Late goal denies Ashton & Backwell all three points


Football. - Credit: Archant

Ashton & Backwell were denied victory when Chard Town scored an equaliser in the 88th minute.

Ashton & Backwell 1

Chard Town 1

Ashton & Backwell United gained a point at home to Chard Town, thanks to a candidate for goal of the season from Harry Walker.

The pitch was very heavy, but playable and a vote of thanks to all those, led by vice-chairman Mike Thomas, who managed to get the game on.

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The goal came in the 55th minute, following a great attacking spell from the Stags from half-time, in which substitute Billy Devoy and Aaron Allen had both come close to scoring.

Devoy’s pace and intent on the right, having replaced the injured Sol Shearer, was a cause of great trouble to the Chard defence. Walker took the ball forward and spotted the keeper too far forward, so aimed a perfect shot just dipping under the bar to give the Stags their first goal of 2018.

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The goal seemed to enthuse the home side and they attacked on both flanks, Conor Biggins, Allen, Callaghan and Devoy, all using the width to good advantage.

Ten minutes after the goal, Hardidge strolled in the box, supplying Walker whose shot was blocked, as was Conor Biggins follow-up. In the 70th minute Conor’s pace freed Uppington in space in the box, Hill, the Chard keeper’s fingertips the only barrier to goal.

The roles were reversed on 85 minutes, a long clearance from Coombes was well-controlled by Uppington, a pinpoint push to Conor putting him clear, only for him to shoot weakly at Hill.

Despite the difficult conditions, the midfield and defence showed a great deal of resolution in containing Chard, for whom the pace of the front two Boyland and Stafie was a handful, as was the flank play of Westlake and Cleal.

Man of the match Callaghan’s tackle of Boyland on19 minutes when he had eluded the rest of the defence was magnificent, Callum Biggins stop on Westlake to cut out a counter-attack at 31 minutes and a brilliant head over on 88 minutes from Bevis’ stunner were both worthy of report, as were Bishop, Thomas, Walker and Hardidge’s work.

While Chard displayed a lot of pace and movement, their attacks were being nullified and with full-time looming, the Stags were maintaining their lead. On 88 minutes the visitors won a corner and the ball was sent over and then moved around as if in a giant muddy pinball machine, until Kieron Bailey got an equaliser, perhaps deserved, but was disappointing after all the efforts put in.

The next Stags action is a Toolstation Western League Division 1 match away to Calne Town on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

Team: Coombes, Callaghan, Walker, Bishop, Callum Biggins, Shearer (sub Devoy, 46), Hardidge, Thomas (c), Uppington, Allen, Conor Biggins.

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