Shepton Mallet shine in league's lone fixture amid weather woes

By Guest author

29th Feb 2024 | Football

In an exclusive match that went ahead despite widespread postponements in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division, Shepton Mallet showcased resilience and skill, thanks to the commendable efforts of Chairman and Groundsman Rodney Neale. The sole fixture of the league this weekend saw Mallet take on Barnstaple Town in a closely contested battle at the Mallet's home ground.

The game was poised as a clash of the titans, with Mallet in 6th place at 42 points, closely followed by Barnstaple in 7th with 40 points.

The anticipation was high, given Barnstaple's impressive record of losing only two games so far, suggesting a promising climb up the leaderboard as the season progresses.

Despite intense play from both sides, the first half remained goalless, highlighted by a pivotal moment when Barnstaple's captain Billy Tucker stepped up for a penalty. Mallet's keeper, Sam Jepson, in a memorable home debut, made a crucial save, keeping the scoreline even at the break.

Keeper and man of the match Sam Jepson saving a penalty kick (Photo: Colin Andrews)

The deadlock was finally broken at the 57th minute by Jamie Hearsey of Barnstaple, marking the game's only goal despite valiant efforts from Shepton's Charlie Bateson and Callum Gould. Jepson, continuing his remarkable debut, secured the Man of the Match title with a series of spectacular saves, underlining his crucial role in the match.

Despite the loss, Mallet's fourth in twenty games, the team remains a strong contender for the playoffs, a testament to the managerial acumen of Aaron Saviour and his assistant Matt Morris in their debut season. The match drew an attendance of 220 fans, showcasing the local support for the team.

Looking ahead, Shepton Mallet is set to face Shirehampton in the semi-final of the Les Philips Cup on Saturday, 2nd March, in what is billed as the season's biggest game. The fixture offers a potential rematch of last year's final against Helston, should both teams advance, setting the stage for an exciting cup run.

Photo by Colin Andrews

In other club news, Shepton Mallet Reserves celebrated their second championship victory, dominating Pilton United with a 7-0 win, maintaining a perfect record in their campaign. Dean Loxton and his squad have delivered an outstanding season, with an impressive tally of 68 goals scored and only 6 conceded.

The club also rallied in support of Tom Roberts, raising at least £1,500 following his injury during a recent match. The Mallet community extends its best wishes to Roberts for a swift recovery and eagerly anticipates his return to the field.

As Shepton Mallet gears up for its semi-final clash, the spirit and determination within the club are stronger than ever, promising an exciting conclusion to the season.


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