On Thursday night under the Manor Farm lights Nailsea travelled to play Shirehampton in a fixture between two undefeated teams in the Premier Division of The Somerset County League.
It was Shirehampton that took the game to Nailsea testing Rob Brown in the United goal on four minutes. Brown was equal to the test clearing his lines. However, three minutes later he was unable to stop a low free kick from just outside the penalty area which found the back of the net to give the home side the lead.
Shirehampton continued to have most of the ball with another chance on 15 minutes but this time Brown gathered. Nailsea chances were few and far between as the half progressed with United indebted to Rob Brown once again a as sharp turn by the home attacker saw him fire on target only to see Brown save.
Half Time. Shirehampton 1 Nailsea United 0
The home side looked the more likely to add to their early goal but resolute defending by the United defence saw them go into the break still well in the game.
The second half started where the first ended with the home side probing the United defence. A shot on 50 minutes just grazed the United cross bar. Gradually Nailsea started to have more of the ball with a James Springett free kick just a whisker from the head of Stuart Lee on 62 minutes.
With 25 minutes remaining United made a double change with Joe Pratt and Ryan Ford making way for Sam Olsen and Matt Thomas. These changes had the desired effect with Nailsea now looking the better side drawing level on 70 minutes. A move which started from defence saw Matt Thomas make a slide rule pass to Matt Day who kept his composure to slip the ball past the on rushing keeper and into the net for a deserved equaliser.
Minutes later a move down the right saw the ball at the feet of Nathan Shipway who shot high into the net only for the lineman to flag for offside for what must have been a marginal decision.
With 15 minutes remaining Nailsea continued to take the game to Shirehampton with Sam Olsen pulling the ball back to Matt Day but this time his shot was over the bar.
A draw looked the likely being the outcome but with five minutes remaining a Shirehampton corner from their left was bundle over the line to give them what turned out to be the winning goal. Nailsea had a corner with the official looking at his watch but the home side defended well to preserve their unbeaten start to the season.
Final Score. Shirehampton 2 Nailsea United 1
Nailsea should not be discouraged by tasting defeat for the first time against a very good Shirehampton side who had to dig deep to take the points. The difference between the two sides was minimal and I have no doubt that these two teams will be challenging for honours at the end of the season.
The next fixture for United in on Saturday October 5th when they travel to Burnham United for a Somerset Senior Cup match with a kick off of 2.00pm.
In the meantime the Reserves visit Clevedon United on Saturday September 21st and the home to Ashcott on Saturday September 28th. Both games start at 3.00pm.
The next game for the “A” team who are currently top of the table will be on September 28th when they host Winscombe “A” at the Grove.
The “B” side are at home this Saturday September 21st with the visit of Portishead “B”. Kick off 3.00pm.
The “C” side have an away local derby against AFC Nailsea Reserves his Saturday September 21st.
At the time of writing the A, B and C teams boast 100% records in their respective divisions.