Somerset Premier Cup Quarter-Final

Weston-super-Mare 4, Chard Town 2

ON Tuesday night, in an entertaining game, Chard were ousted from the Somerset Premier Cup by the National League South side who fielded their first team squad, writes Rod Harrington.

To manage just a two-goal defeat was an accolade in itself and the Robins can feel justifiably proud of the performance on the night.

However, the difference in class was evident from the start with some very slick football from the hosts.

They went ahead on nine minutes when Tom Harrison stabbed the ball home and added a second just seven minutes later with Alex Byrne finding a gap through the Robins’ defence.

Before that, Max Westlake had come mighty close with a fierce drive but, suddenly, the visitors reduced the arrears on 25 minutes.

A timely interception by Nathan Warren and lovely through ball allowed James Boyland to draw the keeper and slip the ball into the net.

Then Weston forged ahead again with their third goal on 34 minutes when Jason Pope got forward to finish off a nice move on the right.

Just on the stroke of half-time, however, the Robins did brilliantly to snap up another chance after good work by Boyland.

Joe Smith’s shot was parried by the keeper but, at the second attempt, he made no mistake and rifled the ball into the net.

In the second half, the Chard goalmouth took a pummelling and, despite the hosts adding a fourth from the head of Harrison on 62 minutes, the defence played magnificently to prevent further goals.

Special mention must go to goalkeeper Scott Wells-Burr, who dealt with everything including some particularly ferocious shots from the experienced opposition.

Chard - Scott Wells-Burr, Ryan Parris (Elliot Dyer 66), Tom Salter, Ben Haines, Kieran Bailey, Sam Smith (Matt Howell 65), Max Westlake, Nathan Warren, James Boyland, Joe Smith (Steve Friend 78), Liam Cleal. Subs not used - Josh Lukins and Ollie Pearson.

CHARD will be looking to get back to winning ways when they entertain bottom-of-the-table - but much-improved - Bristol Telephones on Saturday (ko 3pm).

After picking up just one point from their last four league games, Chard are once again beset with injuries and unavailabilities.

Leading scorer for the past two seasons, James Boyland, is unavailable, while fellow striker Steve Friend, who has only started 15 times, was hoping to begin against Weston-super-Mare in the Somerset Premier Cup last night.

Dan Collins only lasted 37 minutes last Saturday.

With three defenders missing on Saturday, Andy Holmes again out and Ollie Pearson and Elliot Dyer both doubtful, winger Tom Salter could again find himself at left back.

One piece of good news is that Matt Howell is available to return.

Chard manager Jamie Manley said: “We are still creating chances, just not putting them away in recent games.”

Ilminster Town are also looking to return to winning ways at home to Clevedon United in the Somerset County League Premier Division.

Clevedon sit one place below the Blues in 10th place and are on a good run with back-to-back wins.

In Division 3, Combe St Nicholas travel to league leaders Middlezoy Rovers Reserves.