On Saturday United entertained Ilminster Town, although the pitch was perfectly playable it was obvious that any short passes could cause either team a problem.
United had the early play taking the lead on five minutes. Ross Probert brought the ball out on the right of the defence before playing a perfectly weighted pass taking out two visiting defenders to find Adam Marsden who in turn played an accurate ball into the middle where Sam Olsen made no mistake to slot the ball home. This was a well constructed and executed goal.
The visitors then began to assert themselves with centre back Lee Cook making a timely tackle as the Ilminster forward prepared to strike. Immediately Nailsea retaliated when good closing down by Sam Olsen gave him the opportunity to slip the ball to Luke Penberthy on the left who surged forward before releasing a shot which beat the Ilminster keeper just inside the far post to double his sides lead.
Ilminster then began a period of sustained pressure as they tried to get into the game. This was rewarded on 34 Minutes when the referee adjudged a Nailsea defender to foul inside the area. The resultant penalty was duly converted although keeper Owen Adamson dived the right way.
Half Time. Nailsea United 2 Ilminster Town 1
United had the better of the first 20 minutes but the visitors finished the half the stronger. The pitch began to cut up with both managers I am sure advising their players during the half time break not to play short passes in their own half as with the conditions getting worse and the surface becoming “bobbly” this may be a recipe for disaster.
Two minutes into the second half Sam Olsen had a half chance but his effort was saved easily. On 65 minutes the first Nailsea change was made with Lee Cook giving way to Rob Brown in defence. With 70 minutes on the clock Ben Pratt tried his luck following a corner but his shot was wide. It was then the turn of Luke Penberthy who fastened onto a long clearance but fired wide. Ilminster then began to look the more dangerous side with United taking off Joe Sharps to be replaced by the more experienced Liam Lester to repel the visitors attacks.
A good move down the right with an exchange of passes between Probert and Penberthy cut open the Ilminster defence but the latter just failed to make contact with the final pass from Probert. With ten minutes remaining the final change was made as Adam Marsden who as usual had given 100% was replaced by Tom Weaver. With four minutes remaining Nailsea were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal. Although Rob Brown made good contact the low shot went the wrong side of the post.
Finally, the Ilminster pressure was rewarded when they scored the equaliser three minutes from time when the United defence failed to clear the ball. There was still time for some goal mouth action as a Ross Probert corner fell to Tom Weaver whose volley whistled just over the bar.
Final Score. Nailsea United 2 Ilminster Town 2
Although United were disappointed to let a two goal lead go this was probably a fair result as the visitors had the better of the second half. Nailsea remain in seventh place in the league following a run of undefeated matches.
Next week, January 13th the First Team are without a fixture. The Reserves are at home to Tunley Athletic with a 2.00pm start.
Congratulations to the “B” side as they go back to the top of the league with a win over Kewstoke Lions by three goals to nil. The “B” side are home next week hosting Shipham in a 2.00 kick off.
A word of praise also for the young Colts side who picked up a point away to Clevedon United A in sharing six goals.