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December 29, 2018

Nailsea United 3 Stockwood Wanderers 1

It was South Bristol side Stockwood Wanderers who were the visitors to The Grove on Saturday. Both sides were looking for points to climb the table after an indifferent first half of the season.

On ten minutes James Springett picked out Rob Brown with a free kick who turned and shot but the ball was just wide of the target. On the quarter of an hour mark Stockwood took the lead when Louis Parham was caught in two minds in clearing the ball allowing the Stockwood forward to score with an easy chance.

Nailsea responded with a good move down the right with Matt Day pulling the ball back to Sam Olsen who went for placement and not power giving the keeper the chance to push the ball around post to safety. A few minutes later another accurate free kick by Springett this time found Matt Day on the right of goal but his first time effort was wide.

Stockwood were limited to breakaways with Jack Smith being called into action in the Nailsea goal on 34 minutes to save a well struck shot. In the final minute of the first half Sam Olsen had a half chance following a corner from the right by Ben Barrett but again the shot was wayward.

Half Time.  Nailsea United 0 Stockwood Wanderers 1

United had plenty of the ball in the first half but could not breech the Stockwood defence to go in losing by the solitary goal. As is usual with this sort of score line the next goal would be the most important.

United took the game to Stockwood at the beginning of the second half with a cross by Louis Parnham to beyond the far post to find Ben Barrett but the resultant shot was wide. In the 65th minute Stockwood could have doubled their lead with Nailsea indebted to Jack Smith saving low in a one on one position with the Stockwood forward.

Nailsea now began to turn the screw with Ben Barrett finding Sam Olsen in a good position but he could get the contact required to trouble the keeper. United made their first change on 68 minutes with Joe Sharps giving way to the tough tackling Jamie Whitfield as the Nailsea management looked to force the equaliser.

With 20 minutes remaining the Nailsea pressure finally told with Jamie Whitfield winning the ball just inside the Stockwood half before finding Ben Barrett on the right, his cross went just beyond the far post where Matt Day showed his strength to create a shooting opportunity and then fire home on the angle for the equaliser. With 15 minutes to go Nailsea made the second change with Louis Parnham being replaced by Will Hodges.

Nailsea were now looking the stronger side as they sought to take the lead for the first time.  This they duly did with five minutes remaining when following a free kick the ball was played wide to Will Symonds who crossed low from the left into the middle of the Stockwood goal area where Sam Olsen reacted the quickest to stoop low to head past the keeper to give his side the lead.

The icing on the cake came with just two minutes left of normal time when following a Springett free kick the ball was only cleared to Jamie Whitfield who drove the ball along the ground where Sam Olsen with his back to the goal applied the deftest of touches to wrong foot the keeper to make the game safe for Nailsea.

Final Score.  Nailsea United 3  Stockwood Wanderers 1

This was a fine fight back by the home side who came from a goal down to gain three important points taking them to tenth position in the table. Every player contributed to this win with Ben Barrett again causing problems to the Stockwood defence and with the return of Sam Olsen to partner Matt Day in attack, Nailsea looked a more potent attacking force as proved in the final 20 minutes of the game.

Next Saturday United visit Wrington Redhill. They can build from today’s second half display to come home with three more points.

At The Grove the Reserves host basement club Cutters Friday. Kick Off 2.00pm