Ashton and Backwell United 1-1 Chard Town
Late Bailey equaliser shares the spoils
In a hard-fought game at Ashton & Backwell on Saturday last a late goal for Chard Town saw them come away with a draw with the match only going ahead thanks to sterling work by the home groundsman to get the pitch in playable condition.
Playing down the slope in the first half Chard had the best of the early attacking play with efforts by James Boyland wide on 7 minutes and Liam Cleal just over the bar on 15 minutes together with a Kieran Bailey header from a free kick straight to the home ‘keeper Lewis Coombes.
Backwell also set up some attacking moves, but they also could not find the net with two efforts wide and a save by Chard’s ‘keeper Jon Hill.
With Chard’s penalty appeals turned down by the Referee for an alleged handball offence and a foul just inside the area the first period ended goalless.
The second half saw more close passing football from both sides with shots by Alex Stafie and Liam Cleal well covered by the home ‘keeper. However, Backwell upped the pace and broke the deadlock on 56 minutes to go ahead when from a well-judged strike by Harry Walker high into the top corner of the net from some 25 yards out giving Chard’s ‘keeper Jon Hill no chance.
With Chard’s three subs on they pushed forward but could not produce that final finish and with Backwell looking to increase their lead two excellent saves by ‘keeper Jon Hill kept Chard in the game. With time running out Chard produced a late rally with more positive approach work, Boyland’s effort went into the side netting together with a free kick and from a corner kick the subsequent header went straight to the home ‘keeper. A further corner for Chard saw a goal mouth scramble and following several close attempts in the muddy conditions the goal came with the ball in the net scored by Kieran Bailey on the stroke of full time to give Chard a well-deserved share of the points and keep their recent unbeaten run and retain their eighth league position.