Uhlsport Somerset County League Premier Division

Mendip Broadwalk 4, Chard Town 1

CHARD Town suffered their second defeat of the season, as they went down 4-1 at Mendip Broadwalk on Saturday.

The final scoreline somewhat flattered the hosts, who benefited from two soft goals.

The Robins started brightly, with some good work down the right and a Marky Jones shot just wide on 15 minutes.

Five minutes later, after a good run into the Mendip area, a shot was saved by the home goalkeeper and Jones hit the bar.

Following a couple of good saves by Chard keeper William Whitworth at the other end, Liam Cleal sent a header just wide.

Mendip opened the scoring on 29 minutes, when a cross-field ball found Jacob O’Donnell in open space to stroke the ball home.

Mendip then applied more pressure and on 40 minutes Tommy Mikins scored from close range, after Whitworth could not hold a ball that bounced awkwardly in the area.

Chard were awarded a free kick just on half time, but the resulting header was just wide.

The second half opened with a further soft goal for the hosts, the last touch coming off a Chard player for an own goal.

The Robins brought on Tom Stephens-Fouracre and James Boyland for Luke Jackson and Dan Collins and this led to increased pressure on the home defence – Cleal pulling one back following good build-up.

Jones came close again, his effort hitting the corner of the bar, but to end a disappointing day for Chard, O’Donnell scored his second to wrap up a 4-1 victory for the hosts.

Chard Town: William Whitworth, Daniel O’Connor, Thomas Salter, Andrew Holmes (c), Connor Richardson, Luke Jackson (Thomas Stephens-Fouracre), Josh Lukins, Harry Boddington, Dan Collins (James Boyland), Marky Jones (Dan Collins) Liam Cleal

Uhlsport Somerset County League Premier Division

Ilminster Town 1, Shirehampton 2

SHIREHAMPTON, who have strengthened in the summer, sat top of the early season table with two wins from two going into Saturday’s game at Ilminster Town, who had one point from their two matches.

Both sides started confidently, with Ilminster matching their Bristol-based visitors, then on 20 minutes a break down the right led to home keeper Andrew Male making a save, only for the rebound to fall invitingly for Dave Stone to tap in.

The Blues were not behind for long, though, as they attacked down the left, and Charlie Rutter held the ball up before rolling it back to Lee Sweet, who smashed it into the top corner.

Rutter was then forced off with an injury which led to a reshuffle, as Sam Tratt came on at centre-half alongside Doug Whitfield.

Shirehampton led 2-1 at half-time, after poor defending allowed Dan Spicer to net from close range.

Ilminster struggled to get hold of the ball in the second half as Shirehampton kept possession well, but resolute Blues defending kept them out, with Owen Burn outstanding.

Then came a controversial decision in the 70th minute, as Doug Whitfield appeared to win the ball but referee Dave Middleton pointed to the spot.

In a Respect League, with the new sin bin rule in place, the players will soon learn that they have to show restraint, as both Lee Sweet and Luke Paul remonstrated strongly and found themselves with 10 minutes off the field for dissent.

Nonetheless, Male made a great save from Spicer’s penalty, and the nine men clung on for 10 minutes.

Shirehampton were happy to keep the ball late on, as Ilminster tired following their midweek exertions.

Overall this was a fair result against a fine Shirehampton side.

Owen Burn was man of the match after yet another good performance, and after a difficult pre-season there are signs that the team is taking shape and improving.

The top six in the Premier Division are very good and, with promoted Keynsham Town Reserves and Mendip Boardwalk starting well, the division looks very strong this season.

Ilminster Town: Andrew Male, Owen Burn, Brad Pitman, Ben Pitman, Luke Paul, Doug Whitfield, Lee Sweet, Carl Lazenby, Taylor Jefferson, Charlie Rutter, Andy Whitefield. Subs Used: Rich Crabb, Mitch Hooper, Sam Tratt

Uhlsport Somerset County League Division 3

Stockwood Green Res 1, Combe St Nicholas 3

COMBE travelled to Stockwood Green Reserves with a couple of players missing for holidays, so in came Darren Dabinett and Gethyn Jenkins.

The Saints soon got into a nice high tempo and took control, with the first chance falling to Kieran Manley, whose left-footed lob hit the post.

It wasn’t long before Combe got their first goal, however, as Jack Male scored from a corner, only for Stockwood to equalise five minutes later.

Combe regrouped and won a penalty after Jenkins was bundled over, but the goalkeeper saved Male’s effort.

Ten minutes later Jenkins was again knocked over, and Male stepped up once more, but this time he put the penalty wide of the target.

In the second half it was one-way traffic as Combe stepped up a gear, but the keeper was having the game of his life.

Following a change of formation with quarter of an hour to play, Jenkins got his first goal for Combe with a nice turn and finish.

The Combe youngsters relaxed and made sure of the three points with 10 minutes left, Male scoring a screamer to atone for his penalty misses.

This Saturday, Combe host Yatton & Cleeve United Reserves.