CHARD Town travel to First Division title challengers Wellington today (ko 3pm) for an Easter Monday derby clash.
Wellington are tied at the top of the table on 83 points with Hengrove Athletic, and on Good Friday they drew 0-0 at sixth-placed Bishops Lydeard.
Chard's last match also ended in a draw, 3-3 at home to Wincanton Town, and they are currently 10th in the league standings - right in the middle of a congested mid-table scrap.
The Robins are seeking their first victory since March 11, and some revenge for the 3-0 home defeat to Wellington back in September.
Toolstation Western League
Chard Town 3, Wincanton Town 3
WINCANTON travelled down the A303 on Good Friday for what turned out to be a pulsating game, writes Rod Harrington.
Captain Taoufik Ben-Salem returned to the side which lost at home to Devizes the previous weekend but the Robins struggled for the first 20 minutes.
Yet for all Wincanton’s early pressure, out of the blue James Boyland gave the hosts the lead on 25 minutes, shooting from distance – and the keeper could only palm into the top corner.
With Paul Down’s connection to his former club, plus two brothers on opposing sides, the game had a spicy edge, and in the 38th minute, Wincanton pulled level as Danny Golden got the better of his brother to head into the corner of the net.
After the break, Town were caught off guard when Tom Morris squeezed the ball in from a corner in the 49th minute, and it was 3-1 in the 61st minute when Connor Williams finished after Matt Morley’s run.
The Robins needed a hero, and up stepped Steve Friend 11 minutes later, powering a Scott Jakeman corner into the net.
Then, on 81 minutes, just over the halfway line, he noticed the keeper off his line and lofted a marvellous strike over his head for a stunning goal.
Chard: Jon Hill, Dave Duarte, Pat Golden, Andrew Holmes, Kieran Bailey, Jack Dicker (Scott Jakeman 66), Matt Howell (Luke Jackson 78), Brad Miles, Taoufik Ben-Salem, Steve Friend, James Boyland. Subs not used: Shaun Wells-Burr, Max Westlake, Ryan Mason, Jake Wolfe.