Away Match vs Cadbury Heath FC (TWLPD)
Wednesday 24 February 2016
Toolstation Western League Premier Division 2015/16
Sherborne Town 1st
3-2 (Away Defeat)
Sherborne travelled to Cadbury Heath with a good chance of climbing four places in the Toolstation Western league table if they could come away with all three points.There was a place in the starting line up for debutant Joe Smith stepping up from the reserve team and Haydn Brown came in, in place of Kris Hastings who withdrew from the side at late notice.
Credit has to go to the Cadbury Heath ground staff who had prepared the pitch superbly following the recent weather conditions.
It was the home side who started the brighter and Sherborne were given an early warning of what was to come when the prolific Matt Huxley headed narrowly over when unmarked in the 9th minute just eight minutes later Huxley gave his side the lead latching on to a long ball over the Sherborne defence to lob Beale from 25 yards out.
This shook Sherborne into action and they started to play some much better football most of it coming through Luke Winsper who was running the midfield, area twice going close from distance. The visitors got back on levels terms when birthday boy Steve Friend latched on to a through ball and calmly slotted past Tom Drewitt in the home goal in the 20th minute.Sam Farthing and Winsper combined well on the edge of the area but again Winspers effort was just off target.Haydn Brown then set up Winsper whose long range effort stung the hands of Drewitt who claimed it at the second attempt.
Matt Huxley nearly repeated his first goal when he sent another lob goalwards that had Beale frantically back peddling before he could gather the ball.Joe Smith was looking lively upfront on his debut and was unlucky to see his effort on goal sail just wide of the post in what was to be a frustrating final 15 minutes of the half for Sherborne as they peppered the Cadbury Heath goal but were unable to direct any of their efforts on target going close on several occasions.
Cadbury Heath should have gone into the break with the lead when they broke sharply on the stroke of half time, only some fine work by Beale and a goal line clearance fromHarry Montacute prevented them from doing so.
The second half started the same as the first with the home side in the ascendency and it didn’t take them long to regain the lead, George Boon was given far too much space out wide and given all the time in the world picked out the onrushing and unmarked Simon McElroy who made no mistake from 6 yards out to fire past Beale. Beale was then forced to make a fine save on the edge of his are from poor back pass as Sherborne struggled to gain a foothold in the game.
The visitors were unhappy in the 63rd minute when Friend was upended in unceremonious fashion by Mike Baker in front of the assistant referee and referee who both deemed the tackle a fair one, a decision that earnt the Sherborne manager a talking to for his protestations. The mood of the visitors didn’t improve on 69 minutes when McElroy crossed from out wide for Matt Huxley who again was given far too much space in the Sherborne six yard area to head home unchallenged to give his side a 3-1 lead.
The last ten minutes saw Sherborne start to find their way back into the game again Jason Bond slipped a great ball through to Smith who could only fire wide,Winsper Plant and Smith then combined well only for Drewitt to pull off a great save down low to his left to deny Plant.
Sherborne set up late drama with an 89th minute through Smith whose tireless running on the night deserved a goal latching on to a Plant through ball and firing past Drewitts near post. What looked like an unlikely draw nearly came to fruition in stoppage time Plant again the provided sent over a fine ball that saw a Smith glancing header sail narrowly over the Cadbury Heath cross bar.
A very entertaining but disappointing game of football where Sherborne were made to pay for not taking their chances when they came and some sloppy defending against one of the best strikers in the league. Positives were the performance of Joe Smith who didn’t look out of place on his debut and nearly snatched his side a point at the death. Man of the Match went to Luke Winsper who had a great game in the middle of the park and was involved in most things positive for his side.