United lose out in seven goal cup thriller
By elpresident | Saturday, November 17, 2012, 16:50
Stockwood Green 4 Nailsea United 3
Following two postponements United finally played this Somerset Senior Cup tie away to south Bristol side Stockwood Green. The pitch was certainly playable but was very soft underfoot.
With five minutes gone the first scoring opportunity fell to Nailsea with a Matt Long free kick just outside of the area. The well struck shot sailed over the bar. Stockwood were having an equal amount of the ball with Chris Lawrence making a fine tackle to stop the Bristol side breaking through on 13 minutes.
On 17 minutes a through ball by James Springett found Stuart Lee who could not keep his shot down. The home side took the lead after 22 minutes following good work down the right saw the ball in the back of the Nailsea net. On the half hour mark good possession football by Nailsea saw skipper James Springett shoot just wide. The equaliser came on 36 minutes when Stuart Lee was sent away down the right wing to cross perfectly for Matt Long to score with a header. No further goals were to be seen in the first half although James Springett failed to connect properly with a whipped cross with his shot going wide as the referee looked at his watch to blow for half time.
The score line of one goal each was just about right as both sides looked to play good football on a difficult surface.
Nailsea got away to the worst possible start to the second half as the ball was given away in midfield allowing Stockwood to mount an attack in the first minute which saw them take the lead. Nailsea fought back with Ellis Wilmot heading wide from a Josh Benjamin cross on 48 minutes. In the next attack Benjamin was injured with Sam Long taking his place on the left flank.
Stockwood scored goal number three 15 minutes into the second half when a cross *** shot found its way into the far corner of the Nailsea goal. United dug deep and were rewarded when a strong run by Chris Lawrence was ended when he was tripped inside the area. Matt Long comfortably converted the ensuing penalty to bring the score to Stockwood 3 Nailsea United 2.
United sensed that the equaliser was never far away and were unlucky with 20 minutes to go when Matt Long cleverly made space only to see his shot go agonisingly wide. Looking to freshen things up manager Mark Savage brought on Steve Clarke with 20 minutes remaining. Nailsea fell further behind on 74 minutes following a Stockwood corner which was bundled over the line to give the home side a two goal lead.
With nothing to lose Nailsea pressed forward with James Springett shooting wide after good approach play. With 10 minutes remaining the final throw of the dice saw Ryan King replacing Steve Lester with United changing to having just three defenders at the back. Stockwood were always a threat with Mark Kendall having to be alert to palm a goal bound shot over the bar on 86 minutes.
With 2 minutes of normal time remaining Nailsea were thrown a lifeline when centre back James Taylor headed home from an Ellis Wilmot corner reducing the deficit to just one goal. However, United could not find that elusive equaliser with Stuart Lee coming the closest in added time when he was put through but could not convert.
Final Score: Stockwood Green 4 Nailsea United 3.
This was a game that could have gone either way with Stockwood taking advantage of some hesitation in the Nailsea defence to come out the winners of a game that saw seven goals providing good entertainment for the impartial observer.
Next week United compete in the next round of the League Knockout Cup when they travel to first division Frome Collegians. Kick off at 14:00. Having lost interest in the Senior Cup competition as holders of the League Cup they will wish to keep their cup hopes alive with a win against the Frome students.