Somerset Senior Cup

Westfield 4, Chard Town 1

CHARD Town bowed out of the Somerset Senior Cup on Saturday with a 4-1 defeat against a well-drilled Westfield side, writes Mike Froom.

In the first half, Chard created an early chance with a Luke Jackson through ball but Stephen Friends effort was over the home sides bar.

Westfield, however, soon put together some good moves with a chance on 15 minutes and a further effort just wide minutes later.

With this pressure Westfield opened up the Chard backline and scored from close range on 20 minutes.

Chard were awarded a free kick in a good position some three minutes later but the effort was just over the bar.

However, the home side used their knowledge of the narrow playing surface well with accurate passes across the park which lead to the second goal on 28 minutes and a third shortly after, direct from a free-kick.

Just on half-time, Chard’s young keeper Owen Searle pulled off a great save, pushing the ball around the post.

The start of the second period saw Chard have their best period of attacking football with a Liam Cleal shot across the face of the goal and following some good approach work a well-controlled through ball from Josh Lukins found Marky Jones in position to score for Chard on 50 minutes.

A further chance fell to Liam Cleal following some close attacking football down the middle but immediately Westfield went down the field with goal number four coming on 60 minutes by way of a header from an open position.

Two further chances fell to Chard with the home ‘keeper well off his line the long lob well out was just wide of the home goal and following good work by Stephen Friend the ball was through to James Boyland but his powerful strike was well saved by the home ‘keeper.

A further Chard chance from a corner saw the ball pass across the face of the goal to complete the day when Westfield took their chances well and cut out Chard’s efforts with some positive football.

Chard Town: Owen Searle, Luke Jackson, Thomas Salter, Harry Boddington, Connor Richardson, Ryan Parris (Captain) Marky Jones, Josh Lukins, Stephen Friend (for Daniel Collins), James Boyland (for Alex Harper), Liam Cleal

CHARD take on Somerset County Premier leaders Shirehampton on Saturday at Zembard Lane (3pm).

The visitors have made a blistering start, taking 16 points from six games to lead the table by seven points.

Last Saturday, Shirehampton beat league champions Chilcompton Sports 5-0 on their own ground.

Chard manager Mark Parris hopes to have three players back in Tom Stephens-Fouracre, Dan O’Connor and Ryan Mason, while player-coach Andy Holmes will have a late test on an injured knee. Harry Boddington and Steve Friend are unavailable.

Parris said: “We will have to work harder, retain possession better and cut out the errors that have occurred to date to get something.”

Chard’s reserves travel to Thorverton on Saturday (3pm) while the Under-18s visit Shaftesbury tomorrow (Thursday) and entertain Weymouth next Tuesday (both 7.30pm).

Somerset FA Senior Cup

First round

Ilminster Town 1, AFC Brislington 2

AFTER a difficult start to the season, Ilminster Town were glad to have a break from the league and play in a Somerset Senior Cup match, with County Division 2 side AFC Brislington the visitors to the Archie Gooch Pavilion, writes Andy Fish.

Last season, after a run of five straight defeats and a change of management, a 3-3 draw in the Senior Cup against Odd Down (that was won on penalties) proved the turning point.

With less than a minute left on the clock this time round, the sides looked to be heading for penalties, and with Chris May back in goal after his summer holidays the Blues would have gone into them confidently.

However, with the seconds ticking down and Brislington attacking, Rich Crabb – who had played a great second half – tried to win the ball rather than hold the man up, and his rash challenge conceded a penalty.

Reece Mead scored from the penalty spot, via the post, with the last kick of the game.

It was a real hammer blow for Ilminster, especially against a team playing two divisions below, after a strong second-half performance.

Brislington started really well, playing good football and keeping possession, and could have taken the lead when a flowing move led to a shot skimming the top of the crossbar.

The next attack again cut Ilminster open, with a great lob just creeping wide of the far post.

Slowly the Blues eased into the match, with good play down the right between Owen Burn and Ben Pitman leading to a great cross which was turned over the bar.

From the corner, Charlie Rutter’s header was cleared off the line.

Taylor Jefferson then picked up the ball just inside the Brislington half and cut infield with pace, working an opening before calmly side-footing into the corner to make it 1-0.

Brislington responded well and a long ball over the top led to May being a little late as he rushed out of his box, picking up a yellow card and giving away a free-kick 25 yards out.

The curling free-kick hit the bar as Ilminster rode their luck, but all changed when another free-kick led to Dan Dodimead poking the ball home to make it 1-1.

Great work from Brad Pitman saw him feed Jefferson, whose effort clipped the outside of the post.

The second half was much better from Ilminster, as confidence seemed to come back, and Lee Sweet’s effort from a direct free-kick flew just wide.

It was all Ilminster as Rutter headed a good chance wide and Sweet saw his shot blocked after a surging run from Crabb.

Next came the best chance as Brad Pitman brilliantly created space for himself in the area but his effort was too close to the keeper.

A great run from Sweet ended with his shot being blocked, while Jefferson once again went close, but Ilminster could not find the winner.

Brislington broke away at the death and won the penalty that gave them the victory with the last kick of the match.

Ilminster Town: Chris May, Owen Burn, Rich Crabb, Brad Pitman, Luke Paul, Doug Whitfield, Ben Pitman, Mitch Hooper, Lee Sweet, Taylor Jefferson, Charlie Rutter. Sub (used): Noah Kruszynski.

This Saturday, it’s back to Premier Division action for Ilminster, who host Clutton (3pm).

Somerset FA Senior Cup first round

Combe St Nicholas 2, Bristol Spartak 0

COMBE St Nicholas progressed to the second round of the county cup after beating Bristol Spartak, who play one division above them, 2-0 on Saturday.

The hosts settled the quickest and got into playing at a high tempo but also quite direct.

This didn’t seem to be working, so the Saints management asked for more football to be played on the deck.

Jack Steer had a good chance saved midway through the half and, with five minutes to go before the half-time oranges, a fantastic team move involving Kieran Manley, Jack Male and Dan Anjos ended with the latter finishing well when put through.

The home side continued to press in the second half and had various chances through Steer, Adam Male and a fantastic long-range effort by Max Patch, all thwarted by the Spartak goalkeeper.

With 10 minutes remaining Saints keeper Jason Newbury, making his first team debut, pulled off a cracking save at the expense of a corner.

From that corner Combe went straight up the other end and scored through Adam Male to seal the win.

Combe host Chew Magna on Saturday.