Sherborne travelled to third in the table Willand Rovers looking to extend their recent good form but knew they would be up against it having been comprehensively outplayed in the reverse fixture at Raleigh Grove earlier in the season. Pete Ireland came in for the unavailable Hayden Brown whilst perhaps surprisingly Elliott Mann had to settle for a place on the bench, Tony Cunningham the man preferred to replace him.
The pitch survived Hurricane Katie and an early morning pitch inspection, full credit to the Willand ground staff who did a tremendous job in getting the pitch more than playable.
It was the visitors who started the better side as the players adjusted to the sticky playing surface Cunningham twice tried his luck early on but never troubled Ton McHale in the Willand goal on either occasion.Willands dangerous marksman James Blake had his sides first effort on target on twenty minutes shooting straight at Jamie Beale.Blake was then guilty of a poor miss although on this occasion the assistant referee spared his blushes adjudging him to be in an offside position.
The liveliest moment of the first half came in bizarre circumstances, Sherborne’s Jamie Beale sending a free kick that had been given for an offside infringement forward that Tom McHale in the Willand goal totally misjudged leaving the ball to bounce over his head and sailing into the Willand net, his embarrassment was spared by the match officials who quickly realised the free kick was an indirect one and as the ball had evaded McHales outstretched arms the “goal” was promptly chalked off.
Sherborne were well aware of the ability of their hosts on the ball but were working hard all over the pitch to stop their opponents playing Barratt and Farthing working like dervishes to frustrate the question was could they keep it up all game following Good Fridays efforts.
Willand started the second half much better and began to get their passing game going Worbey curled an effort just wide on fifty five minutes, in a rare foray forward for Sherborne a great piece of skill form Adam Barratt who turned with aplomb sending over a good cross that Ryan Guppy did well to head away from Marc Caines who was lurking at the back post.
Willand Manager Russell Gee then made his first substitution bringing on Aidan Moyle in place of Brett Worbey.Moyle looked lively form the start causing problems with his quick feet and direct running,Sherbornes Mr Reliable Harry Montacute picked up a caution for bringing an abrupt end to once such run.
Both Managers made substitutions in the seventieth minute, Elliott Mann replacing Steve Friend for Sherborne and Danny Baily replacing Tom Bath as they each looked to change the game in their favour.
The home side won a succession of corners as they built up ahead of steam against a visibly tiring Sherborne Chris Abbott was guilty of a poor miss for four yards out somehow shooting wide, Blake had a header saved by Beale and then hit the post when he should have scored.Sherbornes Steve Burton picked up a caution for a rash challenge as his side struggle to contain their hosts. The goal their pressure probably deserved finally came in the 83rd minute a well-placed cross from Dave Steele across the face of the box was met by Moyle who made no mistake giving Beale no chance.
It looked like the goal would be enough to win the game however Sherbornes never say die attitude saw them battle to get back into the game and restore parity to the score line, Nick Jacobs flashed a delightful ball across the box that Elliott Mann finished magnificently.
The referee bought a close to the game shortly after leaving both sets of fans content with a point,Willand Rovers missed the better chances but the visitors were more than worthy of a point, working hard from one to eleven to stop the opposition from playing.Sherborne man of the match went to Pete Ireland.