SOMERFORD remain the team to beat for the runners-up spot in Division One.
Spike Chandler’s side bounced back from last week's 4-3 loss to Prestige Bodyworks with a 12-6 victory at Corsham CC Wildcats, which means victory in their two remaining fixtures at Prestige and White Horse would see them beat the latter to second place.
Ashley Monaghan gave Somerford the lead before Adam Mitchell turned the match in the Wildcats favour as his double put them 2-1 in front. Chris Yeo managed to get Somerford on level terms before half time when he scored from the penalty spot for 2-2.
Somerford then went for the jugular in the second half with Matt Spear scoring three, Kieran Ingram helped himself to five, Monaghan added a second to his first-half effort and Matt Holdaway made up the dozen.
The Wildcats replied with a late flourish of their own, Mitchell added another to complete his hat trick and Andy Davis bagged the other three for Scott Fleming’s side.
Kings Arms (All Cannings) 1 White Horse A 3
HAVING dropped what could prove to be vital points in their bid for an automatic promotion spot last time out, White Horse (Sunday) A FC bounced back in typical fashion and claimed the spoils against Kings Arms (All Cannings) to reignite their bid for the runners-up spot.
The victory was anything but a formality however, as Jim Wilson’s side defied their lowly league position and played more than their part in an entertaining game that eventually saw the Westbury side return home with a 3-1 win, despite the heroics of Cannings' 48-year-old keeper Paul Clark.
The opening encounters set the tone for the morning, Horse trying to set a quick tempo and Kings Arms playing out from the back with a remarkable composure considering their league position. Having applied early pressure the visitors got the opening goal in just the 15th minute, captain Rob Hart scuffing home for his first of the season, following tenacious play by Nick Mead.
The home side’s response was nearly instant though, Liam Mortimer doing well down the right flank before crossing for John Stockman to send a looping header over keeper Rich Hunt to level the scores just two minutes later.
The goal seemed to give the hosts a sense of belief, but they began to call upon Clark more and more as the first half wore on, the veteran shot stopper making several point blank stops.
The second period started in similar fashion and with Clark, and now his woodwork, denying them, Horse began to wonder if it was just going to be one of those days.
On the hour mark, Horse were given the perfect opportunity to regain the advantage when Steve Oakley was upended in the penalty area, only for Clark to guess right and keep out Nick Mead’s spot kick.
Mickey O’Donnell even tried his best to beat his own keeper only for the post to save his blushes and then Jordan Gullis hit the crossbar as time began to slip away for the guests.
With 71 minutes on the clock the tension was released however, as the ever lively Tom Oakley got his foot on the end of a Dale Rowland corner, his volley finding the back of the net to finally break Kings Arms’ and in particular Clark’s resilience.
Further drama was still in store though, as Hunt was forced off with 14 minutes remaining with what appeared a nasty knee injury.
With only himself left on the bench Horse manager Clive Black donned the gloves and the hosts’ renewed hope of salvaging at least a point was strengthened even further when Allan Clarke pulled up lame and finished the game as a makeshift striker.
Despite the apparent advantage though, Wilson’s team failed to test the stand-in keeper and it was Horse that claimed the fourth goal of the game to seal the victory – Rowland finding the net to make it 3-1 and in doing so, for the second year running, reaching the 20 goal mark.
The result ends a disappointing season for the villagers, but sets up a tantalising last day of the season clash between promotional hopefuls White Horse and Somerford FC in two weeks' time.
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