Following a prolonged period without a game United played hosts to near neighbours Clevedon United at The Grove on Saturday. As you would expect the pitch was very heavy which normally is to the benefit of attackers with defenders finding it difficult to turn.
Nailsea got off to the perfect start after just three minutes with Matt Long volleying home the ball following a good corner from James Springett from the right. The home side continued to take the game to their opponents with Matt Long playing a square ball to James Springett but his shot was wide.
On 11 eleven minutes another well taken corner by Springett caused panic in the Clevedon defence with Russ Driver just unable to make good contact at the far post. The first shot in anger by Clevedon came with 17 minutes on the clock only for the shot to go harmlessly over the bar. However, the equaliser came three minutes later when the Nailsea defence lost concentration allowing the Clevedon player to score from close range.
Play was now more even with the best scoring opportunity falling to the home side on the half an hour mark. Ben Barrett rode two tackles before bearing down on the goal only for his shot to lack conviction being easily saved the Clevedon keeper. It was the visitors that began to have more of the ball forcing a good save from Josh Dann on 38 minutes as he dived to his right to paw the ball away. In the final minutes of the first half, United were lucky not to go behind when an opposing player failed to make them pay in a one on one situation.
Half Time. Nailsea United 1 Clevedon United 1
Clevedon took the lead three minutes into the second half when a clearance by Josh Dann was pounced upon which lead to a clinical finish into the United net. Two minutes later it was Josh Dann who kept the deficit to one goal by pushing a fierce shot around the post for a corner. On 55 minutes Nailsea made their first change with Jimmy Wring giving way to Sam Olsen. In one of the best moves of the match Jamie Whitfield sent a perfect cross into the Clevedon area to find Olsen but his end product was aimed straight at the keeper.
With 20 minutes to go, the visitors extended their lead with a quick break which found the Nailsea defence at sixes and sevens finishing with a firm shot into the roof of the net. At this point Ben Barrett was substituted for Rich Iles to be followed very quickly by Adam Marsden replacing Sol Wanjou Smith in attack.
Clevedon were by now the stronger of the two sides and could have extended their lead further to be denied by sterling work by Josh Dann who came out the winner in another one on one situation. Nailsea tried to get back into the game with a fine cross by Adam Marsden just eluding his colleague at the far post with the keeper beaten. Finally deep into added time a Jamie Whitfield cross from the right was met with a firm header from Matt Long only to see the keeper push the ball away to safety.
Final Score. Nailsea United 1 Clevedon United 3
In the end Nailsea were a well beaten side with their opponents adapting better to the difficult conditions causing problems for the home defence on many occasions with their direct approach.
Next Saturday January 23rd United are home again to Frome Collegians. Kick Off 2.00pm.
Congratulations to the Reserves for a good win at Kewstoke Lions.