West Clubs Women’s League Sedgemoor Division 2
Chard 2, Taunton Vale 5ths 0

DESPITE securing a fantastic victory over Taunton Vale ladies 3rds at the latter end of last season, Chard ladies knew they couldn’t underestimate the visiting 5th XI on Saturday. 

Chard were firing on all cylinders, with attacks from wingers Abbi Wheaton and Emma Cridland and forwards Jess Withers and Kerryn Mullis, but they struggled to force a breakthrough. 

They weren’t to be denied, however, as central midfielder Tess Down broke the deadlock with a beautiful strike into the bottom right-hand corner. 

Lyndsay Blackshaw was unlucky not to join Down on the scoresheet following a string of short corners, but Down was quick to add a second goal, almost a mirror image of her first.

Having led 2-0 at the break, the home side dominated possession after the restart and Lorraine Szczepanksi delivered several dangerous crosses without reward following surging runs up the wing. 

The hosts’ dominance also saw defenders EJ Hines and Misha Taylor enter the Vale D, but strong rearguard action from the away side left Chard goalless in the second half. 

Thanks go to umpires Alan Cheffey and Danny Grabham and to match sponsors J B Wheaton & Son. 

Chard squad: Hannah McGown (c), Misha Taylor, EJ Hines, Lou Wrightson, Lorraine Szczepanski, Katy Jones, Kate Phillips, Tess Down, Lynsday Blackshaw, Emma Cridland, Abbi Wheaton, Jess Withers, Kerryn Mullis. 

This Saturday, Chard travel away to Tiverton to face title rivals White Eagles 2nds (11am start).

White Eagles sit six points behind, with the same goal difference as Chard, after a surprise 3-2 defeat in Bridgwater.

GoCrea8 South East 2
Minehead B 1, Chard A 7

ALTHOUGH Gareth Eggle fired in the opener from Chard’s first penalty corner within five minutes, Chard struggled to initially impose themselves upon opponents who started the game with only nine players. 

The league leaders’ play was littered with sloppy passing and poor ball control until Minehead finally had a full complement of players well into the first half. 

The lead was doubled courtesy of Harvey Dening, who hammered a shot into the roof of the net after an initial shot from another penalty corner was saved. 

The home goalie prevented any further score before the interval with a series of saves as Chard began to apply concerted pressure.

After the break, Chard steadily improved passing and movement. 

Ben Kennard marked his debut by coming on as a rolling substitute and scoring from close range to make it 3-0 after good team approach play down the right wing.

Eggle added his second and Chard’s fourth when he picked up the ball on Minehead’s 25m line, angling his run across the top of the D and placing his shot in the far corner of the net as defenders failed to challenge.

Chard’s defence then came under its most serious examination as Minehead were awarded a plethora of penalty corners. 

For all the pressure and with a couple of near misses, the home side scored just one goal as the back four and midfield dug in and rode it out. 

Any doubts as to the outcome of the match were dispelled when Dening added his second goal, followed by Trevor Goss making it 6-1 from another Chard penalty corner. 

Kyle Wheaton wrapped things up with the seventh in the last few minutes as Chard produced their most fluent spell of attacking hockey.

Squad: R Green, T Eames, T Goss, A Critchley, S Mahoney, J Green, J Goddard (capt), G Eggle, G Wheaton, H Dening, K Wheaton, B Kennard.

GoCrea8 South East 2
Sidmouth & Ottery B 4, Chard B 4

THE final scoreline denotes a close game, which it certainly was, with Chard defending well and catching the home side on the break. 

Chard started well with a free hit on the top of the D falling to an unmarked Duncan Lewis, who opened the scoring in the first five minutes. 

This awoke Sidmouth & Ottery, who had a lot of possession, and bad marking allowed their centre forward an easy shot at goal to equalise.

Chard did not lie down and restored their lead when a superb lay-off by Rollo Squire found Richard Jones, who ambled his way into the D and scored in the bottom corner. 

The ever-increasing pressure the home side piled on thereafter was eventually rewarded with a goal before half time.

The second half was played out in much the same fashion, with the hosts dominating the midfield but not finding a clear shot at goal.

Great energy by James Float helped keep the hosts out until a deflection let in a home forward, who slotted home to give his side the lead. 

The hosts continued their push for another goal which opened up spaces down the wings.

Durgan Cooper took advantage with some good runs, one resulting in a penalty corner, and his nudge towards the goal hit a foot.

Lewis converted the penalty flick and, shortly afterwards, the impressive George Bromfield was upended and another flick was despatched. 

Despite Chard’s best efforts in parking the bus, Sidmouth & Ottery eventually found their way through to earn a deserved draw. 

Team: Hibbard, Swain, Mooney, Swann, Lewis, Willis, Bromfield, Squire, Cooper (B), Jones, Float, Cooper (D)

IN Southern 1, Chard 1sts were beaten 5-1 at home by Dart.

This Saturday, the struggling side head to Plymouth Marjon B.

Sunday League
Poole Ladies 0, Chard Ladies 9

CHARD made the journey to Poole not sure what to expect, but from the outset the visitors were quick on the ball with lots of passing and great running from winger Abi Wheaton.

Poole tried hard to fight back, but throughout the game Chard were quick to regain control and kept pressure on the opposition’s goal.

The first goal came from a penalty flick from Ros Clemmans and this opened the floodgates, with Clemmans scoring two more along with two from Kerry Mullis, two from Lois Butcher and one each from Julie Saxby and Charlie Carver-Bale. 

Chard were kept on their toes with Poole having the odd break, but they were not able to outwit the visitors in a brilliant performance by Chard.