SOMERFORD came out on top in a 10-goal thriller at fellow Division One promotion hopefuls Staverton, who themselves played their part in a classic that could have gone either way.
It was won 6-4 by a Somerford side, who moved into second spot after completing a double over Aaron Latchem’s men, who until this season had always got the better of Spike Chandler’s side.
Simon Parfitt gave Staverton the perfect start but a crazy 20 minute spell saw Somerford take a 4-1 as the hosts defence were unable to cope with the onslaught from their guests.
Ashley Monaghan drew the teams level and Gavin Klukowski put them 2-1 ahead before goal from Matt Spear and Lee Fernandez made it 4-1. Zack Manna scored a second for Staverton just before half time.
After the break Somerford extended their lead to 5-2 via Will Robbins' deflected effort, but back came Staverton and goals from Manna and Olly Bramall, who bagged himself a stunning effort to cut the deficit to the odd goal.
With the game in the balance it could have gone either way before Somerford wrapped up the points when Ashley Monaghan who had started the ball rolling for Chandler’s side held his nerve to score their sixth of the titanic battle from the penalty spot.
Chippenham West End 1 White Horse A 2
DESPITE having three fixtures scheduled since their last meeting, the inclement weather around the Christmas period meant it was back-to-back games against Chippenham West End for an in-form White Horse A FC.
In that same period the Chippenham side had succumbed to two further defeats and found themselves rooted to the bottom of the table at the start of the day.
As was the case five weeks earlier, the Westbury side came away with all three points, but were made to work far harder on this occasion against a new-look and rejuvenated West End side, before eventually running out 2-1 winners.
An understandably heavy Sutton Benger pitch made any attempt at a fluid passing game difficult from the off, something that seemed to play in to the hands of the home side, whose more physical and direct approach saw the best chances of a scrappy, often ill-tempered, first half fall their way.
Having seen his strike partner, Ben Hibberd, hit the bar with a cheeky lob minutes earlier, Matt Baker wasted a glorious opportunity, dragging inches wide from just outside the penalty area.
However, the hosts weren’t to be denied a third time as Hibberd finally found the net, powering home from 15 yards out following good work from Ben Mannings down the right flank with five minutes left in the first period.
The interval came at just the right time for the visitors, who were becoming increasingly frustrated, and calming half time words saw them start the second period in a far more composed and threatening manner.
Whilst still dangerous on the break, West End found themselves pegged further and further back and with it Horse chances began to flow.
Jordan Gullis did well following a good interchange with the returning Jack Miluk, only to be denied by Dan Hibberd’s left hand upright, the keeper then using more conventional means to keep his side in front on more than one occasion.
With 20 minutes remaining, Horse’s inspirational substitutes turned the game on its head in a frantic two minute spell.
First Andy Bartlett laid it on a plate for the previously frustrated Dale Rowland to tuck home with his left foot and then within seconds an inch-perfect Dave Appleyard cross was met by Bartlett, who powered his header home for his first of the season and to complete a quick-fire comeback.
The result made Horse’s long trip home a happy one, and keeps alive their slim hopes of a late promotion push, whilst the performance will give West End renewed hope that a first league win of the season isn’t too far away.
North Star A 5 Kings Arms (All Cannings) 0
LIAM Westland’s North Star A took a huge step to securing their first division status after beating fellow relegation battlers Kings Arms (All Cannings) 5-0 at Beversbrook.
The sides may have fought out a 1-1 draw on the opening day of the season but return clash was something of a one-sided affair as the hosts went at their guests from the first whistle.
Andy Dolman’s excellent free kick put the Star in front and Aaron Hopkins marked his long overdue debut for the club with their second and a second from Dolman before half time had the points sewn up.
Kings Arms were unable to mount any sort of comeback in the second half and once Matt Lang added a fourth for the hosts it was definitely game over which was confirmed when Ollie Bates planted home number five of the morning.
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