As the season draws to a close United made the trip to Shirehampton, one they have made on numerous occasions over the years. Within the last decade these two sides virtually ruled the roost with Nailsea winning three league titles in a row and Shirehampton not far behind. Currently both sides are in a regrouping stage and it was only pride at stake on a hot afternoon more akin to July than April.
It was United that started the stronger with typical Ben Barrett run down the left on seven minutes with the cross finding Matt Day but his shot was off target. Nailsea continued to take the game to the home side with a Luis Parnham cross on the quarter of an hour mark not anticipated by his colleagues.
With five minutes remaining before half time a long goal kick from Rob Brown picked out Ben Pinkney but his first time shot was wide of the target. It looked like the half would be without a goal but on the stroke of half time Shirehampton took the lead with a close range shot.
Half Time. Shirehampton 1 Nailsea United 0
Nailsea shaded the amount of ball possession in the first half but it is scoring goals that counts and the home side showed the way to go into the break with a slender advantage.
It was important that United got off to a quick start which they did with Ben Barrett winning the ball on the left after seven minutes but once again the resultant shot was sent wide from a good position. Three minutes later a half chance fell to Ben Pinkney but the home keeper was not troubled.
The constant pressure from Nailsea finally paid off in the 59th minutes when Stuart Lee followed up from a corner to fire the ball into the far corner to level the scores. At this stage with the Shirehampton defenders feeling the heat you would bet that United would go on to gather three points. On 65 minutes Ben Cowman gave way to Nathan Hall as United shuffled the pack.
With 20 minutes remaining after good approach work Matt Day sent in a shot which beat the keeper only to see a well placed defender clear from the goal line. On 75 minutes against the run of play Shirehampton scored what turned out to be the winning goal with a well taken effort having cut through the United defence.
In a final throw of the dice, Nailsea made their last change with Will Symonds replacing Ryan Ford. There was still one chance for Nailsea to share the points when on 85 minutes Matt Day found Stuart Lee who turned his marker but on this occasion his connection was poor and the home goal was untroubled.
Final Score. Shirehampton 2 Nailsea United 1
In a way this match summed up the season for Nailsea. Conceding a goal within five minutes of the half time break and eventually losing by an odd goal. Very frustrating for all concerned.
Next match is on Easter Monday April 22nd at The Grove when Westfield are the visitors. Kick Off 3.00pm, The following Saturday April 27th, Worle are the visitors in the penultimate game of the season with a 3.00pm start.