Uhlsport Somerset County League Premier Division

Middlezoy Rovers 3, Chard Town 3

CHARD Town came away from fourth-placed Middlezoy Rovers with a creditable draw on Saturday, when the high wind dictated the course of play for both sides.

The visitors conceded an early goal when Middlezoy pushed immediately into the Chard area and were through down the right flank, for Alex Male to score the opener just four minutes in.

Chard, with the wind in their favour, pushed forward and a free-kick saw the ball parried out, with Billy Sheahan following up to level the score with a well-timed shot on nine minutes.

The Robins endeavoured to take advantage of the elements but too many long balls did not allow the visiting front line to get into scoring positions.

Both sides continued to look for openings with a free-kick for Middlezoy draw a good reaction save from Chard’s goalkeeper Alex Cunnold - in for the injured Owen Searle.

Then, at the other end, pressure from James Boyland saw his shot palmed out by the keeper for Adam Cole to score from just outside the box in the 38th minute.

Chard looked to build on this lead, with a good effort by Liam Cleal pushed away by the home keeper, but it remained 2-1 at half-time.

The opening minute of the second half caused some controversy, when to the surprise of both sides the referee awarded the hosts a penalty for an apparent infringement in the box.

Liam Winter's powerful spot-kick gave Cunnold no chance, to level the scores again.

Chard, not to be deterred, again went forward with good work by Cleal and Boyland, the latter going down the left flank to score the best goal of the match with an unstoppable shot on 49 minutes.

With the referee issuing various cards, including a sin bin for the visitors, the hosts equalised again on 65 minutes, with Winter heading in from close range.

With Middlezoy down to 10 men following a red card for substitute Charlie Bridges, the Robins went in search of a winner - Boyland shooting just over and then drawing a great save from the keeper.

Neither side could find the decisive goal, with a well-directed Middlezoy corner seeing a header glance off the woodwork late on.

Chard Town: Alex Cunnold, Alex Harper, Ryan Mason, Tom Hargreaves (Jake Board 70), Conor Richardson, Ryan Parris (c), Billy Sheahan (Danny Green 82), Matthew Howell, Adam Cole, James Boyland, Liam Cleal. Sub not used: Daniel O’Connor.

Chard host Nailsea & Tickenham in the Premier & Division 1 Cup tonight (Wednesday, 7.30pm), and are at home to Stockwood Green in the league on Saturday (3pm).

Uhlsport Somerset County League Premier Division

Nailsea & Tickenham 4, Ilminster Town 1

STILL short of numbers - and with Lee Sweet and Taylor Jefferson adding to the injury list - Ilminster travelled to Nailsea & Tickenham on Saturday, writes Andy Fish.

George Pugson and Sam Tratt came in from the reserves to start while young Lewis Bolland kept his place.

Nailsea & Tickenham finished runners-up last season and, like Ilminster, they sit in mid table but have matches in hand on the teams above them.

In very windy conditions, Nailsea won the toss and took advantage of the wind as they looked the best side in the early exchanges, taking the lead after a break down the right ended with a shot on target that found the bottom corner.

Ilminster found it hard to get out but dug in deep and showed lots of character to keep the score to 1-0.

With 35 minutes on the clock, neat football led the Blues out of their own half and Pugson hit an unstoppable shot from distance that went in off the crossbar and post to bring the scores level at 1-1.

Getting in level at half time was a bonus for the Blues and they really fancied their chances with conditions in their favour after defending so well in the first half.

But luck was against them as the wind eased, allowing Nailsea to begin to dominate.

When a ball bounced around in the area before striking Josh Phillips on the arm a penalty was awarded and dispatched to make it 2-1.

Ilminster tried their hardest to get back in the match but, with 80 minutes on the clock, Nailsea made it 3-1.

With Ilminster committed forward, a fourth goal was added in injury time.

Back-to-back defeats has certainly dented the confidence after such a fine run but Ilminster now have to show real character and despite the injuries play for themselves and the team.

Richard Crabb looks like he will be back next week but the others including skipper Doug Whitfield, Carl Lazenby, Jon May and Brad Pitman could be out for a while longer while Taylor Jefferson and Lee Sweet will be assessed in midweek.

Ilminster: Jack Rutter, George Pugson, Luke Paul ,Owen Burn,Lewis Bolland, Ben Pitman, Will Spurway( c), Josh Phillips,Andy Whitefield, Charlie Rutter; subs (used): Noah Krusynski

This Saturday, Stockwood Wanders are the visitors to the Archie Gooch Pavilion (ko 2.30pm).

Next Tuesday night (Feb 18), the Blues travel to Keynsham Town Reserves to play on their 4G pitch under lights with a 7.45pm kick off.