Shepton Mallet 6
Chipping Sodbury Town 0
4th Jan 2020 – Toolstation Western League Premier Division
Shepton Mallet started the new year off in fine style with their biggest win of the season, although you'd have got long odds on the final scoreline at half time when it was nil nil against visitors Chipping Sodbury.
Possession in the first half was fairly even but Sodbury lacked the finishing touch even before the break, so wasting some at times decent build up play, with Jack Moore hitting their best chance well wide after half an hour. Their cause was not helped by the fact that Shepton's defence was sound throughout, with Andy Martin in particular but also Aaron Cockerill, Kieran Bailey and skipper Liam Watson all having solid games. But Shepton could not find a finish to several promising moves, as Tyrone Tucker-Dixon hit an early effort straight at Sods keeper Archie Watts, Conrad Peck had a header saved on the line and 20 minutes in Aaron Seviour brought a decent stop from Watts after Seviour combined well with Finn Haines. Late in the half a Tucker-Dixon cross found Haines whose shot was cleared off the line, and a superb ball from Craig Loxton to Tucker -Dixon saw the latter fire inches wide of a post, the half ending with Haines blasting a shot over the bar when well placed.
Watson went off ill at half time and was replaced by Jack Fillingham, returning from injury, and five minutes into the half Fillingham was instrumental in setting up the first goal. Martin played a clever pass on the half turn down the middle and Fillingham's flicked header was met by Morgan who sidefooted the opener past Watts. On 55 minutes the lead was doubled after Bailey made a fine challenge near half way and knocked the ball forward for Tucker-Dixon to pass to Fillingham, who moved 5 yards to his left before crashing a superb angled shot from 25 yards in off the far post. Fillingham and Seviour then combined to set up the next chance for Morgan, whose half volley went wide, but Morgan had better luck with his second and Shepton's third just after the hour mark after more great work from Fillingham down Shepton's left side, before Fillingham picked out Morgan in the middle, who beat Watts from 10 yards. With 20 minutes left, Moore headed just about Sods only chance of the second half too high, before normal service was resumed at the other end a minute later, as Morgan turned provider with a pin point pass to the far post that saw substitute Daryl Charman on hand to knock in a fourth for the hosts. Nathan Legge should have made it five after another defence splitting move saw him race clear, only to drag a great chance wide of a post. Fillingham did make it five from the penalty spot with 5 minutes to go, after Tucker-Dixon was clattered inside the area and an alert linesman corrected the referee who had waved play on. Remarkably, the last nine games in which Fillingham has scored, he has always added a second goal. And the side's top scorer was involved right to the end as he worked a glorious one-two with Tucker-Dixon, for the latter to drill a shot past Watts into the far corner and round off a fine start to the year.
Match Report by Kevin O'Brien