Minehead & West Somerset 3-5 Chard Firsts

SATURDAY saw Chard travel to Minehead with a few players missing, and on the back of a couple league defeats for what would be expected to be a physical game.

Despite this, Chard started sharply with some solid team play in moving the ball around.

It was from this that the first goal would come from Oscar Smith on the end of a cross from Max Jaffe.

10 minutes Chard had doubled their lead on the back of another goal from Smith. Stealing the ball in the middle of the park, Riley Millett was able to quickly shift the ball from the left hand side to the right wing, passing around the opposition defence before finding the eventual goalscorer.

With the scoreline at 2-0, Minehead were able to claw back some control on the game winning a few short corners to attack the Chard net.

One of these attempts was able to beat the Chard defences, reducing the deficit to one goal.

This may have been reduced further if not for some key saves from Cian Brown in goal. Chard came into the break the happier of the two teams having the goal advantage.

The second half would show much of the same, Chard being able to pass the ball around in attack and staying compact in defence, marshalled by Bertie Lupton and Nathan Johnson.

The forward line of Oscar Smith, Alec Evans and Max Jaffe continued to run rings around the Minehead defence, which allowed Evans increase Chard’s lead to 3-1 on the back of some individual skill from Jaffe to drive to the opponent’s baseline and assist Evans.

Against Chard’s best efforts, Minehead were able to squeeze a couple of goals into the back of the Chard net. At three goals apiece, it was all to play for.

It was another moment of individual skill from Jaffe to rifle a reverse stick effort into the top corner that put Chard ahead once again.

Minehead continued to grow frustrated by the Chard midfield of Mike Lane, Nick Parkinson and Fraser Lewis, reverting to more physicality in an attempt to push their way through to the Chard back line.

To finish the game off, Oscar Smith topped off a Man of the Match performance by finishing a cross from Alec Evans to complete his hat-trick.

Squad: C Brown (GK), N Johnson, B Lupton, J Crease (C), R Millett, D Grabham, N Parkinson, M Lane, F Lewis, O Smith, A Evans, M Jaffe