Cheddar work hard for home success over Warminster
By Merv Colenutt
Cheddar got back to winning ways with a hard-earned 3-1 home victory over Warminster Town.
The hosts dominated the game for the most part on a heavy surface, but four missed opportunities in the opening 20 minutes could so easily have proved costly on another day.
Adam Davies blazed the ball high over the crossbar when well-placed and Jamie Howson will feel he should have done better after failing to capitalise on a defensive error from Mark Brefitt.
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Louis Sparey then tested Cheddar’s teenage goalkeeper Sam Talbot with a rare early effort for the visitors before George Booth and Joel Butcher failed to hit the target from good positions at the other end.
However, Cheddar’s patience was rewarded with the opening goal midway through the half as Adam Davies’ inswinging corner was powerfully headed past keeper Graham Kitley by Chris Beers at the back post.
The visitors responded quickly as Sparey forced Talbot into a full-length save at the other end.
Billy Manning produced a moment of magic with a superb right-foot effort that was turned to safety by the stretching Kitley after Booth and Beers linked well through the right channel.
Warminster started the second half brightly but the Cheddar backline have adapted well to life in the Western League and remained solid throughout.
Billy Manning tested Kitley once again with a fine shot as Cheddar rode the storm and it was the home side who doubled their advantage midway through the second half.
Jamie Howson found space inside the visitors’ penalty area and spun brilliantly to tuck a fine shot into the back of the net, past the despairing left hand of Kitley.
Within 90 seconds, Warminster were handed a lifeline when Sam King hauled down Sparey in the Cheddar box and referee Martin Underhay, who had an exceptional game, was well placed to award a penalty. Ashley Wain sent Talbot the wrong way from the spot to halve the arrears.
Talbot then made his most important save of the afternoon on 82 minutes, brilliantly turning aside an effort from Kurt Hammonds that would have put Warminster back on level terms.
But Cheddar made the game safe in the final minute when a Mike Goulding cross from the left was hammered home at the far post by Matt Connick.
Merv’s merit marks: S Talbot 7, C BEERS 8, A Brandrick 7, G Booth 8, J Underhill 7, S King 7, J Butcher 7, J Green 6, J Howson 7, B Manning 6, A Davies 7, Subs: M Connick 7, M Goulding 6.
Referee: Martin Underhay 10.
Entertainment value: 7.