Toolstation Western League First Division

Bishops Lydeard 2, Chard Town 3

CHARD Town kept pace with a clutch of clubs who are beginning to draw clear at the top of the First Division with victory in an exciting Boxing Day clash at Bishops Lydeard, writes Rod Harrington.

It was a hard-fought game with some fine goals from both sides.

The early pressure came mostly from the home side and Lydeard duly went ahead on 19 minutes when defender Callum Flaherty got forward to head firmly into the Chard net from a corner with little challenge. It was a deserved lead.

After 27 minutes, however, a long ball from Elliot Dyer caught the hosts napping and the alert Ryan Parris nipped in to fire over keeper Nathan Whatley.

The Robins then employed the long ball again 10 minutes later with Max Westlake’s lofted pass over the full-back to James Boyland.

Boyland did what he does best and turned the defence to bury his shot in the net past Whatley.

Just six minutes into the second half, another aerial ball forward was well controlled by Westlake who cleverly tapped the ball past the advancing Whatley after breaking free of his marker for Chard’s third goal.

Lydeard tried desperately to get back into the game and, perhaps after taking their cue from their opponents, pulled a goal back with a high ball forward which James Quick headed over Scott Wells-Burr in the Chard goal on 63 minutes.

The Robins could have extended the lead with more accurate finishing but there was still an element of drama to come in time added on.

The persistent Parris was in the process of rounding Whatley to score just inside the box when he was brought down.

Whatley was dismissed but Ollie Pearson’s penalty rattled the bar. A few nervous minutes were played out but ultimately the Robins were worthy of the three points by making the most of their chances.

Bishops Lydeard: Watley, Flaherty, Cornish, Bryant, Quick, Andrews (Ryder), Clunie, Brereton (Bridges), Quick, Mockridge, Hebditch (Desave)

Chard: Scott Wells-Burr, Elliot Dyer, Ollie Pearson, Andrew Holmes, Kieran Bailey, Ben Haines, Max Westlake, Nathan Warren, Ryan Parris, James Boyland, Liam Cleal. Subs not used – Steve Friend, Dan Collins, Tom Hargreave, Josh Manley.