Uhlsport Somerset County League
Premier Division
Chard Town 2, Middlezoy Rovers 6

THERE was to be no repeat of the thrilling 3-3 draw between Chard Town and Middlezoy Rovers - at Middlezoy - a month ago, as the away side proved too strong for their relegation-threatened hosts at Zembard Lane on Saturday.

This was Chard’s first game in four weeks, while Zoy were looking to build on victory over Clutton in their last game a fortnight ago.

Despite choosing to play up the Chard slope in the first half, the visitors were the stronger side from the kick-off and passed up early chances to take the lead.

They looked especially dangerous down the left, with Charlie Lintell and Luke Taylor linking well, but it was Liam Winter’s free-kick which produced the first opportunity - the returning Jake Horsey somehow heading wide from two yards out.

Andy Smith was dictating the play in midfield and he nearly got himself a goal after 19 minutes, when he cannoned a header against the crossbar.

Zoy finally got the opener their play deserved in the 21st minute, when Horsey’s well-judged long ball beat the Robins defence and found Alex Male, who had timed his run to go clear and slot the ball past goalkeeper Owen Searle.

The hosts’ only real chance of a disappointing first half saw Ryan Mason get forward down the left and send in a shot which was palmed away by Greg Turner, and it remained 1-0 at half-time.

The second half was only a couple of minutes old when the visitors - now playing down the slope - doubled their advantage through Winter, who danced past two challenges in the box and picked out the bottom corner.

Searle was kept busy, his saves keeping Chard in the game, but he was beaten again on 75 minutes, as Male picked out the unmarked Lintell in the box and he stroked the ball home.

It was 4-0 seven minutes after that, with Winter’s delivery being converted by Smith’s outstretched leg, before a bizarre five-minute spell brought four more goals.

Smith’s cross was touched in by Winter for Zoy’s fifth, but then the hosts were awarded a penalty - Danny Green being knocked off the ball in the box - and Liam Cleal scored from the spot to get his side on the scoreboard.

In stoppage time, Horsey cleared and the bounce of the ball saw it elude the home defence, allowing Winter to drive forward, round Searle and make it 6-1 with his hat-trick goal.

There was still time for Cleal to score his and Chard’s second of the day, as his low cross sneaked into the net.

Middlezoy Rovers: Greg Turner, Luke Terry, Charlie White, Alex Male (Dan Male 70), Tom Brown, Jake Horsey, Charlie Lintell (Jon Higgins 75), Andy Smith, Liam Winter, Aaron Whaites (Charlie Bridges 60), Dan Luce. Sub not used: Darren Cann.

Man of the match: Andy Smith.

The result keeps Middlezoy in fourth spot, and they are now without a game until March 28, when they go to Chilcompton Sports.