Toolstation Western League
Wellington 3, Chard Town 1
THIS local derby saw Wellington achieve the double over the Robins this season with a deserved victory in front of a crowd of 192 on a warm Bank Holiday afternoon, writes Rod Harrington.
Chard got off to the worst of starts, conceding a goal after only two minutes.
Conor Bryant forced his shot through a crowded Chard defence with keeper Jon Hill clearly unsighted and unable to get down fast enough to make a save.
Although the pace of Ian Bellinger was stretching the Robins' defence Chard did get forward and they were rewarded with the equaliser on 16 minutes.
It was a similar goal in that Scott Jakeman's shot from the edge of the penalty box was spotted too late by Connor Sidley-Adams in the Wellington goal and the ball squeezed into the net.
The Robins' rearguard had to absorb more pressure but the Chard attack did cause Wellington problems at times.
Kieran Bailey fired over from a corner and an excellent run by James Boyland which promised more unfortunately came to nothing.
After the break Jack Taylor and Mitch Woodgate came close to giving the hosts the advantage.
Then a sweet through ball from Bailey found Boyland who waltzed past the defence only to put his shot wide, and Chard then had to wait until the dying minutes for the next chance which came their way.
Inevitably it was Boyland who was involved, but his shot form an acute angle flew just over the bar.
PRESSURE: Wellington's Ian Bellinger (orange) and Chard's Ryan Mason vie for possession. Pic: Ash Magill
In the meantime Wellington had effectively taken charge of the game when Jack Taylor popped the ball in the net from close range on 57 minutes.
Bellinger should have increased the lead with only Jon Hill to beat but he sliced the ball wide.
However, a third goal was beckoning and Taoufik Ben-Salem, helping out in the heart of the defece, unfortunately headed into his own net on 72 minutes.
The introduction of Steve Friend ten minutes before the end brought back memories of Good Friday's clash with Wincanton but there was no repeat of a revival here.
This was a thoroughly deserved victory for a Wellington side that have gained promotion - and are still in the hunt for the First Division title.
Chard Town: Jon Hill, Shaun Wells-Burr, Ryan Mason (Dave Duarte 74), Andrew Holmes, Kieran Bailey, Luke Jackson, Jake Wolfe, Scott Jakeman, Taoufik Ben-Salem (Steve Friend 80), James Boyland, Max Westlake. Subs not used: Matt Howell, Brad Miles, Pat Golden.
Paul Down described the 3-1 reverse on Easter Monday as "a disappointing result in the end, having been well in the game for an hour."
"We missed a great chance to go 2-1 up and a few minutes later, Wellington went down the other end and scored."
He added: "We have to regroup and finish the season positively with three games in seven days.
"We should have a full squad, although Jack Dicker is 50/50 with an eye injury."