Cheddar triumph in top of the table clash
PUBLISHED: 09:09 17 February 2017
Cheddar defeated Keynsham Town 2-0 in a top of the table clash to move up to second spot in the table.
Keynsham Town 0
Cheddar manager Jared Greenhalgh was forced to field what appeared to be a weakened side in their top of the table clash with Keynsham Town, but this match said much for the Cheesemen’s strength in depth, winning the match 2-0.
Regular first team starters Mark Armstrong, Sam King, Chris Coombs and Danny Griffiths were all missing, together with long-term injury victims Sam Jones and Lewis Matthews, but with a new-look back-four in place, it was testimony to the Cheddar manager and his squad that they dug in to earn a deserved victory.
Both sides created early opportunities with Keynsham striker Adrian Harvey testing Kieran Webster with a low drive and then Ash Wintle, the visitor’s goalkeeper, doing well to save at the back post from Adam Jones’ header.
Cheddar midfielder Billy Vaughan, making his first appearance following a three-match suspension, was causing problems for the visitors with his strong running, although he did receive another caution.
Keynsham’s Matt Brown created a chance out of nothing, but his goalbound effort was brilliantly blocked by the impressive Craig Mawford, who was filling in at the heart of the Cheddar defence.
The home side took the lead on 34 minutes with a quality goal. A deep Kristian Bell cross to the back post found the head of Jones and his cushioned header across the face of the six-yard box was slotted home by Shaun Lambert from close range.
Cheddar could have been punished just before the half-time break as George Booth was cautioned for a late challenge on Ben Harris, who saw his free kick brilliantly turned to safety by Webster in the Cheddar goal.
The visitors started the second half strongly, but it was Cheddar who edged the game in the final third, despite losing Shaun Lambert through injury. Jones once again showed his versatility by moving alongside Mawford in central defence.
Mawford went close for Cheddar late on with a spectacular free-kick and Jones was just wide with a flying header from a Ricky Bennett corner.
The game was settled on 85 minutes when Robbi Maggs was bundled over in the penalty area by keeper Wintle as the striker chased Mason Gardener’s long ball. Substitute Callum Ham hit home the resulting spot kick with ease for his 22nd goal of the season, to seal the victory for Cheddar
In summary, it was quite remarkable that the game went ahead, groundsman Russell Heal working wonders to make the pitch playable and with it an exciting encounter between two of the top three teams in the league.
On Saturday, Cheddar face another potentially difficult match when they travel to eighth-placed Portishead Town.
Speaking after the match, Cheddar manager Jared Greenhalgh said: “This was our best performance in two years, all 13 players put in a performance today, I’m proud of them.”
Match sponsor was Chambers Services (Cheddar) and the man of the match was Adam Jones.