Nailsea made the short trip to Clevedon to play Clevedon United at Coleridge Vale. Both sides are in mid table so a close game was envisaged. With a heavy pitch the side that could master the conditions the best would have the advantage.
Nailsea made the best possible start as in the first minute Ben Barrett saw himself clear of the home defence with just the keeper to beat. A low shot seemed to go through the keeper into the back of the net to give Nailsea a one goal advantage.
The game then became more even with Clevedon spurning a good chance from a corner on eight minutes by shooting wide. Chances were being created at both ends with Nailsea keeper Jack Smith doing well to race from his line on the quarter of an hour mark to pluck the ball from the feet of the home attacker.
Minutes later Nailsea had two chances with Sam Olsen bringing a good save from the home custodian at the near post to be followed by Stuart Lee heading just wide. On 30 minutes the Sam Olsen and Matt Day combination created a chance for the latter but the Clevedon keeper did well to save with his feet.
It was then the home side that had a chance to equalise but Jack Smith ensured that his side went into the break in front making but making another good save.
Half Time. Clevedon United 0 Nailsea United 1
This was a half that overall was even with both sides having chances that were either created by themselves or the pitch conditions. The early goal dividing the teams.
Ten minutes into the second half Nailsea doubled their lead with a well worked goal. A move down the left saw Rob Brown in a forward position lay the ball back to Matt Thomas who is growing in confidence to make a deep cross to the far post where Stuart Lee out jumped the home defence to plant a header towards goal with the keeper only getting a slight touch before the ball nestled in the back of the net.
On 60 minutes Clevedon were reduced to ten men when they had a player red carded for foul language. If Nailsea thought that having a numbers advantage would make things easier they were mistaken as Clevedon ramped up the pressure to claw a goal back when a cross from their right was swept home.
The Nailsea goal then had a charmed life on 65 minutes when only the upright stopped the home side from equalising and wayward shot immediately afterwards could have easily found the back of the Nailsea net. The visitors sought to restore control with Will Symonds making a strong run down the left despite the attention of two markers to send a cross that was gratefully put out for a corner by a home defender.
With 15 minutes remaining a good move saw the ball played from right to left where Matt Thomas has a golden opportunity to give his side some breathing space but his shot was straight at the keeper. Almost immediately another Nailsea chance was created with Matt Thomas picking out Ben Barrett who headed the ball to Matt Day but on this occasion the striker could not finish.
Nailsea then made their first change with Luis Parnham giving way for Nathan Hall in defence. Hall nearly made a name for himself but his shot was just wide. Clevedon were by no means out of this game reminding Nailsea there was work to do by sending a shot across the goal face from a good position. With five minutes remaining the second Nailsea change was made with Ben Barrett making way for Ben Pinkney.
As the game came to a close there was just one chance left with Matt Day forcing the home keeper to make a great save.
Final Score. Clevedon United 1 Nailsea 2
This was a very entertaining game which ebbed and flowed with both sides to be congratulated for playing good football in difficult conditions. If all the goal chances had been taken a five all draw would not have been out of the question. In the end it was possibly that the Nailsea mid field duo of Stuart Lee and James Springett that was the difference as they pulled the strings throughout the match.
Next week United travel to South Bristol to play Stockwood Wanderers with a 2.00pm start.
In other games on Saturday the Reserves had a resounding 6-1 win with the “A” team also winning by the single goal but the Colts lost by the same single goal.
Next week at The Grove the Reserves are at home to Stockwood Green Reserves with a 2.00pm kick off. Also at home are the “A” side who are looking to keep up the pressure on the league leaders with a home game against Wedmore. Kick Off 2.00pm.