months.  Not playing at all over the Christmas period didn’t help, we had a few key players missing (Adam Jones, Robbi Maggs and Ricky Bennett) and those things showed out on the pitch.   Roman Glass were a decent side, but they beat us on hunger and desire which is something we don’t accept at this club, the players aren’t happy and will do everything possible to put this right next week.  The referee was another thing against us on the day.  I haven’t got long enough to explain the poor decisions that went against us, so I’ll leave it there”

Also offering his views on the match was team captain Craig Mawford:

“We didn’t do ourselves any favours in todays game, and in fairness Roman Glass managed the conditions a lot better than we did. We need to get back to increasing our standards and working harder for each other. The thing that the last two results has done is given the boys a big wake up call and given all of us an opportunity to start turning the tide again and stringing results together.  We have to look to the New Year and focus on pushing forward and seeing where it takes us.  We need to play without pressure and play with enjoyment again. We are capable and there is enough quality in the dressing room to make something happen.  I am very hopeful of a very good second half to the season.

Summing up with his thoughts on the match, young goalkeeper Liam Kingston said:

“I believe that we didn’t work hard enough day. Ability wise we are there, but I think we need to show more desire on and off the pitch. I thought that Ross (MacNab) did well coming in, he held the ball up well and looked good in behind. I thought that we could have been braver on the ball, moving it quicker and breaking through the lines.  It just wasn’t our day on this occasion.

In other news there are to be a few match re-arrangements (caused solely by the wintry conditions of late) and the first team are to visit Devizes Town on Tuesday 16th January; Bishop Sutton on Tuesday 6th February (both kick off at 7.30pm) and are to host Sherborne Town on Tuesday 20th February (kick off 7.45pm).

January sees the first team kick off the second of the season with a Toolstation League (Division One) match with Warminster Town on Saturday (6th January) which kicks off at the normal time of 3pm.  The Cheesemen, who start off 2018 in sixth position ‘could’ well leapfrog Welton Rovers and Radstock Town to move into fourth position, depending of course on the results of Welton (who host second placed Westbury) and Radstock (who host league leaders Keynsham); two very interesting games indeed.  Warminster, who start the New Year in 19th position, have hosted the Cheesemen twice already this season, losing 1-5 at home to ourselves in a league game on 23rd October where Adam Jones stole the headlines on the day with a well-taken hat-trick. The game’s two other goals came through Chris Coombs and an own-goal.   In the second fixture, Warminster Town defeated the Cheesemen 2-1 in the Les Phillips (League) Cup just three weeks afterwards, Cheddar’s goal coming from Ricky Bennett.  

In recent results over the two seasons with Warminster Town held the ‘Cheese’ to a 1-1 draw on 17th December 2016 at their Weymouth Street ground, whereas in the corresponding fixture at Bowdens Park, in only the third game of the 2016-17 season, Warminster were hit by a four-goal barrage with no reply from the Wiltshire side.  In the previous (2015-16) results saw a 4-1 win at Weymouth Street in the Les Phillips cup, a further 3-2 for the Cheese in their league encounter in Wiltshire and a 2-0 for ourselves at Bowdens Park.   So, in summary, the past three seasons has (so far seen) seven tussles between the two teams, with the Cheese winning five, Warminster winning one, and one game ending in a draw.

Warminster’s last six league results have seen them lose 7-2 at Keynsham, 2-1 at Malmesbury, defeat Chard Town (3-1) before conceding another seven goals at home to Devizes, thence losing 3-0 at Calne before a home defeat to their local rivals (Westbury) to whom they suffered a 3-1 defeat on Boxing Day.

Also on Saturday (6th January) Cheddar Reserves could well move into second place with a win at Tunley Athletic, depending on Radstock Town Reserves result at fourth placed Chew Magna. Saturday’s match at Tunley kicks off at the earlier time of 2pm.  In the day’s other fixture, the ‘A’ team (in fourth place) host (eighth placed) FC Milton at Sharpham Road in a Weston super Mare and District League Division Four fixture, a win for the ‘A’s on the day could well take them to level third position.

The best of good luck to all Cheddar teams playing this weekend