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.


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”!



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


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).






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.


Toolstation Western League Division One Match Report

Saturday 25th November 2017



Cheddar’s Callum Ham was the talk of the Westbury’s Meadow Lane ground as his superb second half brace brought back full points for the Cheesemen on Saturday.  

Interestingly, Ham who had left the club in close season to seek his fortune with Bridgwater Town and latterly Oldland Abbotonians, only returned to the Bowdens Park some 24 hours prior to the game so his strikes were dually rewarding.

The thought of facing the league leaders on their own ground was no easy prospect and the match had been billed as the ‘game of the day’ by the regional press, the home side still smarting from their elimination from the League cup the previous weekend, and had voiced determination to get their season back on track at the expense of their challenging visitors.

True enough the first half saw the home side force the pace, but to the credit of both teams, who showed obvious respect for one another, the game took some 30 minutes or so to settle down as neither side forced real chances of any note, despite United forcing six first half corners and several free-kicks, for which Westbury have gained notoriety this season although to their credit, the visitors defence were equal to the threat of the league leaders.   

As the game levelled into more of pattern, the home side thought they had taken the lead on 21 minutes as Jordan Pinder headed home from a corner kick, but an alert match official Ali Francis noticed an infringement on goalkeeper Liam Kingston and the effort was disallowed.  

The visitors themselves were unlucky not to take the lead on 40 minutes, as Craig’s Mawford’s thunderous 25-yard free kick headed towards the top left-hand corner of the goal, but his effort was acrobatically tipped over the cross bar by Lewis Porter, in the Westbury goal.

In a controversial looking incident as the minutes ticked away to half-time, centre-forward Adam Jones appeared to be the victim of a so-called professional foul as the all-action striker was laid prostrate on the floor following a challenge form Westbury central-defender and ‘skipper Dan Price, but the Cheddar captain, despite looking dazed quickly resumed his all-action to the contest between two of the league’s undoubted heavyweights this term.

Following a first 45-minute spell noticeably dominated by both defences, the game opened out to a degree in the second half and Cheddar began to force the pace, forcing a succession of corners themselves as indeed the home side had done in the first half.   

Largely, the Westbury defence held firm but on the hour mark came a further controversial incident, again with Cheddar’s front man Adam Jones at the centre of the action.   

The Cheesemen were gaining overall control at this stage, and this clearly frustrated the home side but as Jones, fed by an imperious Ricky Bennett, dashed through he was pulled back by the Westbury centre back, who only received a caution for his efforts, despite appearing to be the last man, to loud hails of derision by the Cheddar travelling faithful.

The boggy, leg sapping conditions were naturally taking their toll on both sets of players, and sensibly, Cheddar manager Shaun Potter introduced substitutes on the hour mark, with new signings Shaun Lambert and Callum Ham being introduced in relatively quick succession.  

There is little doubt that these tactical switches changed the course of the game.  Within five minutes of the introduction of Ham, the visitors were in the lead.

Darting about with sublime energy, Ham was causing mayhem to the Westbury rear-guard and the diminutive winger/striker dashed into the penalty box to finish off a glorious Chris Coombs cross from eight yards on 73 minutes.

Then, just six minutes later came the moment that will be talked about for some time.   

Westbury’s Steve Hulbert strongly headed away Bennett’s corner as the visitors went in search of a further goal, but Ham was first to react.

Despite being closely monitored by two Westbury players, Cheddar’s latest signing, superbly pivoted his body, creating space for himself and from all of 40-yards struck the sweetest of volley’s that rocketed past the Westbury ‘keeper, sparking wild celebrations in and around the Cheddar bench.  

This was quite simply an amazing strike and will be a candidate for goal of the season at any level!

With 15 minutes remaining Cheddar introduced lengthy injury victim Jake Harris, replacing the tiring Robbi Maggs, who himself had played his full part in Cheddar’s display throughout the afternoon. Combining with Jones and Coombs the former Weston super Mare striker was most unlucky with a stinging 18-yard drive that skimmed the upright.   Ham who had formed an immediate telepathic understanding with Jones was close to completing his hat-trick on 80 minutes; Jones intelligent crossfield pass finding his co-striker, but Ham’s goal bound effort fizzed just wide of the woodwork.

The league leaders, understandably not used to being on the ‘receiving end’ such has been their form this season, finished the game strongly but Cheddar’s young goalkeeper Liam Kingston coped well with all of Westbury’s efforts and was well protected by centre backs Danny Griffiths and Nathan Best, who were all at their very best throughout the afternoon, as they survived a late onslaught to record a momentous victory.

Man, of the match:  Nathan Best (Cheddar)

Cheddar manager, Shaun Potter summing his thoughts on the game to the club’s website, said: “What a result!  I couldn’t be happier with the way the lads performed.

“It’s not an easy place to go, they (Westbury) have been top for most of the season, they have big budget, the pitch didn’t suit us, but we were outstanding, we never looked like losing the game and I thought that we controlled the game from the first whistle, all 14 players put in a shift and we showed that on our day, we are the best side in this league.

“We worked hard, were patient and got our rewards.  

“The lads are showing unbelievable character, to maintain performances like this, week in, week out and it’s what makes winners.  

“I’m excited about the group we have at the moment and I’m looking forward to see what we can do this season, we’ve got a tough December, but we are all focussed on the challenge and are ready for it.”

Two members of the team who made the headlines on Saturday, spoke with the website, firstly new signing Callum Ham“It was always going to be a tough game. Westbury aren’t top of the league by coincidence however I thought that we conducted ourselves perfectly right from the warm up all the way to the final whistle.

“They (Westbury) didn’t really looking threatening going forward, personally I thought that they got men behind the ball and to be fair to them they were hard to break down.  

“The way we (Cheddar) play is to get the ball down and play it out from the back.  We had to adapt due to pitch conditions and playing conditions were tough.  

“As a team we were solid defensively and good going forward.

“The first goal was a great cross by Chris Coombs and Adam (Jones) cleverly left the ball for the goal to be gaping; the second, well, I will never hit a ball like that ever again.

“I guess that Westbury is just the ground for me, but with that aside the feeling around the changing room and around the club is truly impressive and we are a SQUAD, not individual players and I am sure that we will do well this season and need to keep focussed and I am sure that we will get our reward come the end of the season.”

Next to give his thoughts was man-of-the-match Nathan Best: “I’m delighted with the result today, beating the top of the table side.  The lads showed real grit and tenacity but most of all it was a great team performance.

“We look a lot more solid as a defensive unit and getting Callum Ham back gives us something extra which he showed when he came on. Long may this winning run continue”.

Additionally, the Cheesemen’s performance at Westbury achieved the ‘Team of the Day’ accolade from regional newspaper ‘The Sunday Independent’

Weekend Review – 25/26 November

Elsewhere on Saturday last, the Reserve team put together, arguably one of their finest displays of the season, at Radstock; here is Andy Wallis’s match summary:

Cheddar Reserves showed that they have strength in depth with five players out and backed up last weekend’s win at home to high flying Banwell to secure a second successive win away from home against second place Radstock Town Reserves.  

A superb curling strike on 20 minutes from Anthony Cleave gave Cheddar an early advantage.  

Radstock pegged Cheddar back on the hour but Harry Hughes got his second winner in two weeks, his determination getting the better of the Radstock backline and goalkeeper to secure all three points.  

Manager Andy Wallis commented: “This was a huge performance from the lads, given that we were missing key players.

“The lads stepped up and weren’t phased against a Radstock team who had suffered only one defeat all season.   I thought that we were the better team for most of the and showed not only belief but rea grit and determination.   There were some great performances out there today and I thought that youngsters Ollie Hucker and Jay Murray deserved their joint man-of-the-match accolade.

“Ollie had a great first half and Jay was very assured at full back. We need to build on these two great results and get a run going.” 

Meanwhile, also on Saturday, the ‘A’ team were beaten 3-1 at Congresbury although new signing Cameron Gray scored Cheddar’s goal.  

And on Sunday, Cheddar Ladies hosted Yeovil Intermediate in the Somerset Women’s League Cup competition.  

It was a difficult afternoon to endure for the Cheese girls against a top-class team which included international players, and it was definitely a learning curve for our Ladies.  

The final score, Cheddar Ladies 0 Yeovil Intermediate 15. 

A look forward to the weekend

Cheddar first team who have now recorded ten straight wins, this season and after consecutive away trips to Wiltshire in the past fortnight, then host old-adversaries Oldland Abbotonians on Saturday (2nd December) kick off 3pm, in what is sure to be a further test of character for the fourth place Cheesemen.

The Reserve team travel away to Chew Magna (kick off 2pm) looking for their third successive win and the ‘A’ team travel away to Uphill Castle, with a 1.30pm kick off.  On Sunday (3rd December) Cheddar Ladies travel to Welton Rovers where they are to be hosted by Purnell Sports.