Cheddar pipped to final play-off spot despite Odd Down (Bath) win on Mawford's final game in charge

A victorious Cheddar line-up after Saturday’s game with departing manager Craig Mawford.

A victorious Cheddar line-up after Saturday’s game with departing manager Craig Mawford to celebrate their sixth place league finish. - Credit: Alan Cooper

Ricky Bennett scored two penalties in the first half to help Cheddar beat Odd Down (Bath) 2-1 in Craig Mawford's last game as manager of the Cheesmen at Combe Hay Lane on Saturday.

Four teams had the chance of sneaking into the play-off places at the expense of AEK Boko, who were siting in fifth, and Cheddar, buoyed by their win at Wells the previous Saturday, made all the early running.

As in the previous outing, it was Nathaniel Groom, aided so well on the right flank by Holland, who caught the eye, as the livewire striker twisted and turned in the opposition penalty area at every opportunity. 

Forcing three corners in the opening 16 minutes it looked like the visitors would engineer themselves an early lead, but the Odd Down defence was well marshalled by Kevin Davies and Emmanuel Adepitan and held firm.

On 19 minutes, the hosts had opportunity to score themselves when good play Joshua Clark and Luke Bevan found William Obeng overlapping on the right and his cross was met at speed by Omar Simpson, but his scissor kick effort went wide of Kieran Webster’s left post. 

Cheddar got the all-important breakthrough from the penalty spot on 37 minutes after Groom had been fouled. 

Initially Ella Broad signalled that the offence had occurred outside the penalty area, but an eagle-eyed assistant referee indicated that the offence had occurred inside the box.

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This left Bennett to place his spot-kick wide of goalkeeper and captain Chris Blammon to put the visitors into the lead.

Cheddar went further ahead six minutes later, again from the spot, with Groom being fouled as he was about to aim a shot at goal. 

Bennett made no mistake again, shooting high into the right-hand corner of the net.

But  on 75 minutes, Odd Down’s Bevan weaved his way down the left and Clark was first to react 10 yards from goal, sending a firm header past Webster to reduce the arrears.

However, Mawford’s side ended the game with a second away win in two weeks but in spite of an incredibly brave effort to reach the play-offs at the 11th hour, they were thwarted by Radstock Town.

The Miners recorded a thumping 5-0 win over Bristol Telephones to creep into fifth, one point above the Cheesemen, albeit with an inferior goal difference.

But it was still an outstanding end to the season for Cheddar, who lost just once, to league runners-up Warminster Town, on a run that saw them win four of their last five games.