Watchet only pick up a point in opening game at Stockwood Green

By Aaron Kendall   |   Assistant Editor   |
Friday 18th August 2017 9:58 am
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CHAMPIONS Watchet kicked off their Somerset County League programme with a 1-1 draw away to newly-promoted Stockwood Green in Bristol last Saturday.

A share of the spoils was the least the visitors deserved as they enjoyed plenty of possession and had all the second half chances against a side relieved to continue a run which saw them come back up to the Premier Division unbeaten last season.

The Red and Blacks began confidently and kept the ball well, pinning their opponents back from the outset, but the final cross or pass didn’t seriously threaten.

A floated cross from Damion Redman dropped inches over the bar before a low ball from Aaron Deeks passed through the home goalmouth and narrowly past the far post.

Tom Sparks had a shot blocked and there were a few other fruitless attempts as Stockwood defended in numbers.

The home side grew in confidence, looking dangerous on the break and from set pieces, and a close-range volley following a corner struck a colleague standing in front of Adam Bishop and flew away for a goal kick.

Watchet went to the other end and took the lead, with a switch of flanks by Redman and Billy Jones paying dividends when the former delivered an inviting cross from the right which found Jones unmarked at the far post to head home his first senior goal.

However, out of the blue Stockwood punished some sloppy defending by the visitors to draw level just ahead of the half-time whistle.

Following a free-kick near halfway, the home side’s full back was allowed to take his time before hitting a deep cross with Watchet camped in their own area and big centre back Coleman nodded back into the goalmouth where the ball was not cleared and Salvage turned to lash a close-range shot into the roof of the net.

In the second half, Watchet took control again without making their greater share of the play count, but with Eben Harding and Redman making inroads on the left flank, chances began to come their way as the home side seemed to tire in the warm sunshine.

Harding played Redman into space but his attempted chip was held by the keeper, then the full back let fly himself with a first-timer from 25 yards which came back out off the bar.

A poor clearance by Stockwood’s keeper went straight to Deeks, but his first time effort failed to send the ball towards the unattended goal, whilst at the other end Bishop was virtually a spectator.

The home keeper distinguished himself with two crucial stops as he tipped another rasping drive from Harding over the bar then advanced to thwart Sparks, who had wriggled free to find space inside the area from Redman’s pass.

When he was beaten, the custodian had a defender to thank for heading an overhead kick from Sparks off the line following Jamie Milton’s nod back from a Deeks’ free kick.

A late scramble in the home goalmouth almost brought Watchet the winning goal they had relentlessly pursued, but the final whistle sounded with the Bristolians much the happier of the two outfits.

Watchet: A Bishop, G Dawson, M Heywood, J Milton, E Harding, M Bailey, C Clausen, A Deeks, B Jones, T Sparks, D Redman, subs A Clausen, J Worth, C Shopland (all used).


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