CHICKERELL United finished their season on a high by edging a five-goal thriller at Tintinhull in the Magna Dorset Premier League.

The Chickens were much the better side in the first half and deservedly took a 2-0 lead into the break.

Nick Etherington opened the scoring with a delightful chip from 25 yards before Sean Stewart doubled the advantage by finding the top corner, again from distance.

It appeared the visitors were in full command but early in the second half a push by Ross Walker enabled Jon Delahaye to pull one back from the penalty spot.

Josh Why then restored the two-goal cushion before Tin-tinhull grabbed a second through Phil Ormrod with five minutes remaining to leave the Chickens hanging on in the dying stages.

United boss Maurice Welch said: “We made hard work of it in the end.

“We had a strong breeze behind us in the first half and they found it hard to contain us.

“However, they are a big side with a couple of experienced players so we knew they would try and bombard us a bit in the second half and that is exactly what they did.

“We could have no complaints with the penalty but when Josh made it 3-1, I thought we would be okay.

“They refused to give up though and after they had pulled a second back they went on to hit the bar and force two great saves out of Ashley Weeks.

“We were really hanging on in the closing stages but the weather conditions did play a part and in the end I was delighted to sign off with a victory.”

The result guarantees the Chickens a sixth-place finish. Welch added: “The aim at the start of the season was to turn us from a bottom-six side into a top-six side and we just about did that.

“It was a lot harder work than I thought it would be with all the changes in personnel and unavailabilities but if we can build on this now and get a more settled side together for next season we should be able to push on.

“There have been an awful lot of positives with the main one being the youngsters coming through.

“The likes of Tom Peck, Josh Why, Steve Welch, Jamie Sibley and Stew Walbridge have continued to show great potential and in a couple of years’ time they will walk this league.

“If we can keep them and the more experienced players together, and add a few more over the summer then there is no reason why we can’t push further up into that top-six next season.”

Chickens: Weeks, Walker, D Welch, S Welch (Hoffmann 55), Lambert, Stewart, Miles, Peck, Ja Welch, Etherington, Why.