DESPITE a wonder goal from Harvey Dening, Chard A were left empty handed as table- topping Bridgwater B came from behind to win 2-1 in South East 2 of the Davis Wood league.
For the first quarter of an hour, Chard’s quick, short passing game that has served them so well this season gave them the edge and put pressure on the visitors’ defence.
However, Bridgwater’s own attacking threat became apparent with two swift counter attacks which split Chard’s defence and only narrowly missed out on opening the scoring.
From there on to the end of the goalless first half, it was end to end stuff and so evenly balanced, it looked as though a single goal might settle the outcome.
Within two minutes of the start of the second half, Chard had the vital breakthrough.
Dening drifted in with the ball from the left wing to just inside the Bridgwater D but from an acute angle it seemed all he could was cross.
Instead his reverse stick sweep sent a shot rocketing into the top corner of the net, stunning players and spectators alike.
After a split second’s silence, Chard were celebrating this incredible strike from their man of the match.
Bridgwater’s response was swift. In a goalmouth scramble, keeper Callum Bailey had to make three stops and kicked clearances.
The visitors’ bustling centre forward forced Bailey into another save soon after as his physical presence held off two defenders’ challenges.
But Bailey could do nothing to stop him equalising a short time later, finishing a sweeping Bridgwater move.
Chard were still in the game but their pattern of play was not as neat and controlled as in the first 15 minutes of the match, as the physical effort of competing began to take its toll despite the intelligent use of their rolling subs.
James Spurdle battled as hard as anyone in midfield and it looked as though this effort had been rewarded with a second Chard goal.
However, his hot, unlike Dening’s was from just outside the D. Apart from this effort and a couple of shots just off target from penalty corners, Bridgwaters’ goalie had little to cause him any discomfort as the defence soaked up Chard’s attacks.
With less than ten minutes left, another Bridgwater attack down right wing produced a cross for one of their unmarked midfielders to run onto and to fire past Bailey for the winner.
They then saw out the final minutes with relative comfort to secure the victory.
Umpires: Jim Sainsbury and Hannah McGown. Match sponsor: Brecknell Willis.