On Saturday Nailsea made the long trip to the West Somerset coast to play reigning League Champions Watchet Town. Over the past few seasons Watchet have made their home ground a bit of a fortress with only one visiting side bringing any points away this season. As is not uncommon at Watchet both sides would have to contend with a swirling wind. United welcomed back striker Nathan Shipway returning from injury.
No real action took place in the first 15 minutes with just a shot by Shipway from distance which the home keeper saved comfortably. The home side then began to get into their stride with a shot on 20 minutes which was dealt with by Nailsea keeper Jack Smith. Five minutes later a good turn by the Watchet striker gave him a shooting chance but his shot was too high.
Both defences were on top restricting goal chances to a minimum with Watchet having more of the play. With ten minutes to go before the break a Watchet corner from the right was headed over the bar. The real winner during the first half was the wind.
Half Time. Watchet Town 0 Nailsea United 0
Despite having the greater possession Watchet were unable to break down a well organised Nailsea defence whilst they had to keep an eye on the pacy Nailsea attack which came more into the game as the half wore on.
Minutes into the second half Nailsea were dealt a blow when the influential midfielder James Springett was forced to leave the field through injury to be replaced by Joe Sharps. Five minutes later a Nailsea corner swung in by Ben Pratt finally came to Nathan Shipway but the resultant shot was wide of the mark.
Chances were again few and far between for both sides as the game wore on. On 70 minutes Nathan Shipway who had run himself into the ground was replaced by Will Hodges. The only real chance that the home side created came on 72 minutes when a long throw was not dealt with by the United defence allowing a shot from close range which was sent over the Nailsea bar.
As time was running out Adam Marsden who like his strike partner Nathan Shipway both of which had covered acres of ground gave way to James Taylor for the last few minutes.
As the referee brought the game to an end to the United management and players felt the result was like a victory to go home with a point.
Final score. Watchet Town 0 Nailsea United 0
It was obvious from the start that Nailsea Manager Chris Adamson had done his homework to work out a way of stopping the normally attack minded Watchet team from scoring. However, it is alright to have a plan but it requires your players to carry it out. They did to a man.
Time and time again the Watchet defenders when bringing the ball out from the back were harassed by the United forwards making them play square passes and then when eventually the ball was moved forward the United mid field and defenders were organised to nullify any real goal chances.
Normally a nil nil score line would make you think that the game was boring, nothing was further from the truth as Watchet tried in vain to break down a resolute Nailsea side.
As I was leaving the ground a diehard Watchet supporter said to me that he felt the Nailsea defensive display was the best he had seen for many seasons. I could not agree more. It would wrong to name a man of the match as everyone played their part.
Next week, October 4th United travel to Staplegrove with a 2.30 Kick Off. At The Grove, the Reserves host Cheddar Reserves with a 2.30pm Kick Off. The “A” side welcome Wrington Redhill Reserves in a cup tie with an early 2.00pm start. Finally the young Colts side are at home to West Wick kicking off at 2.30pm.