Following many postponements United finally started the League Cup clash with Wrington Redhill which was played under lights at The Hand Stadium, Clevedon.
Despite many weeks of inactivity Nailsea started brightly with Matt Long firing wide on three minutes. On ten minutes Nailsea took the lead when Sol Wanjou Smith was fouled in the right wing. Alex Goodwin took the resultant free kick delivering a perfect ball to the near post where Captain Tom Richens lost his marker to glance the ball in with a neat header.
Nailsea continued to take the game to Wrington with James Springett shooting wide from distance. The United lead was doubled on 20 minutes with a near replica of the first goal. Another pin point free kick by Alex Goodwin again found Tom Richens as he made his move this time connecting with his boot to find the back of the net. Wrington were finding it difficult to stem the Nailsea tide and required good defending to come away unscathed from a goal mouth scramble on the half an hour mark.
Minutes later Wrington had their first glimpse of a goal when a shot dropped just the wrong side of the United upright. Now it was Wrington that applied the pressure being awarded a penalty when Rob Brown was adjudged to have hand balled when defending a strong shot from close range. The Wrington penalty taker made no mistake from the spot to bring their deficit to one goal. The remaining minutes of the first half saw Wrington grow in confidence although Matt Long had two half chances, first finding the keeper with a snap shot and as the half was drawing to a close heading over a Jamie Whitfield cross after he was set up by Sol Wanjou Smith.
Half Time. Wrington Redhill 1 Nailsea United 2
The second half commenced with Wrington having the first scoring opportunity which was screwed wide. Play ebbed from end to end without either keeper called into action until 20 minutes before the end of the half when a good move by Wrington needed Josh Dann to be alert.
Then came a flurry of substitutions with Lee Cogan replacing Ben Barrett and Mark Iles taking over from Jamie Whitfield. Although Wrington were now the stronger side the Nailsea defence were coping well until 10 minutes from time. From out of nothing a shot from the Wrington right crept into the Nailsea net at the near post to bring the score to two goals each.
The final Nailsea change was made when Liam Lester replaced Sol Wanjou Smith. No further chances were created as the referee blew his whistle to signal the end of normal time. No extra time was played with the result of the match being decided by the dreaded penalty shoot out.
In the event this was one of the longest shoot outs I can remember with a total of 22 penalties being taken. After the initial five penalties apiece the penalty score was drawn at four each. We then had the drama of sudden death. Nailsea had four chances to seal the game after a Wrington player had failed to score, unfortunately neither chance was taken with Wrington running out the winners by a final score of seven goals to six.
So once again United were defeated in a cup tie by penalties after losing out to Fry Club in the Senior Cup.
This was a very watchable game played by two equally matched teams in front of a decent crowd. This Saturday February 20th United are at home to Bridgwater Town Reserves at the Grove. Kick Off 2.30pm.
With cup exploits behind them United can now concentrate on climbing the league.