Western Counties Floodlit Youth League: Wellington 0, Chard Town 1

Our U18s lost out to Chard in a keenly contested local derby at the Playing Field.

Before the game, there was an impeccably observed minute’s silence for former U18s player Lloyd Manning.

The game was played in a good spirit between two evenly matched teams, who tried to play decent football on a rather bobbly pitch.

In the first half, chances were of a premium with the Wellington back four of Josh Cashmore, Matt Harper, Dylan Groves and Dylan Sellick putting in some robust challenges and good blocks on the Chard forwards.

Despite their solidity, Chard did get through on a couple of occasions but they were kept at bay by Sam Harcombe, the Wellington keeper, who turned in a man-of-the-match display.

At the other end, Wellington’s frontline of Sean Conway, Matt Brereton and James King tried to create chances, with King having a lovely chip drift just wide and a header from a fine Conway cross narrowly going over.

Brereton was unlucky not be awarded a penalty when he was bundled over as he tried to shoot from close range.

The midfield of Josh Sibands, Ned Ogilvie and Lennie Old put in some good tackles and broke up play well. They tried to get the rhythm going, but just couldn’t find the right ball to break the deadlock.

In the second half, playing up the hill, Wellington found it difficult to make many clearcut chances and a lot of the play was in their half.

They had keeper Harcombe to thank for some excellent stops, including a fantastic double save which was greatly admired by the excellent crowd and the visiting FA officials.

Despite Harcombe’s heroics, they fell behind in disappointing fashion. Having given away a rather soft corner, the home defence failed to clear the resulting kick and, after some pinball in the area, a Chard player hooked the ball into the net.

This sparked Wellington’s youngsters into life and next it was the Chard keeper who produced an outstanding stop to keep out a Brereton freekick that looked to be heading for the top corner.

In search of an equaliser, Wellington manager Joe Conway rang the changes, bringing on fresh legs and utilising his five substitutes with Sam Snook, Jon Wasey, Reggie Dursten, James Clarke, as well as a welcome return from a broken foot, Ryan Corbett, coming onto the field.

It looked like Conway’s changes, and a few tactical adjustments, would bear fruit in the dying minutes until the Chard keeper kept out a fierce Groves shot, and Wellington failed to convert the rebound. Chard kept the ball for the remaining minutes and the game ended in another frustrating result for the home team.

They face an in-form Wells City team next Tuesday, December 13th, with a 7.30pm kick off at the Playing Field

MOM: Sam Harcombe.

Match Sponsor: Jon Stanyard of Stanyard Facades.

Food Sponsor: Ellie from The Green Dragon.