Toolstation Western League First Division

Chard Town 4, Malmesbury Victoria 1

WITH two well taken goals in each half, Chard Town completed a well-earned victory on Saturday last against Malmesbury Victoria.

Following early pressure from the hosts, Chard opened the scoring on 22 minutes when Max Westlake's powerful shot found the net.

Chard’s goalkeeper Jon Hill was called into action on 26 minutes. but the Robins doubled their lead on the half hour when a good move saw Steve Friend lay the ball back to Taoufik Ben-Salem, who netted from close range.

Following some close passing and crosses by both sides, Malmesbury were back in the game with a goal from Ed Wilkins just before half-time.

The early part of the second period saw Chard push into the visitors' half and, following a well-directed shot by Westlake, the ball slipped from the goalkeeper's grasp and James Boyland was alert to follow up and put Chard 3-1 ahead.

Town continued to create chances, with Boyland going close twice, but Malmesbury were pushing to get back into the game and Hill had to make some solid saves.

Chard then opened up the visitors defence and Ben-Salem scored his second goal to seal the victory.

Chard Town: Jon Hill, Ben Haines, Oliver Pearson, Andrew Holmes (Octavio Lima), Kieran Bailey, Jack Dicker ,Max Westlake, Taoufik Ben-Salem (Patrick Golden), James Boyland, Stephen Friend (David Durate) Liam Cleal.

Robins boss Paul Down said: "This was an excellent win which puts us above them in the table into 10th place.

"Jon Hill got my man of the match, with a couple of excellent saves at crucial times, although Keiran Bailey was very good and Jack Dicker is maturing all the time."

Next up for Town is a trip to Corsham Town on Saturday, where the Robins welcome back striker Alex Stafie, available for the first time since November 11.

Ben Haines will be serving a one match ban, after picking up his fifth booking on Saturday, before the December 31 deadline.

Also unavailable due to work is midfielder Matt Howell. There could be better news about defender Andy Holmes, who came off injured on Saturday but should be ready.

Meanwhile, Chard reserves entertain the second string of old Western League rivals, Exeter-based Heavitree United, at Zembard Lane in Division One of the Macron Devon & Exeter League (3pm).

Chard's two postponed holiday games have been rearranged as follows: Wincanton away - Tuesday, Feb 6 and Bishops Lydeard home - Wednesday, Feb 28

ILMINSTER Town saw their scheduled match against Bridgwater Town Reserves postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

On Saturday, the Blues head to Nailsea United for their first league match since November 25.