Holders Nailsea United through to semi finals of League Cup
By elpresident | Saturday, March 09, 2013, 18:08
Westfield 2 Nailsea United 3
Cup holders Nailsea United travelled to Midsomer Norton to play First Division Westfield in the quarter finals of the Somerset League Cup. Nailsea were without striker Jim Lee and defender Rob Brown through injury.
United have now developed the habit of striking early and this game was no different. On six minutes Harry Hope found James Springett on the right, the midfielder crossed into the Westfield penalty area for an alert Matt Long to fire home to give the visitors the lead.
With 10 minutes gone United could have doubled their lead with this time Matt Long and James Springett combining to create a chance for Harry Hope who shot over. The second Nailsea goal came in the 23rd minute. A corner from the right by Ryan King saw the ball creep directly over the Westfield goal line with the home keeper beaten.
On the half hour mark quick thinking by Ryan King from a free kick allowed James Springett a sight on goal but his shot went over the bar. Nailsea were now playing some delightful football with a period of first time passing allowing Ryan King bear down on goal only to shoot wide of the post.
Westfield were being outclassed by their Premier Division opponents. Their defence was again taken apart in the 43rd minute for Ryan King to be set free on the right to play a perfect ball to the back post where Matt Long slid in to convert for goal number three.
Half time. Westfield 0 Nailsea United 3
This was an impressive display by a confident and skilful Nailsea side that were determined to retain the trophy they won last season. Westfield were restricted to sporadic forays into the Nailsea half but found the United defence in uncompromising form.
The first scoring opportunity of the second half fell to Matt Long who volleyed the ball over the bar. Westfield had obviously been taken to task by their management and were much stronger in their play. United were grateful to keeper Scott Kendall for two great saves within a minute of one another as Westfield sought a way back into the game. Nailsea came close to adding a fourth goal on 55 minutes, a corner from the right by Ryan King was headed over the bar by centre back James Taylor from a good position.
With 30 minutes remaining Ellis Wilmot gave way to young Aaron Latta with James Springett dropping back to centre midfield. Ten minutes later Nailsea made a double substitution with Lee Cogan and Mike Wallington replacing Ryan King and Chris Lawrence respectively. Almost immediately Lee Cogan was sent clear down the middle but his shot went wide with only the keeper to beat.
This let off spurred Westfield to up their game which was rewarded with their opening goal on 75 minutes with an angled shot. Five minutes later United were shocked to concede a second goal after failing to clear the ball. The last 10 minutes saw Westfield looking for an equaliser but the United defence held firm. Matt Long was unlucky in the 85th minute when his shot on the turn was saved by the diving Westfield keeper. In the end Nailsea were grateful to hear the final whistle knowing that they had qualified for the semi final of the League Cup competition.
On paper this was never going to be an easy match with Westfield challenging for promotion from the First Division. In the first half it was plain to see the difference in class between Nailsea from the Premier Division and their First Division opponents but Westfield can be pleased that in the end they ran Nailsea close.
Full time. Westfield 2 Nailsea United 3
Next Saturday all eyes turn to the top of the Premier Division when leaders Berrow visit The Grove in a proverbial six pointer against a Nailsea side that is having an excellent run of form as they try to retain their league championship title. Kick off 3.00pm.