South East 2
Chard A 5, Sidmouth & Ottery B 3

CHARD men’s 2nd XI showed character and composure to take the points from a topsy-turvy fixture. 

After going a goal down early on when the visitors took advantage of keeper Richard Green getting his feet in a tangle, Chard were behind for much of the first half as they struggled to implement their short passing game. 

Jason Goddard, captain in the absence of James Spurdle, grabbed an equaliser and then Gareth Eggle put Chard ahead as there were glimpses of improvement in their play. 

Sidmouth were still posing an attacking threat as half time approached, though, and the home defence had to survive a couple of penalty corners before the interval.

The second half saw Chard start with the sharper, close passing style they were striving for, along with more pressure on Sidmouth’s playmakers when they had possession. 

The hosts had the ball in the net, only for the goal to be disallowed for Gareth Eggle’s swing and miss before Harvey Dening slotted home.

However, minutes later a mistake by the Sidmouth keeper saw Eggle put Chard 3-1 up, his deft connection at the top of the D finding the corner of the net. 

That looked like game over, but Sidmouth reduced the arrears with a goal from a penalty corner, and then a bizarre sequence of deflections in Chard’s D saw the ball swatted down from way above head height and stabbed in from close range to make the scores all square. 

At this point Chard looked dejected and in danger of the game getting away from them. 

Instead, they rediscovered their best form and used the wings to good effect to stretch the visitors’ defence and seize back the initiative. 

Two goals within 60 seconds in the final five minutes secured the victory, Goddard scoring his second and Dening firing in number five as some swift, expansive passing split the tiring away defence, leaving him one-on-one with the keeper.

Thanks go to umpires Jim Sainsbury and Alan Cheffey.

Chard squad: R Green, T Eames, A Critchley, P Tratt, S Mahoney, M Lane, J Goddard (capt), J Green, G Wheaton, G Eggle, H Dening, T Goss, B McElroy.

Chard A now sit fourth in the table, just two points off the top, and next Saturday they travel to league leaders East Devon C.

GoCrea8 South East 2
Chard B 2, Bridgwater C 0

CHARD B recorded their fourth victory in a row to elevate themselves to the dizzy heights of second in the league. 

Bridgwater, fielding a similar mixture of youth and experience, set themselves up very well to defend against a mobile front line and chances were limited early on, though the visitors did commit a number of fouls in the final third but Chard could not make the most of a series of penalty corners.

The game changed as a Chard player seemed to be tripped at one end and, as confusion ensued, the Bridgwater defender advanced only to be caught on the break and Jones squeezed in the opening goal. 

The visitors re-shuffled and had a couple of half chances but Bradley Williams in goal was equal to the shots. 

In the second half the visitors reverted to the same set-up which gave Chard a lot of space in the midfield with Ryan Lewis and Tom Float moving forward at will.

Chard continued pressing and a goal came when the ball was played out of the back and eventually found its way to Rollo Squires, who squared the ball to James Float to score. 

Bridgwater again had a few half chances but nothing to worry the defence, which meant the home side secured another victory. 

Chard: Williams, Dare, Mooney, Swann, Lewis (D), Willis, Jones, Lewis (R), Float (T), Squires, Float (J), Cheffey.

CHARD'S 1st team remain without a win after a 3-0 defeat at Isca B in Southern 1.

This weekend, they host Penzance (2pm).