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 (www.Facebook.com/CheddarFootballClub). 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).
WE WISH ALL CLUB MEMBERS, PLAYERS OF ALL FIVE TEAMS, TEAM MANAGEMENT AND OF COURSE YOUR FAMILIES, A VERY HAPPY, PROSPEROUS, AND SUCCESSFUL 2018