CHARD A's 16-0 victory over Sidmouth and Ottery D ranks among one of the biggest and most impressive wins in the history of the club.
And the margin of victory would have been substantially greater had it not been for the heroics of the home keeper Paddy Maher, a member of Great Britain’s Grand Masters’ squad.
His athleticism in making a string of saves was all the more remarkable given the fact he is 70 years old.
Chard took total control with a Dan Stone hat-trick in the first 12 minutes and, from that point on they ruthlessly steamrollered their hosts, scarcely allowing them over the half-way line for the rest of the first half.
Adam Veitch (2), James Spurdle, Harvey Dening, and captain Gareth Eggle all chipped in to give Chard an eight goal lead by the interval.
But it was the sometimes brilliant approach play and passing which was so impressive, the seventh and eighth goals almost being walked into the net as the home defence was cut to ribbons.
Any hope Sidmouth may have had that Chard would ease up for the second half evaporated in the first five minutes as Spurdle went close at the end of another flowing move and then Veitch completed his hat-trick with a superb low shot from the top of the D.
Chard and Spurdle, in particular, then hit a purple patch as he added five second half goals for a double hat-trick, including four in even less time than it had taken Stone to score his three.
Eggle scored again with another assist from Kyle Anderson and Dening added another with his trademark reverse stick sweep.
Chard had the ball in the net twice more during the avalanche of goals but these were ruled out and Maher almost single-handedly saved the home side from further embarrassment.
It was the intensity with which the whole squad played for 70 minutes which was so pleasing, with outstanding performances from the younger members including Danny Grabham and Harry Felgate on the right flank, Kyle Anderson on both wings and of course hat-trick scorer Veitch.
Keeper Berge Balian was almost a spectator throughout, having just one save to make in the first half.
Chard’s defence didn’t even concede a corner, such was their ability to deal with the few Sidmouth attacks.
Chard: Berge Balian, Danny Grabham, Dave Lury, Paul Tratt, Steve Mahoney, Kyle Anderson, James Spurdle, Gareth Eggle (Captain), Jason Goddard, Harry Felgate, Dan Stone (Vice), Adam Veitch, Trevor Goss, Harvey Dening.,