A large crowd was in attendance for the first Nailsea derby of the season at The Grove where Nailsea United hosted second in the table Nailsea & Tickenham. A quick look at the team sheet saw several experienced players missing with Manager Chris Adamson fielding a very young United side.
United had a dream start when in the very first attack the ball rebounded to Sam Olsen who calmly slotted the ball past the Tickenham keeper to give his side the lead after only two minutes. The game then settled down after a frenetic start but the home side had the better of the first 10 minutes.
With a quarter of an hour gone the United defence did well to keep out a dangerous Tickenham free kick. Immediately after clearing the ball the home defence were caught asleep allowing Tickenham to equalise with a shot from close range which gave keeper Owen Adamson no chance.
The play was very even with Adamson saving a snapshot on 25 minutes. United then retook the lead a minute later when the lightning quick Luke Penberthy was put through on goal to confidentially shoot past the advancing visiting keeper. United now took the game the visitors with a fine cross by Adam Marsden only parried away.
With two minutes of the first half remaining the ball fell to Ross Probert on the left who dug out a deep cross beyond the far post where Jamie Roberts waited before unleashing an unstoppable volley which rocketed into the net to give United a two goal cushion. A great move finished off in style with a fine goal.
Half Time. Nailsea United 3 Nailsea & Tickenham 1
The home side well deserved their half time lead but knew that the visitors who have their eyes on their first championship would come out all guns blazing to try to obtain something from this match.
With three minutes of the second half gone a quick United break saw Penberthy start off on a solo run from left to tight which finished with a flashing drive just wide of the post. The United side were dominant in defence but also showed Tickenham that they were looking to extend their lead with a move down the right started by the impressive Ross Probert who found Adam Marsden who set Penberthy away but the resultant shot was saved.
It was now Tickenham who began to call the tune with United indebted to keeper Owen Adamson who showed clean handling throughout as he dived to his right at the near post. With 20 minutes remaining the industrious Probert who had given his marker nightmares was replaced by Jack Last who is quick and strong and able to test any full back.
Although now on the back foot the United defence dealt well with the much vaunted Tickenham attack with Adamson fielding shots and crosses with ease. With ten minutes remaining United made their second change with Rob Brown who was instrumental in breaking up many of the visitors attacks giving way to Ben Pinkney with Adam Marsden slotting into defence.
With four minutes of normal time remaining Tickenham scored their second goal to bring the deficit to one goal to give themselves some hope a rescuing a point or more. However, the United rearguard reorganised to ensure that the visitor’s hopes were in vain. On the stroke of full time United made their final change with Luke Penberthy who had run himself into the ground leading the attack was replaced by Luis Parnham
Final Score. Nailsea United 3 Nailsea and Tickenham 2
This was a great win for the United youngsters over there local rivals. There is no doubt that the best side on the day were the victors with the whole defensive unit tackling as their lives depending on it with Marsden, Probert and Penberthy in attack allowing the Tickenham defence no space to play the ball out. It was heartening to see the crowd give the United team a well deserved round of applause as they made their way from the pitch.
Next week December 30th, United travel to Shirehampton Kick Off 2.00pm with the knowledge that they can match any side in the league with performances like today.
Finally, I know I speak for Nailsea United players, Management and Supporters in wishing Nailsea & Tickenhams Chris Corner a speedy and full recovery from his terrible injury.