Western Premier League

Chipping Sodbury Town FC 2

Hallen 3

CHIPPING SODBURY lost out in a five-goal thriller to high-flying Hallen, writes Mark LIoyd.

The Bristol side had won their previous six games on the spin and took the lead on four minutes, striker Sacha Tong latched on to a through ball from the halfway line and slotted home.

Hallen went on to dominate the opening quarter however Sodbury battled for parity and on 22 minutes Jack Moore rose above the Hallen defence to head home from a corner.

Hallen continued to dominate and should have increased their lead, but some excellent goalkeeping and defensive work helped the home side establish a foothold in the game and as the half progressed the contest became more even.

Sodbury surprised Hallen within two minutes of the restart. Dan Brown started a move that ended with Zayd Muhammed giving the Sods a 2-1 advantage.

Over the next 15 minutes the Sods looked worthy of their lead and they more than matched their visitors. An incident on 16 minutes turned the game in Hallen’s favour and reduced Sodbury to ten men when a penalty was awarded for a professional foul and Kyle Thomas gratefully accepted the opportunity to draw his side level.

The referee nearly handed Hallen the victory just three minutes later when he awarded a free-kick on the six-yard line following what he decided constituted a back pass. Fortunately for Sodbury their visitors could not take advantage.

Sodbury spurned a glorious chance to take all three points when a Hallen defender slipped, but the Sods’ striker struck a post when one-on-one with the keeper and the chance went begging. It would have been a deserved victory after the ten men of Sodbury more than matched their high-flying opponents in the final half-hour.

With four minutes of added-time played, Hallen took all three points with Isaac Reid scoring the winner. The visitors had just struck the cross bar when it seemed easier to score into an empty net but just moments later, they applied the killer blow giving them their seventh successive win and rising to third in the league.

Sodbury can take heart from a fine performance that on another day would have secured at least a point.