GoCrea8 Southern 2
ECV Hornets A 1, Chard 1st XI 3
CHARD went into only their second game back after the Christmas break sitting in second place and knowing they had to beat a strong ECV Hornets side.
Hornets had Chard struggling early on with all the pressure being put on Chard’s defence but the backline held firm and soon the hosts took the lead.
A counter-attack led to a short corner which Michael Wakely converted via a deft flick into the top corner of the net.
Chard doubled their lead just before half-time when a Harvey Lupton mishit took a lucky spin and trickled into the bottom corner.
After half-time, Chard got back into the rhythm that has allowed them to earn a position near the top of the table.
They missed several chances and it looked like that could hurt them when Hornets pulled a goal back.
However, Chard sealed the much-needed victory when Wakely raced on to a Matt Sheahan through ball to slot home and guarantee three vital points.
On Saturday, they are at home to Penzance.
GoCrea8 South East 2
Chard Men’s A 2, Minehead B 1
GOALS from Jason Goddard and Harvey Dening and some inspired second-half wing play from Kyle Wheaton earned Chard’s 2nd XI a close-fought victory against a Minehead squad bolstered by several club players from higher levels.
In an evenly-contested first half, Chard created the greater number of clear scoring chances, and Murray Wheaton, on a rare outing for the team, grew in confidence to link up well with Dening and James Spurdle.
Minehead’s main attacking threat came from the small number of 16-yard hits which evaded interception and found their way through to a forward.
Richard Green made a couple of important saves, while Arthur Critchley stood out in the back four, picking off Minehead passes.
The second-half breakthrough for Chard came courtesy of quick thinking by right-back Chris Knight whose pass across field found Dening in space.
His instinctive shot may have found the goal but Goddard was on hand to apply a deft touch to ensure the ball hit the back of the net.
Chard earned themselves a couple of short corners and, from one of these, Spurdle slipped a pass at the top of the D to Dening who powered a shot inside the near post.
The lead put Chard in control for the middle part of the second half.
Wheaton ran the Minehead defence ragged with surging runs down the right wing.
The team as a whole played some slick, swift passing hockey with good movement of the ball.
But, as has so often been said, a two-goal lead is the most dangerous.
With eight minutes left, the visitors rallied and pulled a goal back after Green in goal had been a spectator for much of the half.
Chard’s crisp passing deserted them as Minehead surged forward seeking the equaliser.
It was backs to the wall, but Chard held out for the last few minutes to record a win their performance earlier in the match justified.
Chard: R Green, C Knight, A Critchley, P Tratt, S Mahoney, J Goddard, N Parkinson, M Wheaton, J Spurdle (capt), M Lane, H Dening, K Wheaton, T Goss.
GoCrea8 South East 2
Taunton Vale D 3, Chard B 4
CHARD completed a double over local rivals Taunton Vale following an evenly-contested derby match.
The visitors opened the scoring when a penalty corner shot fell nicely for Duncan Lewis to score.
Chard then lost possession and the ball was swiftly moved forward to the left winger who scored.
Chard continued to have a lot of the ball through Tom Float and Ben McElroy and this paid dividends when James Float was found and his reverse stick shot found the net.
Taunton hit back following a penalty corner as the shot was deflected over a despairing Chard keeper, but Marcus Veitch restored Chard’s lead following a well-worked penalty corner routine.
Chard reshuffled their defence in the second half but they made a nightmare start when Alan Cheffey was tackled and the ensuing chase had him bring down the forward, with the resulting penalty flick duly despatched to bring the scores level.
Chard’s defence was more resolute from then on, with Bradley Williams having a particularly solid game.
Chard were making more chances and, when a bad tackle outside the D saw Chard awarded a final penalty corner, the ball found Ryan Lewis who fired home the winner.