Shepton Mallet 3, Sherborne Town 4
By Merv Colenutt
Shepton Mallet’s Toolstation Division 1 title aspirations hit another snag when they surrendered a two-goal lead in defeat to Sherborne Town last night.
Andrew Jones’ side had bossed the opening exchanges and quickly went 2-0 up. A strike just before half-time gave Sherborne the impetus, though, and they turned the game on its head with a stunning second-half display.
Shepton remain second in the table but their latest defeat leaves them four points adrift of Hengrove Athletic, who also have a game in hand.
The hosts started well and took the lead after 15 minutes when the Town defence failed to clear a cross and Josh Egan fired into the bottom corner.
Two Raiff Gwinnett mistakes should have given Sherborne a way back into the match but they failed to capitalise when the Shepton defender allowed Marc Caines and Matt Day to get the wrong side of him.
Shepton doubled their advantage on the half-hour mark when Sherborne again failed to deal with a dangerous cross, with Rob Maggs this time on hand to slam the ball home.
Shepton looked to be in cruise control but suffered a setback just before the break when they conceded a soft goal. Caines was given time to cross to the back post and, with Gwinnett caught out of position, Day volleyed past Ed Quelch to reduce the arrears.
The home side responded but the post denied them a third goal through Maggs before Town’s comeback began after the break.
With the hosts stretched at the back, Sherborne got themselves level when Lee Bryant was caught in possession by Day and the striker squared into the path of Sam Jarman, who scored with ease.
The visitors took the lead for the first time with eight minutes left when Day rode two tackles in the box before finding Caines to lash past Quelch.
Day then set up Sherborne’s fourth goal when his cross to the far post was headed home by substitute Hayden Binding from close range.
Shepton were able to grab a third goal deep into added time when Liam Watson converted Ben Cleverley’s corner but it was too late to salvage anything from the match.