Toolstation Western League (Division One) Match Report

BISHOP SUTTON  0 CHEDDAR 0 (Tuesday 6th February 2018)

Match report courtesy of Merv Coleutt from the Cheddar Valley Gazette

Cheddar’s slim hopes of staying in the promotion mix became even slimmer following Tuesday’s goalless draw at Bishop Sutton.  The pitch was heavy, the weather cold and Cheddar were lethargic in their approach although they had the greater share of possession in the second half, a draw and a point for each side summed up a drab display on a drab night.

The opening half was evenly balanced with both sides creating goal scoring opportunities but chances in the second half were in the main created by Cheddar, but the lack of a cutting edge and several poor crosses summed up Cheddar’s inability to pick up three needed points to say on the fringes of promotion.

The opening exchanges saw chances created at both ends as Adam Jones and Callum Ham had opportunities well saved by Bishop Sutton goalkeeper Fraser Thomas and at the other end Liam Kingston made a superb one handed save to deny Otis Williams.  Bishop Sutton might feel unlucky to be denied a goal on 18 minutes as Josh Keen sent a superb log over Kingston only for the ‘goal’ to be ruled out for offside.

Despite having the greater share of possession Cheddar rarely looked capable of getting their noses in front and with Callum Ham and Chris Coombs both having off nights down the flanks, the supply line to Adam Jones and Robbi Maggs was in short supply.

The nearest Cheddar came to scoring in the opening half was when Bishop Sutton keeper Fraser Thomas in attempting to clear saw Adam Jones quickly charge down the clearance with the ball trickling agonisingly wide of an upright by no more than a couple of inches, that in itself was a pity as the game needed a lift.

Cheddar by far the better side at the start of the second half and both Ricky Bennett and Robbi Maggs were denied by brilliant goal-bound efforts saved on the line by Adam Crooks.

On the hour mark Cheddar made two substitutions and that should have worked in their favour as Jake Harris picked up on a mistake by John Reech, but with only Thomas to beat, the striker fired high and wide of the target.  Harris however in the time that he was on the pitch looked the most likely player to score on either side and he saw a deflected shot off Jack Keen brilliantly turned to safety by Thomas and a second opportunity from a Joe Grant long throw that was hastily cleared, saw Harris volley inches wide of the target from 15 yards.

Sam Downes missed two opportunities for Bishop Sutton midway through the second period, but in truth neither side really looked like breaking the deadlock despite Robbi Maggs going close at the death as he twisted and turned three defenders in the penalty box only to see his effort find the side netting. This was a disappointing result for Cheddar against an improving Bishop Sutton side, but overall you would have to question whether Cheddar on a bleak night were really up for the fight.

Merv’s merit marks.  L Kingston 7; C Mawford 6; J Grant 6; A Davies 5; N Best 6; D GRIFFITHS 7; c Coombs 5; R Bennett 6; A Jones 6; R Maggs 6; C Ham 5.  Subs: A Cleave 5; J Harris 6

Speaking to the website directly after the match, manager Shaun Potter said:

“It was a difficult game tonight, we had a very depleted squad, the conditions were poor, and the preparation was difficult, having a 7.30pm kick off and playing away in midweek is tough, we have lads working two hours away and finishing work at 5pm which is far from ideal.  It showed in the first half, we were sluggish and lacked the work rate required to play our style.  Bishop Sutton were a physical, hard working side and caused us a few problems in the first half.  I thought that after half time we came out much much better, we worked harder and won every second ball, we just didn’t get the rub of the green in the final third and couldn’t get that goal to win us the game. On a positive note I think that in previous seasons, those are the sort of games we would have conceded late in and maybe lost 1-0 so we are turning a corner.  Based on our first half display, a draw was probably a fair result”

Questioned as to his thoughts on Saturday’s (10th February) home game with Chippenham Park, the manager said:

“We look forward to playing at home again on Saturday, our home record is very good and that’s how we would like to keep it.  We were superb when we played Chippenham at their place and will be looking to put in a performance on Saturday, the lads are taking each game as it come and trying not to look too far ahead so Saturday will be no different.  We have a few injuries and suspensions but I’m confident we have the depth throughout the club to not let it affect us”

A philosophical team captain Craig Mawford also summed up his thoughts after the Bishop Sutton game which were:

“Tonight, was not a good performance and we are being well below the standards that we set for ourselves. We came away with a point when really in order for us to push forward we should have only been considering three. The second half performance was much better but still not the standards as to what it should have been.  We look forward to Saturday in the hope that a bit of dry weather and the positive work of Russ that we will be looking at a reasonably good surface which will allow the team to play the type of football that we are accustomed to.  Chippenham were a good outfit in the last game and played their pitch well.  We enjoy playing at home and I think that we control games when we play at Bowdens Park, but we are due a bit performance and will need one to go on and get three points from the game. We know that we need to be targeting a win every week and hope that consistency of weather and more regular football can make this more achievable.

Craig finished his interview by thanking the Cheddar supporters who follow the team at home and away and hoped that the team could reward them with a good performance.


Weekend Preview – Saturday 10th/Sunday 11th February 2018

As we previously mentioned, the first team are at home tomorrow (Saturday) to 12th placed Chippenham Park, in a Toolstation Western League (Division One) fixture in a match that kicks off at Bowdens Park at 3pm. The club are exceedingly grateful to Mr Dickie Day, who has kindly stepped in at short notice to sponsor the game.   The last meeting of the two clubs was on 21st October when a thoroughbred performance saw the Cheesemen defeat the hosts with a comprehensive 3-0 victory at Hardenhuish Park.

Chippenham lost a close fought league match to leaders Westbury United by two goals to one last weekend, but our opponents on Saturday have had some notable wins in recent weeks, hitting four goals past Oldland Abbotonians (at Oldland Common) and another five at home to Wincanton recently.  They have also taken a point from games at home to Bristol Telephones and on the road at Wincanton.  These results will give our supporters some idea of the task that faces the ‘Cheese’ at the weekend.  For the statisticians amongst you, here are the results of our matches with Chippenham over the past two seasons.

Season 2016/17

  • Cheddar 4 Chippenham Park 0
  • Chippenham Park 1 Cheddar 1

Season 2015/16

  • Chippenham Park 0 Cheddar 2
  • Cheddar 2 Chippenham 2

Chippenham Park are currently in twelfth position in the league having won 8, drawn 11 and lost 11 of their 30 games so far, with 11 games drawn they have a wide reputation of being draw specialists. The Cheesemen will be looking to gain all three points on Saturday and will be looking at the Welton Rovers v Chard Town fixture, as anything less than a win for Welton and a win for Cheddar on Saturday will see the team leapfrog the Radstock based side back into fourth position.

Meanwhile, Cheddar Reserves are in in Somerset League Division Two action at eighth placed Hutton Reserves on Saturday knowing that three further points could take them possibly to two points behind second placed Radstock Town Reserves (who travel away to Tunley on the day).

Cheddar ‘A’ are in Attwell Shield (cup) action on Saturday at Worle Reserves and Cheddar Ladies are also in action again on Sunday (11th February) when they take on Purnell Sports in the Somerset Ladies league cup.




Cheddar have further match postponement as fixtures continue to pile up


The Cheesemen’s fixture list increased again this week as their match against Ashton & Backwell United was called off again following the horrendous weather conditions that have disrupted the league fixture programme since prior to Christmas. This means that in effect that most clubs in the Toolstation Western League will be playing two games per week until the end of the season, with the league officials becoming perplexed with the postponement of over 100 fixtures and the associated headache of match rearrangements that accompanies the situation.

Manager, Shaun Potter speaking with club website on Monday morning said:

“Regarding Saturday’s further postponement, again It’s very frustrating for everyone, a lot of preparation goes into each game and its not ideal when games are called off, we are in a situation where we need games, the way games are stop-start affects what we are trying to do and makes it difficult to get any consistency.  We look forward to the Bishop Sutton game (on Tuesday night, 6th February) and hope that the weather will be kind to us.  It’s always a tough place to go but coming off the back of the Warminster game, the lads are up for it and if we pay how we know we can then hopefully it can be another 3 points to keep us in touch with the top three”.

Cheddar’s first team are next in action on Tuesday (6th February) at Bishop Sutton, kick off 7.30pm.

On Saturday (10th February) Cheddar are due to play Chippenham Park at Bowdens Park (kick off 3pm) but (for the time being) find that they are without a midweek game next week, prior to a further away trip on Saturday (17th February) at bottom placed Portishead Town, before a home match on Tuesday 20th February against Sherborne Town, then complete their February fixtures with two successive away games at league leaders Keynsham Town on Saturday 24th prior to a long trek to Devizes on Tuesday 27th February.

Cheddar Reserves, also without a match at the weekend, are next in action on Saturday (10th February) at Hutton Reserves and follow this later this month with league games at home to Nailsea Reserves on Saturday 17th February, completing their February league fixtures with a match at Burnham United Reserves on Saturday 24th.

The ‘A’ team’s schedule have also been affected by the poor weather conditions and the team are next in action on Saturday 10th February when they visit Worle Reserves in the Attwell Shield cup competition; they then host Banwell ‘A’ in the Vardon Cup competition.   The ‘A’ team complete their February schedule with a league match at home to Uphill ‘A’

Cheddar Ladies were back in the action at the weekend, when they travelled to Pen Mill Reserves (Yeovil) on Sunday.

Ladies manager Russell Heal reports that his team were down to just nine available players whereas their opponents, Penn Mill had five substitutes and several first team players in their playing squad on the day.  Penn Mill opened the scoring on 8 minutes, but Jade Burton and Valerie Walsh put Cheddar Ladies 2-1 up before the break scoring on 18 and 29 minutes. There could well have been more goals for the Cheesegirls, but a couple of golden chances were missed and hitting the woodwork on a couple of occasions.   Cheddar Ladies dominated the first half and in the second half they missed further chances and allowed the home side to equalise.  Penn Mill took the lead as their first team players and constant flow of substitutes showed.

The home side then got a fourth goal which looked to be a poor decision from the match official as a Penn Mill striker charged down a goal-kick and scored as the player concerned should not have been in the penalty area although the official did not see that as an offence.  Valerie Walsh then got her second goal in the 90th minute to make the score 4-3 in favour of the home side but a battling Cheddar Ladies side continued to create chances in injury time but despite their valiant efforts couldn’t quite force an equaliser.  Overall this as a very good entertaining game but was ruined by a major error by the match official who appeared not to know the final score at the end of the game.

Cheddar Ladies move into fifth position in the Somerset Women’s League (Division Two) with 21 points from 13 games.  Their next scheduled match is away to Portishead Reserves on Sunday 25th February, kick-of 12.00 midday.

Final score:  Penn Mill Reserves   4   Cheddar Ladies   3

Away from the field of play, the Cheddar first team have launched an initiative for the donation of football boots for under-privileged children.    A club spokesman said “we are looking to donate football boots to children who for whatever reason cannot access a pair. All sizes would be most welcome” If anyone would wish to donate a pair of football boots, the club would be most grateful if they were taken to the football club at Bowdens Park and handed to a member of the club’s bar staff or a committee member.

The club are also to hold a ‘Horseracing night’ on Saturday evening 3rd March, starting at 7.30pm, to raise funds for the club. The club intends to publicise further information on both their ‘football boots donation’ initiative and the club’s ‘Horseracing night’ on this website ( and Facebook page soon.


Toolstation Western League (Division One) Match Report

Tuesday 30th January 2018


The Cheesemen went into Tuesday’s home clash with Warminster Town knowing that a victory by two clear goals would mean that they would leapfrog three teams and move into fourth place in the Toolstation Western League (Division One).

Doubtless that Cheddar manager Shaun Potter would have been unprepared for what was in the end a bizarre match which had seen a sending off and three bookings, three goals and an own-goal from the visitors and both managers being lectured more than once, before the first half had been completed.

The home side played for over an hour with ten-men but saw captain and centre-forward Adam Jones net twice in the last five minutes to give them that fourth place and a deserved three points.

For some reason, best known to the players, it appeared from the touchline that the sides and the benches had taken a dislike to each other from the start and with both managers not helping the situation with their behaviour towards all and sundry, referee Jack Clench had his hands full but didn’t panic and came out the other end intact.

For a while it represented the Theatre of Sleaze as opposed to ‘Cheese’ as no less than six players found their way into the referee’s notebook and in the end, it was Ross MacNab who overstepped the mark on 22 minutes and was shown a straight red card following an alteration with Town defender Kevin Shinn.

By then, Warminster had weathered an early home storm before, on five minutes, Henry McFerran nodded home Eben Mortimer-Taylor’s corner from close range for an early lead.  Warminster’s lead lasted barely three minutes as MacNab found room to blast home the equaliser past Nathan Ball.  Charlie Walton then brought a fine save out of home keeper Liam Kingston who must have gone perilously close to the man-of-the-match award but by then the arguments had begun and a caution each was exacerbated by a penalty appeal by Cheddar which went unanswered.   On 21 minutes, Robbi Maggs piercing crossfield ball and Shinn’s accuracy was unerring as he sliced the ball home to give Cheddar the lead.  Seconds later and MacNab was in the dressing room leaving his side to face more than an hour with ten men as Warminster upped the tempo and the temperature raised equally between the two sides.

Both Mortimer and Dyer were denied by Kingston then Walton shot wide before Mark Young drove towards goal and his effort was deflected for a corner by Danny Griffiths.

Kingston again kept out a Walton strike around the half-hour before the home side regrouped and the unusually quiet Ricky Bennett stung Ball’s goalkeeping gloves from distance.

Cheddar defender Joe Grant succumbed to a knock at the break and moments later Maggs joined him leaving another reshaping job for manager Potter, but the action continued, and Jones went close with the visitors appearing to tire and heads started to go down.

Further cautions followed around the hour mark in what in truth was never a dirty game whilst often niggly and far too vocal, but it was far from boring and Chris Coombs latched on to a stunning crossfield ball from Callum Ham but somehow Ball, in the Warminster goal kept out the winger’s effort from close range.

As the match closed out Warminster were still in with a shout but the ten-men of Cheddar by then had vastly changed in shape and personnel became stronger.  Adam Jones beat the Warminster offside trap to slot home from ten yards to give breathing space and a two-goal cushion.  Minutes later, the Cheddar centre-forward rubbed salt into Warminster’s open wound when he charged down Ball’s clearance as he scored a quality goal from an acute angle, taking his season’s league total to fifteen goals to complete a victory on the night when lesser referees could have caved in under the pressure but the fact that it was handshakes all round at full time displayed that common-sense had prevailed.

Man of the Match:  Adam Jones (Cheddar)

Match Sponsor:  Roosters Country Music Club (Cheddar)

Attendance:  79


Post-Match Interviews

Speaking to the club website after the match, Cheddar manager Shaun Potter said:

“I was really pleased with our performance tonight, I thought that we were superb form the first whistle, we controlled the game from the start and were unlucky to go behind against the run of play, we didn’t let that affect us though and equalised shortly afterwards, even after going down to ten men I thought that we controlled the game.  There are a lot of positives that we can take from tonight, we showed togetherness, strong character, great work rate and the ability to adapt to the conditions.  Hopefully we can have a run of games now and start getting some wins on the board.  We’re looking forward to welcoming Ashton & Backwell on Saturday (3rd February), it’s always a good competitive game and I’m sure that’s that this one won’t be any different  Our match tonight (against Warminster) was perfect for us to blow off the cobwebs and get a win on the board, the boys worked hard and showed some real quality despite the conditions, we will go into the match on Saturday looking to keep up the performance levels from our match tonight”

Cheddar team-captain Craig Mawford also added his thoughts on the match, as he too looks forward to the visit of Ashton and Backwell on Saturday:

“It felt very good to get back to playing again after such a long time without a game.  The pitch was not far from perfect, but credit must go to Russ (Russell Heal) for getting the game on. It was a pleasing result tonight and we showed great character after going down to ten-men and still dominating the game, and in all honesty, being quite comfortable.  At times we moved the ball nicely on an awkward surface, but a large part of tonight’s win was due to grit and desire. I thought that Danny and Besty worked well together and limited their (Warminster’s) chances.  Liam (when called upon) looked safe and secure and handled the ball well in testing conditions.   Adam looked a threat and scored two well taken goals. Stevie P (Stephen Pennington) will now be gutted because Jonah as now scored more than him this calendar year!  Saturday’s game (against Ashton & Backwell) will be a difficult one and we are hopeful of a positive result.  It’s one game at a time though and we’ll see where we end up at the end of the year”

    Weekend Preview – For Saturday 3rd February 2018

Cheddar are back in Toolstation Western League (Division One) action on Saturday (3rd February) in a match kindly sponsored by Loud Alarms, when they face their second home game in four days, taking on 19th placed Ashton & Backwell at Bowdens Park, kick off 3pm.  Although Ashton and Backwell lie just three placed off the bottom, games with the ‘Stags’ are notoriously full-blooded affairs, and Ashton & Backwell are always a tough prospect, no-matter their league position.  Earlier this season they inflicted a defeat in their home fixture against the Cheesemen, winning by a single-goal in September.  Last season, the Cheesemen suffered a 4-2 defeat at the Lancer Scott Stadium and won the corresponding fixture at Bowdens Park scoring a late winner in their 2-1 win.  The Cheesemen’s best performance against Ashton & Backwell in recent seasons was our 3-1 win at a drenched Lancer Scott Stadium in late November 2015 with a superb treble of outstanding goals from Mason Gardener, Craig Mawford and Callum Ham.  United won their first game in eight when they beat bottom club Portishead Town 1-0 on Tuesday night, which probably has given them a huge lift, after losing four and drawing three of their last seven games, their last win (before Tuesday) being their 2-0 victory over Bristol Telephones on 25th November.  Prior to Tuesday night’s win, the ‘Stags’ had drawn (1-1) at home to Chard, and prior to that they lost two successive home games to Oldland Abbotonians (0-1) and Corsham Town (0-2).  On the player injuries front, Robbi Maggs. Joe Grant and Ricky Bennett all suffered knocks against Warminster on Tuesday night, but manager Shaun Potter is understood to be giving all three players fitness tests and hopes to include them in his squad on Saturday.  

As at the time of writing this ‘website-release’ (11pm Thursday evening, 1st February) we are unsure of Ross MacNab’s fate regarding his (possible) suspension because of his sending off on Tuesday night but will keep our supporters advised via our Facebook page.

Looking ahead, the Cheesemen are back in action at Bishop Sutton’s Lakeview stadium on Tuesday night (6th February), kick off 7.30pm

Both Cheddar Reserves and Cheddar ‘A’ team are without a game this weekend, but are both back in league (and cup) action next weekend (10th February)

Cheesemen face fixture pile up as the weather continues to disrupt the league programme

Cheesemen face fixture pile up as the weather continues to disrupt the league programme as manager Shaun Potter and team captain Craig Mawford speak to the website

Cheddar faced further disruption to their league programme at the weekend when their match at Malmebury Victoria fell victim of the weather conditions that appear to have dilapidated the Toolstation Western League’s fixture list since prior to Christmas.  Cheddar themselves have played just the one match since Christmas (when they played out an entertaining 3-3 draw with visitors Radstock) and now face the difficult prospect of an extremely busy catch up period between now and the season’s end in April.   The club are due to play at home tomorrow night (Tuesday 30th January) with further games following in quick succession when they are scheduled to play near neighbours Ashton and Backwell on Saturday (3rd February) followed by a local derby rearrangement at Bishop Sutton. A further home game follows on Saturday week (10th February) against Chippenham Park, then it is an away match (at Portishead) on Saturday 17th February, before a further midweek home game on Tuesday 20th February, where Sherborne Town are the visitors.  On Saturday 24th February the Cheesemen faced the difficult prospect of a visit to league leaders Keynsham Town before rounding off a very busy month with a long trek to Wiltshire to face Devizes Town on Tuesday 27.  Saturday’s latest postponement (at Malmesbury) has been rearranged for Tuesday 10th April, meaning a further long midweek journey for the Cheesemen.

A frustrated manager, Shaun Potter speaking with the club’s website at the weekend said:

“It’s a frustrating time at the moment for everyone, it’s all very stop-start and it’s tough to prepare with the expectation that gams will be postponed.  We are desperate to get a run of games and get some consistency back, we play Warminster on Tuesday at home, we have played them twice this season already so know a little bit about them as they do us.  We were very good in the league game against them, but we experimented a little bit in the second [Les Phillips Cup] game with personnel and formation and we were beaten.  Hopefully the weather will hold off and the pitch will be ok for Tuesday (and indeed for Saturday); anymore postponements and I think that we will be playing every day of the week come April to get the games in”

Team captain Craig Mawford added:

“It has been a frustrating time due to the lack of games this month.  I thought that the last game we played at home to Radstock we grounded out a result in difficult conditions.  We did however let ourselves down that day as we should never be going into a game 2-0 up then throwing it away.  It took character from the lads and that gives us something to push forward with in the next game. As a unit we need to take responsibility particularly during the set of games that will be coming thick and fast due to the postponements.  We need to accept that in the conditions we may need to address some of decision making and adapt where appropriate.  We have made a few errors over the past fixtures that have cost us games. We have to make sure that this does not happen again and be willing to respond better when mistakes occur and ensure we recover so that the mistakes do not get punished so severely.  It will be good to get playing again tomorrow (Tuesday) and we are fortunate that it is a home game to get ourselves hopefully back on track.  Saturday’s game (against Ashton and Backwell) will be difficult too as they are always tricky opponents, and we are well aware that it will be a fight to get a result. With the volume of games that we will have in such a short space of time it is good to have largely the full squad to pick from and allowing ourselves the opportunity to rotate where possible to keep things fresh.  Ross (McNab) has done very well since coming in playing alongside Jonah (Adam Jones) I don’t think is a positive experience for opposing defenders.  The manager (Shaun Potter) again needs to take credit for the way in which he is preparing the lads and the errors with results have been solely player responsibility and is something which we need to put right.  I want to thank everyone that has been turning out for the games and fingers crossed, we can start to string some results together again and have a good go for the remainder of the season”

Meanwhile, Cheddar Reserves match at home to Chew Magna on Saturday was again called off, and has been re-arranged for Wednesday 11th April, kick off 7.45pm.

A pitch inspection has been arranged for Tuesday morning (30th January) to determine whether that evening game against Warminster Town goes ahead.  Kick off is scheduled for 7.45pm.