TITLE-CHASING Chard Town face a crunch spell over the Christmas and New Year period in their battle for promotion.

Chard, who are currently second in the Toolstation Western League and enjoyed a 3-0 success at Devizes Town on Saturday, are back on home turf this weekend when they play host Calne Town in a 3pm kick-off.

Sherborne Town are the visitors to Zembard Lane on Boxing Day (Wednesday, December 26) in a 12.30pm kick-off — a game which will see all children aged under-16 admitted free of charge.

Chard Town play host to Corsham Town at 3pm on Saturday, December 29, and then visit Elmore on Tuesday, January 1, also with a 3pm kick-off.

The hectic festive schedule comes with manager Nick Flory now back in the dugout following his spell away from the club while his young son, Isaac, spent months in hospital in Bristol receiving treatment for leukaemia.

Now Flory, with his son back at home and in remission, is hoping to carry on the excellent work started by assistant manager Adam Fricker during his absence.

Flory said he was hoping that news of Isaac’s return will hopefully be a real boost for the team.

“I can’t put into words what it has meant having the support of everyone at the club while Isaac has been in hospital,” he said.

“Hopefully having Isaac back home now after a living nightmare for him will will spur the lads on and have a successful season.”

Flory, who was at Zembard Lane with his family last Tuesday night for the official switching-on of the club’s new floodlights — see page three — said that he has been delighted with the way Chard have performed and progressed while he has been away.

“I’d like to thank my assistants Adam Fricker and Jason Behan and reserve team manager Stu Parris for taking on the reins and doing a fantastic job putting us right in the hunt for promotion,” he said. “They’ve been brilliant.

“I’d also like to thank the management committee for helping me greatly and hopefully I will be able to repay them by winning the league.”

Flory said: “There is no reason why we can’t do this as I’ve got a fantastic squad of players and the backing of the club.”