Toolstation Western League
First Division
Chard Town 1, Devizes Town 0

AN extremely scrappy and forgettable first 45 minutes, when both sides had difficulty in putting any meaningful moves together, was turned on its head after the interval, as a pulsating encounter between two well-matched sides suddenly broke out.

Within a minute of the start of the second half, Chard goalkeeper Scott Wells-Burr was called on to turn a fine shot round the post.

This was immediately followed by a typical long throw from Andrew Holmes to Steve Friend, whose header was well saved by the Devizes keeper.

Then, with the Robins moving the ball better and the tempo increasing, some neat play by Liam Cleal and James Boyland led to Friend narrowly firing over the bar.

Ryan Parris then went on a good run, but neither Boyland nor Friend could finish off his good work.

On 60 minutes the hosts were rewarded for their fine play with a goal.

A move started by Nathan Warren, who had a good game in midfield, bore fruit when the lively Max Westlake crossed from the right and Friend's head met the ball to bullet it into the net.

The impressive Kieran Bailey, who likes to get forward as much as his defensive duties allow, then rattled the crossbar with a header from a Westlake corner.

On 67 minutes Chard had the ball in the net again, when a long throw was swept in by Cleal, only for the referee to disallow it for an apparent infringement.

Then substitute Tom Salter fired just wide when in a good position, before the visitors began to carry a little more of a threat.

Jamie Walters had a shot saved by Wells-Burr, Robert Mitchell blazed over from very close range and Jack Hopper fired a fierce shot just over the bar.

Nevertheless, the Robins held on for three deserved points against a strong and well-organised Devizes outfit.

Chard Town: Scott Wells-Burr, Ben Haines, Ollie Pearson, Andrew Holmes, Kieran Bailey, Ryan Parris (Matt Howell 63), Max Westlake, Nathan Warren, Steve Friend (Elliot Dyer 90), James Boyland (Tom Salter 72), Liam Cleal.

Chard, two points clear at the top of the First Division, travel to 18th-placed Radstock Town this coming Saturday (ko 3pm).