Tuesday night saw the first game of the season for Nailsea United. The dangerous Worle side were the visitors ensuring that the home side had to up to the task from the start. United welcomed back the versatile Mike Rowcliffe to their ranks.
It was the visitors that had the first shot in anger in the third minute but the effort did not trouble Rob Brown in the United goal. Ben Barrett on the left cut in on eight minutes to test the keeper who saved easily. On the quarter of an hour mark Worle cut through the home defence with the onrushing Rob Brown doing well to prevent the opening goal in a one on one situation.
A minute later Nailsea were dealt a blow when striker Nathan Shipway was forced to leave the field due to injury to be replaced by Matt Thomas. The play was end to end with Matt Day bringing a diving save from the Worle keeper on 25 minutes. Nailsea were playing neat football with James Springett showing his vision by finding Will Symonds on the left but his cross was cut out by the keeper.
On 30 minutes there seemed to be no danger when the ball was worked to Mike Rowcliffe 20 yards from goal but he let fly a speculative shot which the Worle keeper failed to gather above his head allowing the ball to trickle over the line to give Nailsea the lead.
It was that man Rowcliffe again who doubled the lead on 37 minutes. James Springett out foxed his marker to roll the ball to Rowcliffe just outside the box who fired a low shot which beat the keeper just inside the left post.
In the closing minute of the first half Worle showed they were still in the game with a cross from the right which was well controlled by their forward only for his shot to be hit wide from a good position.
Half Time. Nailsea United 2 Worle 0
Despite the score line the first half was even with both sides having chances with only the two Mike Rowcliffe goals being the difference between the sides.
Worle made their intentions known from the restart taking the game to Nailsea with a half chance on 50 minutes which went wide. On 58 minutes Sam Olsen did well to send a searching ball into the middle to find Matt Day but he could not get the contact he required to add to the score. Two minutes later Ben Barrett set out on one of his trademark runs but there was no end product.
Nailsea made their second change on 65 minutes when Matt Day gave way to Ryan Ford. Worle who were having the better of the second half brought the deficit to one goal when a weighted through ball was sent into the back of the United net. The visitors were now searching for the equaliser with the Nailsea management making their last change on 72 minutes with Ben Barrett being replaced by Joe Sharps.
Rugged defensive work by Stuart Lee and Tom Richens backed up by sound handling by Rob brown ensured that the Worle offensive was blocked. The last scoring chance of the game came on 85 minutes from a corner by James Springett was met by Tom Richens but the Worle defence scrambled the ball away.
Nailsea United 2 Worle 1
This was a good opening win for United against a Worle side that will make their mark as the season progresses having beaten Chard Town in their opening game.
As far as Nailsea are concerned the defence looks more organised than last season with Mike Rowcliffe and James Springett working well in midfield. Before his injury Nathan Shipway seemed to have a good understanding with Mike Day in attack. A pleasing performance to which every player contributed.