Cheddar stay top of the table

Cheddar 5 Shirehampton 1 - Cheddar kept on top of the Premier Division table after this excellent victory over a Shirehampton team that had won its last seven league games in a row.

Cheddar 5

Shirehampton 1

Cheddar kept on top of the Premier Division table after this excellent victory over a Shirehampton team that had won its last seven league games in a row.

Cheddar lined up in their familiar 3-5-2 formation with Dean Grubb partnering Adam Jones up front and they also had their familiar early 1-0 lead as these two combined with Grubb following up Jones' shot to score the opener.

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Cheddar doubled their lead on 20 minutes when a 60-yard ball from the back from Will Gardner found Lewis Matthews on the left, beat his marker and pulled the ball back for man of the match Chris Gardner to head home from close range.

Cheddar then showed the other side of their game when they conceded a sloppy goal within a minute after failing to clear. This looked like being a bigger problem when keeper Pete Fowler collapsed with a knee injury, but he bravely played on and never looked seriously troubled again.

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Cheddar scored a third just before the break when top scorer Adam Jones shot home from the edge of the box.

The second half was a comfortable exercise for the Cheddar side with Manning and Kay dominating the middle and Dave Phillips and Matthews stretching the visitors with their scintillating wing play.

At the back, any trouble was quickly snuffed out by Paul Whittaker, Luke Matthews and Will Gardner, with Gardner also being a threat every time he brought the ball forward.

Cheddar eventually settled the game when a good move ended with Grubb crossing for Jones to volley home from 15 yards and Jones put the icing on the cake with an individual goal for his hat- trick.

Cheddar 4

St George (EiG) 0

CHEDDAR knew they should be too strong for their visitors from Bristol but complacency was potentially a threat as it had been earlier in the season.

Cheddar started with a flyer as a Lewis Matthews cross was headed home by Dean Grubb from 10 yards, with just a couple of minutes gone and took control from this point but were unable to add to their tally despite the domination of possession and territory.

Keeper Pete Fowler's knee finally gave out and he was taken to hospital to sort out his injury and he was replaced by top scorer Adam Jones.

Cheddar scored again on the hour when a corner was headed out to Paul Whittaker, who volleyed home into the bottom corner. On 70 minutes it was 3-0 when a Josh Underhill header from another corner was knocked home from close range by Mike Edmonds.

Cheddar finally got the fourth with a few minutes to go when a Dean Grubb inspired move down the left found Lewis Matthews close to goal for a simple tap in.

Although not at their best Cheddar were comfortable and took great heart from their first clean sheet since the opening day of the season. Although top of the table, Cheddar know a lot more effort and improvement will be needed if the goal of the title is to be achieved, especially with the ominous form that Bridgwater and Watchet, their main title rivals, are showing at present.

Congresbury 4

Cheddar 0

CONGRESBURY were the stronger side throughout the first half, but a lack of composure in the final third prevented them taking a deserved lead.

Tuckfield, having previously been denied a strong penalty claim, was again challenged inside the box and this time the resulting spot kick was dispatched by Lush.

Hammond was proving hard to handle and it was his shot, on 72 minutes, that deflected off Tuckfield and arched over the hapless keeper into the net.

The goal of the game came on 83 minutes when Harraway ran strongly from the half way line and hurdled a desperate lunge from the Cheddar centre back before bending the ball past the advancing keeper.

This signalled the end of any Cheddar resistance and on 87 minutes, Lush tapped in from close range following another Hammond shot.

Backwell United 0

Westland United 2

AFTER a disappointing loss in their previous fixture to high flying Yatton, Westland United travelled to Backwell with a point to prove.

They started much the brighter and dominated from the off. Early efforts from Ritchie Powell and Ryan Hawkins set the pace. Callum McManus, under pressure to deliver a performance, tormented the Backwell full back from his first touch and, jinking his way through the defence, created the opener. Playing a one-two with Hawkins, McManus neatly slotted into the bottom corner to open his account for the season. Westland pressed again and were soon two up after some excellent build up play from captain Matt Parkinson resulted in a cool finish from Adam Haysom.

Backwell fought hard to get back in the game only for the midfield trio of Parkinson, Powell and Pete Churchill to break up any possession.

The second half followed the trend of the first with Westland creating several chances, a pin-point cross from John Sutor was met by Hawkins only to see his effort cleared off the line and soon after a 30-yard half volley from McManus was only kept out by the corner of the crossbar. Late substitute Kerrigan Briffitt rolled back the years with a run into the box to meet a Sutor cross, only for the bullet header to be saved by the Backwell keeper. An inspirational performance from Stephen Hales in the centre of defence ensured the clean sheet. McManus was named man of the match.

Weston St John's 3

Yatton Athletic 0

ST JOHN'S produced arguably their best performance of the season to record a well-deserved victory in this top of the table clash with league leaders Yatton.

Saints went at Yatton right from the start with Mark Adams and Dan Hartley dominating the midfield. The opening goal came when Nick Jones' corner was headed home by Ash Flavell. Saints were totally dominant and from a Jones cross, Ross Stockhall narrowly failed to score from close-range.

Yatton were not offering much in attack but they nearly equalised when some defensive hesitancy let a striker through on goal but keeper Ian Allchorne made a superb save. Saints came close to increasing their lead when following a Ryan Hodrien corner, Dave Wilcox smashed his shot against the bar.

The Yatton goal was leading a charmed life with good chances falling to Jack Clark, James Wotton and Hartley. Just before half-time Stockhall had another good chance well saved by the Yatton keeper.

The second half was more of the same as Saints went looking for the second goal that would have made the game safe. As Saints pressed Wilcox saw his header clear the bar with the keeper beaten, Stockhall and Hartley fired good chances over the bar and the keeper made a good save from Juzzy Flavell.

Despite all the Saints pressure and dominance Yatton still looked dangerous on the break and good defending by Mark Hearne, Ash Flavell, Wilcox, Jones and Adams denied them the chance of an equaliser on a few occasions.

Saints second goal came when Joe Radcliffe fired a long-range effort into the roof of the net following a defensive mistake. Moments later Juzzy Flavell crashed a header against the bar from an excellent cross by Jones.

Yatton pushed more players forward as they tried to get back in the game and Allchorne had to deal with a few long-range efforts. With only minutes left Saints were awarded a free-kick and Juzzy Flavell made the score 3-0 with a powerful strike that took a slight deflection on its way in to the net. Weston Costcutters player of the match was Mark Adams.

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