Following several postponed games Nailsea finally returned to action with the visit of Clutton. The pitch was obviously soft but well grassed. Both sides were in need of points as the mid season point approaches.
Early pressure from Nailsea was rewarded on seven minutes when Matt Day was put through before clinically finishing with a shot wide of the keeper to give his side the lead. Two minutes later a well directed corner by James Springett was met by the unmarked Nathan Shipway but his header was wide.
Clutton then began to string their passes together with a shot on nine minutes that was just wide. United doubled their lead on 18 minutes from a James Springett free kick on the left which was met by Stuart Lee whose first time shot gave the visiting keeper no chance. Ten minutes later a great deep cross by Jamie Whitfield eluded the Clutton keeper to the waiting Stuart Lee who glided a looping header into the goal to put daylight between the two teams.
With half an hour gone a trade mark free kick by Mark Iles was heading for the top corner before being clawed away by the keeper. Ten minutes before half time Clutton got onto the score sheet when the Nailsea defence failed the clear the ball allowing a well placed shot to beat Rob Brown for their opening goal.
Half Time. Nailsea United 3 Clutton 1
United were in cruise control before Clutton scored giving them a life line back into the game. All was still to play for in the in the second half.
The second half was only three minutes old when a quick break by Clutton saw them score their second goal to bring the deficit to one goal. The momentum was now in the visitors favour and it needed Nailsea to up their game or their early advantage would disappear. The reaction from United was positive with a goal coming on 50 minutes with a well worked move involving Matt Day who slipped the ball to fellow striker Nathan Shipway who fired into the net via the post to again give Nailsea a two goal advantage.
The home side now had the wind in their sales with flowing move down the left seeing Stuart Lee head just wide. A minute later the game was put safely to bed when Stuart Lee was given room on the edge of the penalty area before unleashing an unstoppable shot which was past the keeper before he could react. This completed a well deserved hat trick for the all action Lee.
On 65 minutes the first of the Nailsea changes was made with Sam Olsen replacing Mike Rowcliffe. Clutton were still making chances with Rob Brown called into action to save with his feet on 67 minutes. Two further changes were then made with James Springett and Will Symonds being replaced by Luis Parnham and Leon Osborne.
Nailsea continued to attack with a flashing drive by Matt Day going just wide and a Luis Parnham volley missing the target from a searching cross by Nathan Shipway. For the last ten minutes Nailsea were down to ten men when Jamie Whitfield was forced to leave the field due to injury. In the final minute Rob Brown made a good save by pushing the ball around the post from a last ditch Clutton attack.
Final Score. Nailsea United 5 Clutton 2
So the spoils went to the home side with a welcome three points. The enforced rest seemed to give the players renewed vigour in a display which must have pleased Rob Prior and James Taylor before gearing up for the first derby of the season against Nailsea & Tickenham next week at Fryth Way. Kick Off 2.00pm. All of the team performed well with Mark Iles looking comfortable in defence with his usual ball distribution a pleasure to see.
In other results the “A” side went down by two goals to three at home to Sporting Weston with the “B” side going top of the league with their 3-1 win away at Yatton & Cleeve.