THE race to become Division One champions is starting to hot up and current pacesetters Prestige Bodyworks were given a rough ride by Kings Arms (All Cannings) who, with their own pitch unplayable, switched the game to Melksham Oak Community School.
They made their guests work hard for their 5-3 win, that was good enough to see them preserve their one-point advantage over Somerford.
Adam O’Keeffe saw his opener for Prestige cancelled out late in the first period as Lee Campbell’s goal took the sides in at the break locked together at one-apiece.
The second half started well for Prestige as they regained the lead through a Rob Finnamore penalty. Stuart Field headed home from a corner to make it 3-1. Field added a fourth for Prestige with a carbon copy of his first goal and at that stage it looked if it was game over.
Kings Arms reduced the arrears courtesy of substitute Simon Drewitt, but any hopes of a revival were soon extinguished with Alex Pring head Prestige into a 5-2 lead.
Simon Drewitt added his second of the morning and Kings Arms' third but his goal was just another consolation as Prestige ran out comfortable winners to claim their eighth win in 11 games.
Goatacre CC FC 3 White Horse A 5
WHITE Horse A added to their unbeaten run with a classy 5-3 win at Goatacre CC, which saw them leapfrog their opponents in the league standings and begin their hunt of the top four.
The pattern of the game could have been very different however, had a little more luck gone Goatacre’s way early on.
Despite being pushed back in the opening exchanges it was the hosts that posed the first goal threat as Kieron Gleed forced Rich Hunt into action, the veteran keeper pushing the ball wide via his far post.
The villagers frustration at the referee’s decision to award a goal kick was compounded just moments later when Ed Wilkins created confusion in the visitors' ranks and Hunt appeared to bring him to ground. The referee saw it differently though, thus avoiding a penalty and what could have meant an early bath for Hunt.
The Westbury side took the warning shots on board and upped their game, taking control in midfield, where Tom Crawford pulled the strings.
It seemed only a matter of time before they would turn their superior possession into goals and in the 19th minute Paul Beavers did just that, heading home in a crowded penalty area from a Dale Rowland corner.
The supplier of the first goal should have doubled his side’s lead in the dying seconds of the first half, but, having rounded goalkeeper Shaun Preen, Rowland saw his effort roll tamely wide.
Goatacre started the second period brightly, but soon found the game ripped away from them courtesy of a quick fire Horse double.
In the 51st minute Rowland atoned for his earlier miss by turning and rifling home from 12 yards out, having been picked out by Craig Hatton-Pocklington, and just three minutes later Tom Oakley’s raking pass was tucked home by Pete Ayton arriving late at the back post.
With both teams seemingly happy to go through the motions, the hosts were given a lifeline in the 63rd minute, when substitute Dave Herring netted to reduce the arrears.
With the game now stretched, Herring’s goal prompted a yo-yo finish that saw Oakley score through a crowd of players at the midway point to make it 4-1, only for Goatacre to go straight down the other end and find the net themselves through Gleed.
Two further goals were to come in the last ten minutes, Oakley doubling his tally for the morning with a diving header and Herring netting his own brace to make it a respectable 5-3.
The result means Goatacre have worryingly started 2014 the way they ended 2013 and stretched their winless streak to five games, whilst for the Horse the trot is showing signs of becoming a canter.
Somerford FC 8 Chippenham West End 2
SOMERFORD continued their assault on top-two finish with a commanding 8-2 victory at home to a Chippenham West End side who finished the game with nine players after having Matt Baker and goal keeper Dan Hibberd sent off in the final 15 minutes.
Somerford were 3-0 up at the break thanks to goals from Matt Spear, Lee Fernandez and Chris Yeo.
After the interval Kieran Ingram scored his first ever goal for Spike Chandler’s hosts to make it 4-0. West End staged a mini-revival with goals from Ben Hibberd and Craig Garner getting them back in the game.
Somerford's Chris Yeo’s brought West End’s fightback to an end as he completed his hat-trick with two more goals that both came from the penalty spot. Ashley Monaghan and a fourth of the morning from Yeo made up the winners' eight.
Staverton 3 Bromham 1
A 3-1 WIN for Staverton over Bromham saw Aaron Latchem’s side leapfrog their opponents to claim third place in the standings and keep their slender hopes of a top two finish alive.
A 10th-minute Freddie Paget goal gave Bromham the lead but they were pegged back by their hosts who leveled when Levi Wood scored what was a dubious penalty.
Bromham then fell behind when Mike Trigo helped a Zack Manna effort into his own net and Staverton’s victory was confirmed when Manna made it 3-1 before half time.
MATCH OFF: North Star A v Corsham CC Wildcats.
CHIPPENHAM SUNDAY LEAGUE ROUNDUP, STATS AND PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES AND FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport and @WTSport