Les Phillips Cup
Second round
Chard Town 0, Bridport 1

CHARD Town were denied a place in the Les Phillips Cup quarter-finals as Bridport edged this keenly-anticipated tie on Saturday.

A good crowd witnessed a competitive game in which the Robins matched their opponents for significant periods, particularly in the first half.

However, a goal by master marksman Mark Salter early in the game separated the two sides at the final whistle.

Chard began the game with intent, as Taoufik Ben Salem headed over in the first minute and the defence put themselves about with some timely tackles.

Yet the goal, which came after 15 minutes, was a worthy winner.

A lofted ball wide of the defence was picked up by ex-Robin Ed Butcher, who whipped in an accurate cross onto the head of Salter, who expertly guided the ball out of Jon Hill's reach.

The hosts needed to regroup but they had to deal with shots from Tom Richardson and Richard Hebditch, which both flashed wide of Hill's goal.

Max Westlake was particularly lively for for the home side, and did well to beat his marker before shooting off target.

Hill, who had a fine game, then saved at the feet of Salter and pulled off a terrific save from Lee Sweet's goal-bound effort.

It was lively stuff for a while, as Westlake and James Boyland linked well and Ben Salem went close again, before Andrew Holmes headed Salter's effort off the line and Hill was called upon again to save from the Bridport striker.

The game took on a slightly different complexion after the break, with fewer clear opportunities for the home side and the Premier Division side tightening the screw.

Nevertheless, on 64 minutes, the Robins had a fair shout for a penalty when Liam Cleal appeared to be pushed over in the box, but the referee wasn't interested.

A delightful ball from Westlake to Ben Salem came to nothing before Hebditch, who worked tirelessly the whole game, got himself into good shooting positions on a number of occasions.

However, there was always Hill at the back to pull off more impressive saves to give the Robins a glimmer of hope.

Yet they couldn't quite put enough pressure on the visitors, despite Cleal having an effort saved and Boyland likewise shooting into the hands of Jason Hutchings in the last few minutes.

Chard Town: Jon Hill, Ben Haines, Ollie Pearson, Andrew Holmes, Kieran Bailey, Ryan Parris (Alex Stafie 75), Max Westlake, Jack Dicker, Taoufik Ben Salem (Steve Friend 85), James Boyland, Liam Cleal. Sub not used: Pat Golden.

It's back to league duty for Chard this coming Saturday, and a trip to Westbury United – against whom they were leading 4-2 in the 89th minute of the reverse fixture when the referee abandoned the match.

Westbury lead the First Division standings, with the Robins eighth; kick-off is at 3pm.