Cheddar 4 - 1 Warminster Town
Tuesday 30th January 2018
Shaun Potter’s side went into Tuesday’s home clash with Warminster Town knowing that a victory by two clear goals would leapfrog his Cheddar side into the giddy heights of fourth place in the Toolstation Western League Division One writes Kerry Miller.
Doubtless he would have been unprepared for what was in the end a bizarre match which had seen a sending off and three bookings, three goals including an own goal from the visitors and both managers being lectured more than once, before the first period was even half done.
The Cheesemen played over an hour with ten men but saw Adam Jones net twice in the last five minutes to give them that fourth place and a deserved three points.
For some reason best known to the players, it appeared from the touchline that the sides, and the benches took a dislike to each other from the start and with both managers not helping the situation with their behaviour towards all and sundry, referee Jack Clench had his hands full but did not panic and came out the other end intact.
For a while it resembled the Theatre of Sleaze rather than Cheese as half a dozen found their way into the book for a variety of offences and in the end it was Ross McNab who overstepped the mark on 22 minutes and was shown a straight red for appearing to tread indelicately on Town defender Kevin Shinn.
By then Warminster had weathered a very early home storm before on five minutes Henry McFerran nodded home Eben Mortimer-Taylor’s corner for an early lead. It lasted barely three minutes as McNab found room in the box to drive home the equaliser past Nathan Ball. Charlie Walton then brought a fine save out of home keeper Liam Kingston, who must have gone perilously close to a man of the match award but by then the arguments had begun and a booking each was exacerbated by a penalty appeal by Cheddar which went unanswered . On 22 minutes Robbi Maggs threw over a curling cross and Slinn’s accuracy was unerring as he sliced the ball home for an own goal to give Cheddar the lead. Seconds later McNab was in the dressing room leaving his side to face more than an hour with ten men and Warminster upped the tempo as the temperature rose towards ugly.
Mortimer and Matt Dyer were denied by Kingston then Walton was wide before Mark Young drove towards the are and his effort was just deflected for a corner.
Kingston again kept out a Walton strike around the half hour before Cheddar regrouped and the unusually quiet Ricky Bennett stung Ball’s fingers from distance.
Defender Joe Grant succumbed to a knock at the break and moments later Maggs joined him leaving yet another reshaping job for boss Potter but the action continued and Jones went close with the visitors appearing to tire and heads started to go down.
More cautioned followed around the hour mark in what in truth was never a dirty game while often niggly and far too vocal but it was not boring and Chris Coombs latched on to a stunning pass from from substitute Callum Ham but Ball somehow kept it out from close range.
As the match closed out Warminster were still in with a shout but the ten Cheddar men, by then vastly changed in shape and personnel got stronger and Jones beat the offside trap to slot home from ten yards to give breathing space and the two goal cushion. He rubbed salt into an ever gaping wound two minutes later when Ball’s clearance was charged down and the top scorer lobbed in the fourth from a tight angle to complete a victory on a night when lesser referees could have caved in under the pressure but the fact that it was handshakes all round at full time showed commonsense prevailed.