Weston and District Knockout Cup

Saturday 23rd January 2016

 Wrington & Redhill  Res  4  – AFC Nailsea   3  @ The Rec Wrington.

With six changes from last  week’s starting eleven, Wrington relied on their squad depth and success of the A team to field another strong line up. The welcome return of Phil Williams from injury added further experience to an already mature back line and Simon ‘Gunner’ Lee returned to form a potent attacking partnership with ‘ Shak’  O Connor.

However, with the new lineup taking time to knit together, it was Ally Caufield who made a number of important tackles to keep Nailsea at bay as they dominated  the early exchanges. The ground staff had worked wonders to get the  game on but the heavy pitch made it difficult for Wrington to settle into their usual passing game and get their wide players on the ball. Nailsea belied recent results with a strong midfield display and a typical knockdown found their centre forward who burst clear and slotted home on 20 minutes. Perversely, following the goal, the Home team settled and with O’ Connor and Lee looking lively upfront, growing into the game. Finally releasing Kyle Selman on a driving run he threaded a pin point pass through to Lee who coolly finished with a shot to the bottom corner of the net. A finish he hasn’t seen enough of at Ashton Gate this year!

Nailsea refused to be cowed and continued to press forward. They were rewarded just before half time when a speculative shot was deflected and looped in under the crossbar to give them the half time lead.

A shrewd tactical change at the break with Dan Burnett coming on to create three at the back transformed the game. No longer out-numbered in the centre of midfield Matt Lenny, Paul and Dan Burnett started to boss the game and it released Kyle Selman and Mike Clements to get forward on the back of good distribution from goal keeper Jake Burnett. From one such throw, Clements raided into the Nailsea half and won a free-kick. The resultant kick was flicked on for Man of the Match Matt Lenny to volley home past the diving keeper. On 60 minutes Matt returned the favour by flicking on a near post corner for Ally Caufield to head the home team in front. With Tommy Johnson on as a second substitute and with a much better shape, Wrington started to dominate the game and chances came thick and fast. Selman put O’Connor through who unselfishly squared the ball to the unmarked Lee only for the goalkeeper to make an outstanding save. A superb cross by Dan Burnett saw Caufield head inches wide before another excellent free kick from Callum Briggs fell invitingly for O’Connor (Pictured) to glance a header for a goal his general play deserved. Nailsea still refused to lie down and perseverance down the left produced a tap In goal for a 4 – 3 score line with 10 minutes left to play. This left time for a superb save from keeper Burnett and some pin ball defending in the Wrington penalty box to prevent the dreaded extra time.

 With currently no game for the Reserves next week, the focus is on the ‘A’ teams’ top of the table clash away to Selkirk where all support will be welcome.

 Man Of Match:  Matt Le