Cheesemen exit FA Vase competition as they enter a crucial week

Press Report Cheddar Football Club – Sunday 10th September 2017

FA Vase First Qualifying Round match report

Cheesemen exit FA Vase competition as they enter a crucial week

Cheddar 1 Radstock Town 3

The Cheesemen exited both FA competitions this season with a 3-1 defeat against old adversaries Radstock Town in the FA Vase (First Qualifying Round) at Bowdens Park on Saturday, their opponents relatively simple long ball, and occasional ‘delaying’ tactics proving to be just a step two far for the Bowdens Park club as Town took full advantage of just four goal scoring opportunities, scoring three times against this Cheddar side who are finding that converting chances is not currently going as they would wish, and their rhythm appears to be have been badly effected with the absences from the squad of injury victims George Booth, Adam Jones, Chris Coombs, Tom Manning and Lewis Matthews together with the suspended Robbi Maggs.

Cheddar’s visitors made their intentions clear direct from the kick-off, Jack Witcombe’s effort hitting the upright as he quickly latched-on to Josh Howe’s swerving free kick.

 Radstock appeared to settle quicker than their hosts for whom their opening play appeared a little jittery, perhaps understandably, following four successive defeats.

On 10 minutes, however a great run from home winger Dean Grubb, was nearly converted by Danny Griffiths, visitors ‘keeper Murley getting down at his near post to save well at the second attempt but then within a minute, the visitors were ahead.  

Morgan Skipp seizing on a defensive mistake and shooting home from a tight angle despite the valiant efforts of Nathan Best to clear the ball from under the crossbar.

With 17 minutes gone, Cheddar’s new signing Jake Harris, quickly finding space evaded his marker and sent in a stinging 20-yard shot which brought off an acrobatic save from Murley, the Radstock ‘keeper doing well to turn the ball over the crossbar.

Cheddar must have thought their luck had deserted them completely as on 19 minutes they found themselves two goals behind and with a mountain to club to get back into the game.

 Josh Witcombe, without doubt Radstock’s most effective player won his battle against a retreating Cheddar midfield combination and threaded a superb diagonal ball that on another day should really have been forcibly cleared by the home defence and James Rustell was on hand to rifle the ball home between two Cheddar defenders, to put the visitors two goals to the good.

Sam King’s surging run from defence on 24 minutes almost paid dividends for the home as his intelligent crossfield pass found Harris, but although the burly centre-forward’s effort was on target and beat the keeper, the ball skimmed the crossbar and landed on the roof-netting.  A minute later Harris had a further effort but his shot fizzed just wide of the woodwork.

On the half hour, Harris was again in the thick of the action, bursting past two defenders but his shot clipped the outside of the upright.  

The former Newport County striker was left cursing his luck again after his 22-yard effort, from Dean Grubb’s wonderfully weighted cross as he headed just over.

The Cheesemen two goals down at the interval altered their formation and playing Sam King in a more advanced role in an attempt to get back into the match, but it was again Radstock who were to add to their score with a third goal, emanating from slack marking at the back being their downfall, two defenders ought to have cleared the danger before Jack Witcombe was allowed  to run in blindly from the outside left  channel to stab home at the near post, frankly giving ‘keeper Kingston no chance.

Ricky Bennett reduced the arrears for Cheddar on 67 minutes with a precision spot kick, after Anthony Cleave had been bundled over in the box.   

 In the final quarter of the match, Cheddar laid siege to the Radstock goalmouth, with the hosts forcing three corners and quality free kicks, all well executed by man of the match Bennett, together with some ferocious throws by substitute Joe Grant, but it was to be no avail, as scoring just at the moment as well as a lack of concentration at the back on occasions, appears not to be the team’s best attributes as they search for their first win since beating Roman Glass on 19th August.   

 In the dying minutes, Danny Griffiths smart header, from a Bennett corner, summed up their day as his effort cannoned back into play from the woodwork.

Man of the match:  Ricky Bennett

Match Sponsor: Mr Tim Lamb, Managing Director McDonald’s Restaurant’s (Somerset)

Cheddar who currently share bottom position in the league with Corsham Town, face the Wiltshire side at home on Saturday (16th September) but face a potentially difficult encounter at Sherborne Town on Wednesday night (13th September) (kick-off: 7.30pm) when they face the third bottom Dorset side at their Terrace Playing Field ground.

Speaking after the match on Saturday, Cheddar’s caretaker manager Shaun Potter, who replaced former manager Jared Greenhalgh in midweek, said: “Overall there were a lot of positives we can take from the game, I thought that we applied ourselves very well, the players attitudes were superb, we showed character after conceding two early goals to come back to dominate the rest of the game in my opinion.

“We’ve hit the bar twice, the post twice, had one cleared off the line, but sometimes I guess it’s just not your day.

“I couldn’t have asked for anymore from the lads, we stuck to our principles and played some lovely stuff, and on another day, we will win that game four or five nothing.  

“We have had a few tough weeks but today shows me that we are coming out the other side and I’m excited to take this performance into Wednesdays game at Sherborne.”

In other news, Cheddar Football Club have announced a further agreement this season for the first team to be sponsored by Wyke Farms Ltd, the deal of which was formally agreed at Wyke Farms headquarters at Bruton early last week.   

In a joint statement, a club spokesman said: “We are delighted to have secured this agreement with Wyke Farms for a third successive season and are delighted that such a leading company wish to be associated with ourselves as we move forward on many matters of the field as well as continuing to build on our successes on the field of play.”

Cheesemen’s FA Cup dream over but go down fighting

There was no FA Cup romance for the Cheesemen as they were beaten at the first hurdle by Toolstation Premier League side Willand Rovers

In an enthralling match, watched by an impressive and noisy 173 crowd, the game was evenly balanced until the last 13 minutes as he visitors struck twice in the closing stages, Rovers former Barnstaple Town striker James Blake netting both goals.

Earlier, with just five minutes played, the visitors were unlucky not to take the lead, Joe Curtis’s goal bound shot from 10 yards being brilliantly and acrobatically tipped round the post by ‘keeper Kieran Webster, a save of pure class!

After 15 minutes home winger Chris Coombs found Adam Jones who shot wide.  

A further Willand chance engineered by the tricky left-wing back Luke Alden was driven wide by Luke Mortimer when it seemed easier to score, then minutes later at the other end, Danny Griffiths just failed to connect at the far post as Ricky Bennett’s free kick skidded into the danger area.

The match ebbed and flowed throughout the first half as both teams gave nothing away in their battle for midfield supremacy but with less than ten minutes gone in the second half, a spectacular Craig Mawford 35-yard free kick drew loud gasps from the crowd as visiting ‘keeper Mike Searle propelled himself through the air to pluck Mawford’s stinging drive to safety, and then on 55 minutes ‘Rovers centre forward Blake, in space, headed just over despite the close attention of Cheddar’s new signing Nathan Blake.

With an hour gone, Jones again marauding forward for the ‘Cheese’, the big striker hit a curling shot just wide after he had linked well with fellow striker Robbi Maggs.

This pulsating cup tie was to change in pace just minutes as Ricky Bennett was sent off for receiving two cautions in the space of less than three minutes, sparking terrace talk that an FA cup hoodoo was to affect the ‘Cheese’ for the second time in two seasons, having had a player sent off in the Extra Preliminary Round replay of the same competition last season.

The sending off had an obvious effect on the home side as they reorganised themselves, as the normal lethal Adam Jones was obviously feeling the effects of a heavy cold although Kristian Bell and new signing Scott Holland did exceptionally well to get themselves into the pace of the game very quickly, but the visitors were handed something of a fortuitous lead on 77 minutes.

 Brad Ansden’s chip into the Cheddar box connected with defender Lewis Matthews head and flew on to the angle of the crossbar and upright, and the situation gave ‘keeper Webster little or no chance as Blake dashed in to force the ball over the line for an opportunist goal to open the scoring for Willand.

The home side had a wonderful chance to equalise with 10 minutes remaining as Chris Coombs free kick from wide left, after George Booth had been hauled down by a Willand defender, evaded the complete visitors defence and was missed by a hairs-breath as both Maggs and Griffiths ran in to prod the ball home.

Further drama occurred on 85 minutes as Cheddar talisman and inspirational captain George Booth fell badly following a collision and was taken to hospital with a serious looking injury as play was held up for a good five minutes.

With minutes remaining on the referee’s watch, Willand Rovers secured a home tie in the next round against Southern League side Bristol Manor Farm, Blake finishing well from close range injury time from Jason Kennard’s measured cross.

Despite exiting the FA cup at the first stage for the second successive season, Cheddar can hold their heads high after this brave and battling performance, as they competed on equal footing for long periods with their visitors who finished in sixth position in the Toolstation Premier Division last season.

Manager Jared Greenhalgh said: “Today’s game held a range of emotions. Pride in the way we acquit td ourselves against a top six team from the Prem; disappointment that we didn’t take our chances, and frustration over the lack of consistency by the officials which ultimately played a huge factor in the outcome of the game.

“Firstly, on the decisions, Ricky’s (Bennett) tackle was a clear yellow card however the second yellow was a soft (and in my opinion) never a yellow card offence, the referee was berated by four Willand players (and in my opinion) succumbed under pressure.   

“However, we talk a lot about giving the ‘ref’ a decision to make and that that is exactly what Ricky did.

“It was a disappointment for Ricky whose work rate prior to the bookings was of the highest order, as was the rest of the team.

“What is frustrating is at one nothing down, the Willand number six, after seven or eight fouls eventually got a yellow card, thirty seconds later he practically rugby tacked George (Booth) preventing him entering the penalty area, no yellow.

“I spoke to a watching official after the game and here lies my frustration with referees and their ‘committees’, the consensus was, ‘he had a good game’, apart from he should have sent off the Willand number six’.  

“In my opinion, this was the one decision he needed to get correct and he didn’t and I say that because the whole dynamic of the game would have changed if he had made the correct decision.  

“At one-nil down, if he had sent the six off with fifteen to go, Willand would have sat on that lead, and the momentum shift would have led I believe to a lot more chances for us, instead with a man advantage.  

“Willand were able to thwart and counter.

“Refereeing decisions don’t decide games, but they have a huge bearing on the direction of momentum and ultimately the tactics employed.  

“On to the game, I thought it gave us an insight on where we have to improve to get into the next division’s top halve.  

“Willand were well organised and played areas football, thirty-yard clips into areas, playing off a strong front two, with a combative midfield and in particular a strong left wing.  

“I thought we didn’t have the opportunity to dictate the game and this was mainly due to the high well drilled press.  

“We needed to adapt quicker to overcome this and first half hour I think we struggled to do this.  After that, using the pace and a little more direct play I think we pushed Willand back and it was pretty attritional come half time.

“Kieran (Webster) made one outstanding save in the first half but on chances, I think we had two or three very good opportunities.  

“Ricky’s sending off obviously changed things but I still thought we competed very well, and our misfortune for their first goal was undeserved.  

“Still we committed to the task and were literally an inch from Danny (Griffiths) equalising.  The second goal was just due to us throwing all we could forward.

“I was really proud of the commitment of the squad and the desire to compete with probably one of the strongest sides I’ve seen to visit Cheddar.  

“I thought that Willand weren’t a side I would want to watch, but they certainly were well organised and football smart and used this to their advantage.  

“I am sure we will have a successful campaign if we continue with the desire and commitment we showed today.  

“On George’s (Booth) condition, I will know later this week.  I hope it’s a short-term injury and he is back on his feet as soon as possible.  

“Thank you to the fans for their support and I hope to see everyone visiting regularly this season.”

Cheddar start their league season on Saturday (12th August) with a visit to Oldland Abbotonians (kick off; 3pm) and host Welton Rovers for their first home league game on Tuesday (15th August) kick-off: 7.45pm.

Cheddar Reserves play Burnham United in their first home game of the season on Saturday (12th August) at Bowdens Park, kick-off: 3pm. .

Match report – FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round Replay, August 9, 2016

Cheddar 2 Bodmin Town 3 (After Extra Time)

Cruel luck and injustices are clichés often used in football, but these are exactly the terms that can be associated to Cheddar’s exit from the FA Cup. Roared on by a record 360 plus fervent crowd that would not be out of place in a stadium far above that of the Western League, the hosts can and must hold their heads high following this tumultuous match at Bowdens Park.

Following Saturday’s match at Bodmin, which ended in a 2-2 draw, the opening exchanges of last night’s match were no place for the lesser spirited, with crunching tackles flying in as both sides fought for supremacy.

Down to 10 men


Having inspirational captain George Booth sent off for a technical offence just on the stroke of half time gave the hosts something of an uphill climb to contend with as the second half spun into action The Cheesemen reduced to ten men, battled incredibly well to keep the Peninsular League champions at bay, with defenders Craig Mawford and Lewis Matthews overlapping at will, and centre-back pairing Sam King and Shaun Lambert in imperious form, as the ebb and flow of the game continued at a punishing pace, Ricky Bennett was also getting through a colossal amount of work linking between defence and midfield.

For a team who won all four domestic trophies within their league, the visitors finishing was poor to say the least, and Cheddar goalkeeper Mike Dangerfield positioned himself incredibly well to thwart the big Bodmin front line on at least two occasions before the Cornish side went ahead with just 15 minutes remaining, Lance Bailey lobbing the home keeper from 25 yards.

Not giving up

Within two minutes of the restart Cheddar had drawn level, Mason Gardener closed down Bodmin keeper’s ill judged clearance which rebounded from his knee and flew into the net.

Minutes later Craig Mawford hit a stunning 25 yard free kick which was pushed on to the post by ‘keeper then rebounding off his body and rolling agonisingly across the goal line before being cleared to safety. On the stroke of full time, Callum Ham sped into the box only to be cruelly upended, only for the penalty claims to be waved away by the referee, despite loud protests.

“This is the level we need to aspire to for the season ahead, the level of intensity and commitment from the team tonight was incredible and I am very proud of the boys” – Andy Wallis

In the eleventh minute of extra time, Bodmin went ahead, Darren Jennings headed home from close range, causing the visitors to celebrate as though the game was won, but the Cheesemen are made of stronger stuff and refused to throw in the towel and in injury time at the end of first period, Shaun Lambert powered in a header following Ricky Bennett’s delightful free-kick to send Bowdens Park into raptures.

Five minutes into the second period and Bodmin added to their tally, Nick Milton broke Cheddar’s hearts, or so it seemed, volleying into the net at the far post.

The final moments


In the final minute of the match, as the home side threw everything at their visitors in search of a late equaliser, Joe Grant was wrestled to the floor in the 18 yard box, the assistant referee signalling for penalty kick, but the referee for the second time refusing to award a spot kick, much to the disgust of the fervent support.

Cheddar caretaker manager Andy Wallis speaking after the match said: “I am absolutely gutted for the players, supporters and everyone involved with the club. We could not have asked for more from the players.

“This is the level we need to aspire to for the season ahead, the level of intensity and commitment from the team tonight was incredible and I am very proud of the boys.”

Man of the Match for Lewis Matthews
Man of the Match for Lewis Matthews

Presentation by match sponsors


Tarnock Garage sponsor Cheddar v Bodmin Town FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round match

Cheddar will play host tonight to Bodmin Town at  Bowdens Park for the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round after the teams drew 2-2 on Saturday.

Kick off is at 7.45pm.

Cheddar Football Club were featured on the Jo Whiley Show on BBC Radio 2 on Monday August 8, where she wished Cheddar “the very best of luck in our FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round Replay”.

This morning further contact has been made with BBC Radio 2 and TALKsport where it is hoped that we will receive further national publicity.

Gates open tonight at 6.15pm. It is advised you arrive early as it is expected to draw in a large crowd.

Thank you to Tarnock Garage who are sponsoring this match.

Please support our sponsors.

Tarnock Garage

Tarnock Garage

Match Report – FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round, August 6 2016

FA Cup games are notorious for being cut and thrust affairs, but this was game was a game to keep all the spectators in the 112 crowd perched on their edge of their seats throughout the match such was the pulsating level of entertainment on offer!

The Cheesemen had travelled to Bodmin’s tidy Priory Park ground, very much the underdogs against the highly fancied home side fresh from winning the ‘treble’ last season of the Carlsberg South West Peninsular League, League Cup, and Cornwall Senior Cup, but the visitors buoyed by a vociferous travelling support that amounted to at least half to the days attendance, were in no mood to be canon fodder for their high flying opponents and matched them for guile and enterprise right from the kick off; Chris Coombs pace paying dividends for the visitors his darting runs often penetrating deep into the home side’s final third. Equally, the home side had not achieved their impressive array of honours last season by chance and their direct style often required Cheddar’s twin centre back pairing of Shaun Lambert and Sam King to be at their best against former Southern League strikers Adam Carter and Steve Bowker, and Cheddar ‘keeper Kieran Webster was invariably comfortable between the sticks.

The visitors were desperately unlucky not to take a deserved lead on 28 minute; the energetic Lewis Matthews hitting a rasping drive against the upright from 12 yards, Mason Gardener following up from close range to hit home, only to be thwarted by a linesman’s offside dubious offside flag.

Cheddar scores
Cheddar scores

Cheddar forced a minimum of six corners in the opening 45 minutes and despite the direct manner of Bodmin’s football, even some of the home fans admitted that the visitors were playing the more fluent football as befitted their technical play.

The match opened up even further in the second half, with every single Cheddar player performing to the highest level. Robbi Maggs continued to engineer much of the play in the opposition’s final third, bringing his colleagues into the game with some deft touches and intelligent lay offs. From such industry used by the fervent attacks adopted by the visitors, the Cheesemen deservedly went ahead on 64 minutes, Chris Coombs hitting a fierce drive past the despairing keeper following further excellent work by Maggs down the inside left channel. Nine minutes later and Cheddar went further ahead; an impressive Maggs – Coombs combination move found Tom Manning in space and his deceptive lay off found the on-running Craig Mawford, surging forward like an express train and his thirty yard follow literally sailed past the despairing dive of Kyle Moore, sending the travelling Cheddar contingent wild with delight.

With just eight minutes remaining the home side were awarded a fortuous free kick on the edge of the 18 yard box, following a suspect looking dive, defender Karl Baker sending his dead ball kick just wide of ‘keeper Kieran Webster outstretched right hand. Minutes later, Webster had to receive lengthy treatment from physio Sophie Jones, following a nasty and unjust looking barge from two Town players, but bravely the ‘keeper continued.

As the referee looked at his watch in the dying seconds, and from an unusually misplaced ball, the home side reacted the quickest, and Robbie Bowker’s right wing cross found Dan Jennings who netted from close range to send his team mates into raptures, rescuing and unlikely draw.

Tesco’s (Cheddar) man of the match was Craig Mawford.

The match will now be replayed at Cheddar’s Bowdens Park on Tuesday 9th August, kick off: 7.45pm.

Celebrations as Cheddar scores
Celebrations as Cheddar scores

Captain George Booth said: “We played very well and did extremely well both on and off the ball. It’s a shame that we couldn’t hold on to our lead for the last 10 minutes or so, but let’s not take anything away from the lads, who gave absolutely everything this afternoon. A massive thank you to all the lads who travelled down to watch us today, it was a great atmosphere. We know what we have to do for the replay and we’ll be ready to go again”

Defender Sam King said: “We did really well to go 2-0 before the game ended all square; but we’re aware of what we need to do in the replay and we’ll be doing all we can to get the result we need”

Defender (& man of the match) Craig Mawford said: “Overall it was very positive day. We’re a little disappointed that we haven’t come away with a win after playing so well today but hopefully it will be a positive result in our favour on Tuesday and we know what we have to do. The atmosphere was brilliant today from the Cheddar fans; I’ve never played in such a noisy and passionate group of supporters and all the players are very grateful for the support today, it was brilliant”

Caretaker Manger Andy Wallis said: “Coming down to Bodmin today we knew we were up against it against very strong opposition but to in at half time 0-0 gave us a lift. It was good to go into the second half and go two goals with two very good strikes. It was a little disappointing to concede two late goals, but again let’s not take anything away from a brilliant performance and the lads played a blinder today. We know what we have to do on Tuesday and we’ll be doing our very best to finish off the job at Bowdens and move into the next round.”

FA Cup News – Cheddar AFC Pre-match comment

The Cheesemen are to make the 250 mile round trip to play Bodmin Town Football Club in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round tomorrow, Saturday 6th August 2016, being the first time ever in both the 125 years history of Cheddar Football Club and probably in the 9,000 or so years that Cheddar was first formed!

The Cheddar Cheesemen

The Cheddar 17-man Cheddar squad travelling to Bodmin is to consist of Michael Dangerfield, Kieran Webster, Craig Mawford, Lewis Matthews, George Booth (capt), Danny Griffiths, Shaun Lambert, Chris Coombs, Ricky Bennett, Mason Gardener, Tom Manning, Sam King, Billy Vaughan, Callum Ham, Joe Grant and Kristian Bell.

Speaking to the Cheddar Football Club website earlier this evening; manager Jared Greenhalgh said:

“The lads need to clear their minds, focus on their individual responsibilities and believe that they can succeed. They have all the tools and they need to put these together collectively and consistently for 90 minutes. If they do that they will run Bodmin very close”.

Cheddar Football Club are extremely grateful to Tesco’s (Cheddar) for very kindly donating sports drinks and water for the players, to Sainsbury (Cheddar) for kindly donating Jaffa cakes and post match snacks for the players and to Dave at Arien signs for donating the Cheddar FC ‘team coach’ sign.

Let’s get behind the lads and cheer them on to victory tomorrow!

In the event of tomorrow’s match ending in a draw after 90 minutes tomorrow, the replay will take place at Bowdens Park, Cheddar on Tuesday next 9th August 2016, kick off is at 7.45 pm.