LYME Rovers pulled off a slight upset in their first game in the Kenny Hodges Cup, beating Chard United who play in Perry Street Division Two, one division higher than the Seasiders.
The Rovers got off to a brilliant start, going 1-0 up within five minutes through Joe Bond, who expertly beat the Chard defensive line, running on to a Scott Meyers through ball, before slamming home.
And it was 2-0 on eight minutes when keeper Rob Harp’s long kick was again patched into by Bond, who neatly lifted it over the Chard keeper.
The home side got back into the game, coming down the hill at the Seasiders, and keeper Harp was in outstanding form, making two excellent one-on-one saves.
But Chard did grab a goal back before half-time when their right winger rifled home an unstoppable shot right into the top corner.
Lyme centre half Toby Fowler, who was having an excellent game, was forced off through injury on 35 minutes, forcing a reshuffle as Ollie Alner was subbed on. And within five minutes, the Alner restored the two-goal lead, volleying in from Finlay McLean’s flick on.
The second half started to heat up, and a few rash challenges were appearing. Ten minutes into the second half, Chard grabbed a second goal, forcing home from a long throw-in. The Lyme players were unhappy at an apparent blatant push in the build-up.
With 20 minutes to play, Chard thought they had an equaliser, only for the ref to disallow the goal – this time having seen a very obvious shove.
Almost immediately the Rovers broke down the other end, and Freddie Andrews was brought down for a penalty. Bond stepped up for his hat-trick, but his penalty was well saved. The feisty tie went end-to-end for the last 15 minutes, but with five minutes left to play, Meyers slotted home following McLean’s knock down.
Keeper Rob Harp was the Seasiders’ man-of-the-match, with top showings also from Callum Taylor, Dec Ellis and Joe Bond. The Rovers have a free week next week, but play neighbours Uplyme in the second game of the round in the Kenny Hodges Cup on April 6th.