Nailsea United leave it late to progress in League Cup competition
By elpresident | Saturday, October 20, 2012, 18:12
Nailsea United 1 Larkhall Athletic Reserves 0
Holders Nailsea United were at home to First Division Larkhall in the second round of the League Cup.
After 10 minutes a Rob Brown free kick was met by Jim Lee who headed on to Ryan King who was unable to hit the target. Five minutes later a Matt Long corner again found the head of Jim Lee only to see his effort cleared off of the line. United continued to go forward only to be hampered by James Springett going off with an injury after just 23 minutes. Steve Lester took his place in midfield.
Larkhall were showing signs of matching Nailsea and were unlucky not to take the lead on 38 minutes following a long ball out of defence which caught the Nailsea rearguard square bringing a fine save from United keeper Scott Kendall.
With no goals scored in the first half it was difficult to see who would be in the hat for the next round. Certainly a casual spectator would have found it difficult to determine which side were from the Premier League and which side played in Division one.
The second half started with Nailsea forced to make another substitution with Alex Goodwin replacing the injured Ryan King. The opening skirmishes of the half saw Nailsea attack with a shot that was beaten away followed by Larkhall breaking away but shooting wide. The home side then had a period of dominance with first Harry Hope cutting in from the left to create space only to shoot wide then United hit the bar and then the post but could not break the deadlock.
On 57 minutes a good cross by Chris Lawrence fell to Harry Hope who grazed the bar with a powerful shot. The Nailsea supporters were beginning to think that a goal would never come particularly as on 65 minutes Sam Long cut inside to find Chris Lawrence who saw the Larkhall keeper push his shot over the bar. Although most of the play was in the Larkhall half the visitors looked more than capable of causing an upset with their quick breaks.
More frustration for Nailsea with 15 minutes remaining when Mike Rowcliffe headed just wide from a Matt Long corner. Right at the end of normal time good work by Matt Long conjured up a cross which was headed across the visitor's goal by Steve Lester with no Nailsea player able to touch it over the line.
With the crowd getting ready for extra time deep into added time Nailsea finally scored the winner. A Matt Long free kick was met by the head of Jim Lee this time beating the Larkhall keeper to see United through to the next round.
This was a far from convincing display by the cup holders who were unable to benefit from the numerous chances they created against a dogged Larkhall side who will consider themselves unlucky not to take the game into extra time.
Next week United return to league duty with a visit to Bridgwater Town Reserves. Kick off 3.00pm. The next game at The Grove on Saturday October 27th see the free scoring Reserve side who entertain Middlezoy Rovers in a top of the table clash. Kick off 3.00pm.