Chard Town 1-1 Westbury United
Westlake goal of the season contender, as Chard take a point off of the league's leaders
This match was a replay of the abandoned match earlier in the season when with only minutes to play and Chard leading 4 – 2 the game was brought to a premature end due to the heavy rain. However, with Westbury vying for a promotion place and the home side wishing to prove a point the game produced some good competitive football played at a fast pace with a share of the points on the final whistle being a fair result. The match opened in explosive style with a goal for Chard after only 3 minutes play. Ollie Pearson's driven, diagonal from inside his own half was met, on the run, by Max Westlake on the edge of the box to produce a brilliant first-time volley which flew direct into the net past the visitors ‘keeper Lewis Porter, in which few would argue wasn't Chard's goal of the season. With end to end play, several free kicks and corners ensued for Chard but Westbury got back into the game on 20 minutes when following a home corner, the visitors broke away into the Chard half with Mark Robinson going through to score with only ‘keeper Jon Hill to beat for the equaliser. Further efforts fell for Westbury with a shot by Robinson hitting the corner of the goalpost/bar on 30 minutes and a shot saved by Hill minutes later. Late in the first half, Chard produced several scoring opportunities with a James Boyland shot cleared off the line on 38 minutes and a good ball from Max Westlake saw an Andy Holmes effort just wide before the sides went into the interval level at one goal each.
The second period continued at the same pace with an early corner for Chard and a good move by Matt Howell across the visitors back line to Max Westlake to be followed by Liam Cleal producing a good cross to James Boyland on 60 minutes. For their part Westbury also pushed to produce an opening but sound defending by the Chard defence including a fine save by Jon Hill that kept the home goal intact. On 80 minutes, Boyland got in a good position to produce an effort across the face of the goal with a further shot saved well by the visitors ‘keeper for a corner.The final, frantic 10 minutes of the match saw both sides come close to finding a winning goal with a Westbury chance across the face of the home goal together with Andy Holmes clearing the ball off the line. For Chard, Boyland went through only for his shot to be well covered by ‘keeper Lewis Porter and in the final minutes a cross by Ben-Salem saw a great headed effort by Liam Cleal hit the visitors bar to deny Chard the win.
Although the game was a bit fiesta at times credit must go to both sides for providing a good contest well controlled by Referee Kevin Slade.