MINEHEAD finished their fixtures in Division One of the Uhlsport Somerset County League on a high with a very creditable and deserved 3-2 away win over Yatton & Cleeve United, which will have taken the shine from the hosts’ promotion celebrations. 

Having been already assured of third position, Yatton now move up to the Premier Division along with Minehead’s two nearest neighbours - Staplegrove and Watchet.

The Blues started the game on the front foot, pushing Yatton back for the opening minutes, but a bizarre goal from what looked like a miscued cross from near the touchline by left back Jason Coupland deceived Minehead keeper Jack Harding and crept under the bar just inside the far post, in what was realistically Yatton’s first movemen inside the Minehead half.

Undeterred, the young Minehead side showed grit by continuing to do the majority of the pressing and they nearly equalised when a speculative 35-yard effort from captain Stefan Phillips was fumbled by home keeper Tom Murphy and trickled just wide of the post for a corner.

Mid way through the half The Blues found a deserved equaliser when an incisive one-two between Guy Burns and Matt Trump saw Burns burst through the middle of the home defence. His fierce shot on target from the edge of the box could only be parried by Murphy and centre forward Toby Waghorn reacted quickly to shoot home from eight yards before Murphy could fully recover.

Four minutes later captain Phillips put his side ahead from the penalty spot after Rob Vickers was upended as he pulled the trigger after a jinking run passed several defenders by Trump. It was Trump again who caused chaos among the home defence when he cut in from the right wing, and top scorer Burns finished competently to make it three. 

The half ended with a superb goal-line clearance from a corner by a home defender, and a 4-1 scoreline would have been no more than Minehead’s first half display had warranted. Ollie Hall replaced the hobbling playmaker Trump at the start of the second half, and the game became much more even, flowing from end to end.

Fifteen minutes from time Minehead’s lead was cut to a solitary goal when the ball was forced home by Sam Woodnutt after a lengthy melee inside the six-yard box, to make the last quarter of an hour tenser than it needed to be.

But with Minehead’s youthful side continuing to grow in confidence they defended well with Louis Burge enjoying another almost faultless performance and The Blues held on to all three points to finish their season on a high.

Based on their last six matches, the form guide table would put Minehead in sixth position, and their growing positivity and togetherness puts them in good stead for pushing forwards next season. 

Manager Craig Carr deserves a lot of credit for the way the season has been turned around in the last six matches, and with a healthy mix of experience and youth, next season cannot come quickly enough for his side. 

However, the Minehead club have not yet made an official decision on whether or not Carr will be continuing. But if present form is counted and if he wants to continue he will almost certainly be the man for the job.

Minehead: Jack Harding, Bertie Harvey-Larmar, Martyn Phillips, Luke Badcock, Louis Burge, Rob Vickers, Stefan Phillips, Matt Trump, Toby Waghorn, Guy Burns, Sam Jackson Subs: Ollie Hall, Hubi Wejnerowski, Tiago Alipio, Charlie Purvis (all used). Man of the Match was awarded to Louis Burge.