The First team travelled to Burnham United in the Somerset Senior Cup on Saturday. The home side have had a great start to their season with an undefeated record and are top of the County League First Division. This will be a stern test for Nailsea.
The opening minutes were quiet until on five minutes the Burnham keeper made a double save preventing Sam Olsen and Mike Rowcliffe from opening the scoring for Nailsea. On the quarter of an hour mark Nathan Shipway chased a long ball down the right flank before putting a dangerous cross into the Burnham goal area but none of his colleagues could take advantage.
A minute later the home side broke away but the resultant shot ended up in the side netting. The play was end to end with Shipway sending a shot just past the Burnham right hand post. Nailsea were playing good football creating chances with Sam Iles finding Mike Rowcliffe who beat his man but could not find the target.
The Nailsea pressure finally told on 27 minutes when Shipway broke down the right to pass inside to Matt Thomas who controlled the ball before unleashing a shot which beat the home keeper to find the far corner of the net. A fine goal.
Burnham had a chance to equalise on 35 minutes but Rob Brown made a good save to maintain the Nailsea advantage. Two minutes later Nathan Shipway was through on goal but his shot was aimed straight at the keeper. However, the tall striker made no mistake two minutes later when was picked out by Matt Thomas to slide the ball past the keeper to double the Nailsea lead.
As the first half was coming to an end Rob Brown was again called upon to make a save plucking the ball out of the air to deny the Burnham forward.
Half Time. Burnham United 0 Nailsea United 2
Two class goals separated the two teams with all to play for in the second half.
The Burnham Manager had obviously done his job at half time as his charges were motivated at the start of the second half. The Nailsea defence were stretched and the home side were having plenty of the ball bringing the deficit to one goal on 65 minutes. With their tails up Burnham were looking for the equaliser which they gained just three minutes later to set up a frenetic last 20 minutes.
Nailsea made their first changes with Cameron Henderson replacing Leon Osborne. A Stuart Lee free kick was sent inches from the upright with the keeper stranded. Burnham retaliated with a long shot that sailed just over the bar. With ten minutes remaining Rob Brown did well to save at full stretch as the home side looked for the winner.
With ten minutes remaining Nailsea were forced to make a change when defender Stuart Lee was injured with James Taylor taking his place. On 84 minutes a James Springett free kick was met by the head of Nathan Shipway but he could not get the power he was looking for with the keeper saving easily. Burnham were then reduced to ten men with their central defender being shown a second yellow card.
Nailsea made a final change in the last few minutes with Will Symonds being replaced by Mike Carroll. No further goals were scored before the official called time with the game to be decided on penalties.
Burnham took the first penalty which was blazed over the bar giving the advantage to Nailsea. Successful penalties for Springett and a Shipway kept the advantage but a miss by Matt Thomas brought the scores even. Further conversions by Rob Brown, Mike Carroll and James Taylor were matched by Burnham as sudden death came into play. However, Mike Rowcliffe could not convert his spot kick meaning Burnham took the tie by six penalties to five.
So it is the Burnham name that goes into the hat for the next round. This tie was not lost by the final penalty kick but early in the second half when Nailsea looking so composed in the first half allowed the home side to take advantage of lapses in concentration to draw level.
Next Saturday United are in cup action again this time in the Somerset League cup when they travel to meet Mendip Broadwalk with a 3.00pm start.
At The Grove the Reserves are also in cup action hosting Portishead Town Reserves. Kick Off 3.00pm.