Verde Recreo Men’s League
South East 1
Yeovil & Sherborne A 2, Chard A 1

DUE to the last-minute loss of Jason Goddard, Chard men’s 2nds travelled to Yeovil for their first match following last season’s promotion with only 10 players. 

With the home side able to put out a squad of 13, it looked as though Chard would be fighting a rearguard action to keep the scoreline respectable. 

The first 10 minutes of one-way traffic towards the away goal suggested this would be the case. 

The one factor favouring Chard was that the home side were equally match-rusty and, for all their promising approach play in the early stages, Yeovil failed to make a breakthrough.

Weathering the initial storm and still on level terms, the visitors began to play themselves into the game. 

Among the new faces in the team, Riley Millett in midfield and Rollo Squire, sharing forward duties with Harvey Dening, showed composure and confidence on the ball, and there were glimpses of an attacking threat on the home goal. 

It took something special to break the deadlock, and Yeovil produced it on 22 minutes. 

A ball launched from inside their half and into the bottom right-hand corner of the pitch turned Chard’s defence and set up a cross back across the D for a simple push shot into the net. 

The lead was doubled two minutes before half time, when Yeovil’s right winger ghosted between Millett and left-back Steve Mahoney to meet an angled cross from the left.

Credit is due to goalkeeper Richard Green, who made some excellent saves from powerful rising shots in both halves, vitally so in the first half to avoid Chard being further behind at the interval. 

Equally importantly, the back three – with another new face, George Bromfield, as the pivot between Mahoney and Tom Eames – made some excellent interceptions and tackles to thwart the hosts in and around the D. 

Chard’s midfield made light of Yeovil’s man advantage in the second half and the reward for a fine all-round team effort was a goal crafted by a Millett pass to Squires, who kept the ball in play on a run to and along the backline before slipping it across the goalmouth for Dening to tap in midway through the half. 

Yeovil’s advantage trimmed, they were on edge for the remainder of the game. 

It would have been a smash and grab had Chard found an equaliser, but there were moments when this could have happened.

Allowing for the fact the team has new members to integrate, and the strength-sapping heat which made the lack of a full team and substitutes all the more difficult to cope with, this was a spirited and committed performance, of which everyone involved can be proud.

Chard A: R Green, T Eames, G Bromfield, S Mahoney, J Green, G Wheaton, R Millett, G Eggle, R Squire, H Dening.

CHARD men’s 1sts began their Central 2 season with a 5-1 home defeat at the hands of Weston-super-Mare, while the 3rds drew 2-2 at home to West Dorset A in South East 2.

The ladies 1sts lost 3-1 at home to Winscombe 2nds in West Clubs Women’s Hockey League Sedgemoor 1 - this Saturday, they travel to Burnham-on-Sea (10am).

For the men this weekend, the 1sts host Swindon A (2pm), the 2nds are at Minehead A (1.30pm) and the 3rds travel to North Devon A (2.30pm).