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FOOTBALL: Chard Town suffer home defeat
2:19pm Sunday 13th October 2013 in Somerset Sport
CHARD Town lost 2-1 at home to Cheddar in the first division of the Toolstation Western league yesterday, writes Rod Harrington.
The sides fought out a draw on the edge of the Mendips only three weeks ago and this proved equally close with Chard unlucky not to gain at least a point.
Due to an injury to Taoufik Ben Salem, Nick Flory sent the team out with both Sam Clark and Oscar Latis up front and a reshuffled midfield for the suspended Jamie Underwood and Mike McCormack.
Cheddar got out of the blocks quickly and were a goal to the good within 30 seconds when Sam Jones on the rifled past Jason Hutchings from a relatively tight angle.
The home side breathed a sigh of relief minutes later when Matt Connick blazed over from close range when it seemed easier to score after Hutchings' fine save from Callum Ham.
The game quickly became a wide open contest with the lively Cheddar forwards constantly testing the Robins' defence with their pace and their variety of attacking options.
Nevertheless Chard were also regularly causing problems for their rearguard. Latis shot over and Andy Martin, Mark Armstrong and particularly Ben Haines, when his effort hit a defender, all came close.
The game was nicely set up for the second half when, on the stroke of half-time, Sam Spurway headed the ball into a melee of players and Sam Clark pounced close to the goal line to equalise.
After the break the game's open end to end nature continued and many chances went begging. Cheddar's Ricky Bennett launched a couple of free kicks which came perilously close to going in and Jones lobbed Hutchings only to see the ball run just wide of the post.
The game turned on 70 minutes. Spurway was unfortunate to handle in the box, for which he received a yellow card, and Ham put away the resulting penalty kick to give the visitors a narrow advantage.
Despite a final onslaught Chard couldn't achieve parity. There were times when the ball just wouldn't go in the net.
Towards the end Martin's excellent free kick was turned round the post and Armstrong and Latis had some rather mbitious efforts which came to no avail.
Chard - Jason Hutchings, Adam Fricker, Darren Hutchings, Mark Armstrong, Mark Scott, Sam Spurway, Ben Haines (Richard Hebditch 71 mins), George Chlopecki, Sam Clark (Luke Finn 82 mins), Oscar Latis, Andy Martin. Sub not used: Adam Tovey.
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