Nailsea travelled to South Somerset for a mid table clash with Ilminster Town. With neither promotion nor relegation a feature United fielded a very young side with the average age of the back four just 18 years of age.
The early exchanges were even as the players got used to the bouncy surface. On 15 minutes a passing movement found Ben Barrett in space on the left of goal but his shot was tipped over the bar by the home keeper. From the resultant corner swung in by Matt Thomas, Stuart Lee met the ball with his head only to see it touch the cross bar before going out for a goal kick.
Five minutes later a shot from distance by Matt Thomas was gathered by the keeper. On 35 minutes Ilminster had a chance from a corner but the effort was safely gathered by Rob Brown who had shown good handling from the start. Nailsea took the lead two minutes before the break from a free kick by Matt Thomas which was not cleared allowing Adam Marsden to find Stuart Lee who made no mistake in finding the back of the net.
Half Time. Ilminster Town 0 Nailsea United 1
The visitors just shaded the first 45 minutes deserving their slender lead.
The second half was only three minutes old when Ilminster scored the equaliser with a move down their left with the final ball being place wide of Rob Brown. Nailsea then took the game to the home side with Ben Barrett having a firm shot saved by the keeper who released the ball quickly to catch the United defence square allowing Ilminster to take the lead for the first time.
On 65minutes Nailsea made their first change with Tom Cattermole replacing Ben Cowman on the right of the back four. With 20- minutes to play a long kick by Rob Brown was controlled by Matt Thomas who found Ben Barrett but his shot was wide of the far post.
The final United change was made with 15 minutes remaining with Nathan Hall giving way to Ben Pinkney. Whilst having more of the ball Nailsea could not turn this advantage into scoring chances as they tried to get back into the game. With five minutes remaining the home side were awarded a penalty which was confidently taken giving Brown no chance to put clear daylight between the sides.
United did not give up reducing the arrears to one goal on 87 minutes when Ben Barrett found Stuart Lee with a ball down the wing which was crossed into the home goal area to be slotted in by Matt Day. Try as they might Nailsea could not force the equaliser before the referee called full time.
Final Score. Ilminster Town 3 Nailsea United 2
With better finishing perhaps Nailsea could have got something from this game but at the same time will be encouraged the performances of the youngsters in the side.
Next week, they visit Shirehampton with a 3.00 pm start. Please note that United at home on Easter Monday when Westfield are the visitors. Kick Off 3.00pm
Congratulations to the Reserves who came away from Burnham with all three points winning by two goals to one. Lastly, a word about the “C” team who came away from second in the table Axbridge Town with all three points.