Uhlsport Somerset County League

Premier Division

Chard Town 1, Keynsham Town Res 1

SATURDAY brought another home game for Chard Town, and it was difficult to assess whether this was two points thrown away or one gained against Keynsham Town Reserves.

Certainly it was a much more encouraging performance following last Wednesday’s 3-0 home defeat to Nailsea United.

Manager Mark Parris gave a start in midfield to both Matt Howell, back at the club, and to Tom Hargreaves, with Alex Harper returning to right-back.

Chard gained the advantage after only six minutes, when Conor Richardson got up at the far post to nod the ball across goal for Ryan Parris to head in.

Robins goalkeeper Owen Searle was called upon to make a couple of important saves at the other end, but it was a dominant performance from the hosts in the first half, with some considerable pressure on the Keynsham defence.

James Boyland worked hard and had a strike cleared off the line, while Howell put a couple of fine efforts just over the bar.

Then - out of the blue - the visitors equalised on 43 minutes, as hesitation in defence and the slippery surface left Matt Martin with an easy tap-in.

The second half was a bit helter-skelter.

First, the visitors hit the post after a difficult high ball was palmed away by Searle.

Then, on 55 minutes, the Robins were presented with a great chance when a penalty was awarded, but Liam Cleal’s spot-kick came off the post and the follow-up was fired wide.

No sooner had that opportunity gone when Keynsham hit the post again at the other end.

A plethora of fouls committed by the visitors seemed to unsettle them, with their manager receiving some admonishment from the referee and one player being sin binned for dissent.

The game could still have gone either way.

For the hosts, Cleal, Hargreaves and Billy Sheahan had their chances and a beauty of a cross from Boyland just failed to connect with substitute Sam Spurway steaming in on goal.

Keynsham could have sneaked the win, too, but couple of saves by Searle in the dying minutes saw this entertaining game out.

Chard Town: Owen Searle, Alex Harper, Ryan Mason, Tom Hargreaves, Conor Richardson, Ryan Parris, Billy Sheahan (Danny Green 82), Matt Howell, Adam Cole (Sam Spurway 77), James Boyland, Liam Cleal. Sub not used: Ryan Lewis.

Uhlsport Somerset County League

Premier Division

Shirehampton 0, Ilminster Town 0

ILMINSTER Town continued their impressive form by holding league leaders Shirehampton to a stalemate on Saturday, writes Andy Fish.

The hosts had won all but one of their previous home matches and, with a nine-point lead at the top, were certainly in buoyant mood.

Ilminster, on the back of four straight wins, were themselves full of confidence but were without captain Doug Whitfield through injury, while Kris Hastings, Darren Hutchings and Noah Kruszynski were unavailable.

Jon May was brought in for his first start at this level since his bad knee injury, while George Pugson also came up from the reserves as the team was reshuffled.

Both sides looked solid in possession, playing good football, but when they got to the final third neither side could find the right pass to open up the defence.

There were some good battles all round the pitch as both sides gave their all, but there were few chances of note before half-time; apart from one routine save, Blues goalkeeper Jack Rutter had not seen any action.

The second half was much the same, but an Ilminster corner saw Josh Phillips get up well to force a good save from the Shirehampton goalkeeper with a powerful header.

The match remained tight but both defences stayed in control, and 0-0 was how it finished.

In Whitfield’s absence Will Spurway was made skipper and once again he had a superb match - running, passing and tackling from box to box for the whole game.

Both players who were called up from the reserves had fine matches and not for the first time Pugson showed that he can play at this level with little difficulty.

But after two years out injured and half a dozen matches in the reserves (where he has been playing since October), it was May who was awarded man of the match for his classy display at the heart of the defence.

Ilminster Town: Jack Rutter, George Pugson, Luke Paul, Owen Burn, Jon May, Ben Pitman, Will Spurway (c), Josh Phillips, Lee Sweet, Andy Whitefield, Taylor Jefferson.

This Saturday (2.30pm), Ilminster host Mendip Broadwalk.

Uhlsport Somerset County League

Division 3

Ashcott 1, Combe St Nicholas 0

COMBE St Nicholas made the short trip to Ashcott in good form, but a narrow defeat means they drop to fourth in the table.

Ashcott were counter-attacking with pace and were dangerous from set-pieces.

Their goal came from Sam Edmunds on 30 minutes after the Saints failed to clear their lines.

With five minutes of the half remaining, Adam Male struck a free-kick which the goalkeeper somehow got his knee on and the ball spun just wide.

Combe’s youngsters stepped up a gear in the second half, but the experienced home team defended well and saw the game out.

This Saturday, the Saints visit Yatton & Cleeve United Res (2.30pm).

Macron Devon & Exeter League

Division 1

Dawlish United 1, Chard Town Res 6

DESPITE enjoying a 6-1 victory at Dawlish on Saturday, Chard Town Reserves know they should have hit double figures after being camped in the hosts’ half for most of the game.

The visitors had three early chances to take the lead, but on each occasion they were guilty of placing weak shots straight at young keeper Alex Downey.

At the other end, Chard keeper Alex Cunnold only had to make one real save during the entire first half.

After making the save, Cunnold sent the ball down the centre of the park to Owen Dodd, who hammered a shot which slipped through the grasp of Downey and into the net.

Andre Anjos and Darren Contreras came close early in the second half but Dawlish were level on 53 minutes when a speculative shot from Toto Whittle rebounded off the post and in to level the scores.

Chard regained the lead 10 minutes later as Anjos slipped the ball through to Jon Nott to score his first goal for the club since joining from Thorverton.

Two minutes later, Nott netted his second after beating two defenders and firing home from 25 yards.

Anjos was rewarded for an excellent afternoon’s work with two goals in quick succession and Dan Collins completed the scoring with a late penalty.

Chard Reserves: Alex Cunnold, Liam Male, Sam Parker, Simon Loader (Tom Howlett 64), Chris Atyeo, Owen Dodd, Darren Contreras, Andre Anjos, Nathan Finn (Jon Nott 34), Harry Boddington, Dan Collins. Sub not used: Gary Warren.