Maher boosts SOHC D side

Chard B 0, Sidmouth & Ottery HC D 4

SOHC 5th’s travelled over the county border to play Chard on a bright but cold afternoon.

The form book indicated that their opposition would be an equal match and as the game unfolded this looked to be a fair assessment. Both teams went close and, if anything, the home team shaded the early part of the game though intelligent passing and ball retention. SOHC didn’t help their cause by gifting possession and failing to press the ball. The home team came close on several occasions, only to be denied by a mix of some strong, often last gasp, defending that was ably assisted by Paddy Maher, their England international Great Grand Master goalkeeper.

However, appearances can be deceptive and it was SOHC who grabbed the lead when Steve Ellison received the ball, carried it into the D and passed to Andy Coley at the rear post for him to push home from 2m. It was 1-0 at half-time.

The second half was mostly SOHC’s, aided significantly by Ian Mackie’s and Mark Gibbs’ master class of calm defending and Mackie’s strong accurate passing. It was from one of these passes that Billy Rudolph and Ellison linked to set up Dan Vincent at the far post to finish a great move, 2-0.

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This was the boost that SOHC needed and, whilst their defence maintained their focus, in attack they continued to threaten through their unstinting movement.

Whilst SOHC’s younger players - Dec West, David Pewsey and James Rush - grew in confidence as the game progressed in defence and midfield, it was two of their more senior players - Andy Coley and Richard Lucas - who were to score almost identical goals when they each hit home to seal the game.

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This 4-0 result moves the team into fourth with the league’s best goal difference.

Yeovil & Sherborne are their next opponents in two week’s time.

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