On Tuesday night the return Nailsea derby took place at Fryth Way the home of Nailsea & Tickenham with Nailsea United the visitors. In the first match played at The Grove, United were the victors by three goals to two.
Nailsea & Tickenham have been one of the front runners for the Premier League Championship for most of the season but have gone off the boil in recent weeks finishing in third place some 15 points behind worthy Champions Chilcompton Sports with Watchet Town in second place.
Nailsea United finished in seventh place with their young side gaining experience for the future. This game was not only a local derby but the last game of the season for both clubs. With the league positions done and dusted it was purely a matter of pride for both sides to see who would be the victors.
It was the home side who had the first shot in anger forcing United keeper Owen Adamson to tip the ball over the bar for a corner. United then began to assert their authority taking the lead on ten minutes. Kin swung in a corner from the right which was met on the half volley by Joe Sharps with the ball hitting the underside of the bar before bouncing down. The referee was undecided if the ball had crossed the line but the Linesman immediately signalled that it had actually bounced into the goal giving United the lead.
United were using their fleet footed front men to harry the Tickenham defence often to force them to pass back to the keeper or into long clearances. On 20 minutes United doubled their lead when a quick break down the left saw Harry Hope make his way to the goal line before pulling the ball back into the centre where Sol Wanjou Smith calmly picked his spot to find the back of the Tickenham net.
Immediately at the other end Adamson was called into action but straight away released the ball towards the left touchline where Sol Wanjou Smith beat his marker for pace to control the ball before releasing a shot which was pushed around the post for a corner.
The first 20 minutes belonged to United but Tickenham gradually got into the game working a chance on 25 minutes with a shot across goal. The latter part of the first half was more even with Tickenham possibly shading the possession but they were unable to unlock the United defence.
Half Time. Nailsea & Tickenham 0 Nailsea United 2
For once this season United made their territorial advantage reap dividends by scoring both goals whilst on top in the first part of the half.
The second half was only seven minutes old when United scored their third goal. The ball was worked across the pitch from left to right with James Springett releasing the ball to Harry Hope hugging the right touch line. A short pass inside by Hope to Kin before setting off to find space with Kin knowing exactly what was required by playing a perfectly weighted ball inside the full back for Hope to run onto, a low cross into the goal area where Adam Marsden was waiting to fire the ball home. In any standard of football this was a quality goal which was also appreciated by the home supporters.
As you would expect Tickenham responded by taking the game to United with a volley just over the bar on 55 minutes. The United defence were being forced to work hard as Tickenham had their best spell of the game. On 59 minutes the home side scored their first goal with a neat piece of skill allowing a shot on the United goal which found the corner of the net.
On 72 minutes it was game on as Tickenham scored their second goal with United clearing the ball only to a Tickenham player on the edge of the penalty box, a first time shot went through a ruck of players to find the bottom of the United net to bring the deficit to just one goal.
With 15 minutes remaining United made their first change with goal scorer Adam Mardsen making way for Ben Pinkney. Tickenham continued to apply pressure in search of the equaliser but found the United rearguard of Stuart Lee, Ryan Ford and Scott Fisher with Luis Parnham always available for the out ball in no mood to concede again.
In the final substitution the injured Sol Wanjou Smith was replaced by Will Hodges for the final few minutes. United contained everything that was thrown at them before the referee finally brought the game to an end.
Final Score. Nailsea & Tickenham 2 Nailsea United 3
So over the season Nailsea United took all six points from Nailsea & Tickenham with both games being close. The game was appreciated by the crowd and was a credit to the Somerset County League.