Saturday saw the first derby of the season between the two premier clubs in Nailsea when Nailsea & Tickenham were the visitors to The Grove. The pitch was heavy but very playable. United were dealt a blow before the game started when key defender Tom Richens was ruled out with an injury.
It was the visitors that started the game the quickest as they put the United defence immediately under pressure. A cross on 15 minutes rebounded from the United bar to safety followed by a good chance to Tickenham which ended with the shot straight a keeper Jack Smith.
United weathered the storm with resolute defending before putting their passing game together to come more into the game. After the early Tickenham flourish the first half was more even but neither side could work a goal opportunity.
Half Time. Nailsea United 0 Nailsea & Tickenham 0
The home side had the first real chance to open the scoring on 50 minutes when Ben Barrett crossed from the right where striker Matt Day battled well for the ball only to see his shot being cleared from the line by a well placed Tickenham defender. Barrett was beginning to cause problems down the right with his pace to leave his marker in his wake before crossing to the near post but Matt Day could not get the contact he was looking for to trouble the keeper.
Tickenham looked dangerous on the break with Jack Smith doing well to gather a cross at the second attempt on 65 minutes. The increased pressure on the United defence eventually told with 20 minutes remaining with Jack Smith making a fine full length save only to see in the same attack Tickenham take the lead with a shot from close range.
On 72 minutes Nailsea were forced to make their first change with Rob Brown going off due to injury to be replaced by Tom Weaver. With eight minutes remaining Tickenham made the game safe following a corner from their left which was not cleared giving them a chance for a header which they took to double their lead.
Nailsea made their final change with five minutes to go when Ben Pinkney was introduced to the front line replacing wing back Luis Parnham.
Final Score. Nailsea United 0 Nailsea & Tickenham 2
So the first derby of the season goes to the Fryth Way outfit who on this occasion were just a little too strong for a resilient United side who battled all the way.
Next week December 29th, United are at home again when Stockwood Wanderers are the visitors to The Grove. Kick Off 2.00pm.