Early goals set Minehead on road to victory

By Aaron Kendall   |   Assistant Editor   |
Friday 1st September 2017 2:19 pm
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THE three figure crowd which turned up for Minehead’s opening home match of the season on Saturday saw them notch up a second win in a row with a 4-1 success over Yatton and Cleeve United.

The Blues stormed into a two-goal lead in the opening five minutes against a side who have turned in some impressive high-scoring results so far.

After just three minutes, burly Yatton keeper Sam Hockin-Bailey spilled a seemingly innocuous cross from the top line, allowing Guy Burns to pass sideways for Rob Vickers to shoot home from six yards out.

Yatton’s immediate response from a free-kick conceded by Mike Mullen saw Kris Shields’ curler beat the defensive wall but the well-positioned Nathan Sheehan made a comfortable save.

The Blues hit back to go 2-0 up when a good move down the left was finished off by Mike Graddon, who turned well to shake off his defender and beat Hockin-Bailey with his disguised shot into the right hand corner.

The visitors were playing some neat football and showing individual flair, and although the Blues were in control, the game ebbed and flowed.

Minehead were looking the stronger attacking force, and both their full backs pinned the visitors back with their enterprising runs and link-up play.

After in-form Matty Ronan’s 35-yard shot came back off the bar, Vickers’ through pass released Burns and the experienced striker’s subtle chip over the keeper put the home side into a seemingly unassailable 3-0 lead on the half hour.

And just five minutes later the home tally was four after Vickers took the ball off a central defender and slotted itpast the overworked Hockin-Bailey.

The visitors’ day then got even worse just before half time, when a reckless late lunge by Ryan Gibbs on Stefan Phillips saw him receive a straight red from the referee.

With home fans expecting more goals in the second half to give their goal difference a boost, Yatton came out with plenty of resolve and took the game to the home side from the start.

Mullen was booked, and from Shields’ resulting long-range free-kick the ball cannoned off the bar, but after that scare Minehead stood firm, and midway through the half Ronan saw a second long-range shot come back off the bar.

With the game swinging from end to end both goals had charmed lives until Sheehan misjudged a 25-yarder from the impressive Alex Bird, thinking it was going wide, but the goal was nothing more than a consolation for the visitors.

The win took the Blues into the top half of the table with at least one game in hand on all of the sides above them.

The Gerry Hatrick man of the match was Callum Barnfield.

Minehead: Nathan Sheehan, Callum Barnfield, Luke Bloys, Mike Mullen, Sean Meade, Mike Graddon, Harry Scatchard, Stefan Phillips, Robert Vickers, Matty Ronan, Guy Burns, subs Aaron Ireton, Matt Cracknell, Sam Bruford (all used).

n Tomorrow (Saturday) Minehead face probably their toughest challenge of the season so far when they travel to play Brislington Reserves in the first round of the Somerset Senior Cup.

Having finished fourth last season, Brislington have started the new season well and after five games are top of Division One East.

They have scored 16 times in their opening three home matches, and the Blues will need to be at their best to remain in a competition they won in 2013/14.


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