WATCHET finished their run of August away games with a surprising 6-2 win over league leaders Clevedon United last Saturday.
Another threadbare Watchet outfit made fewer errors at the back, despite having to make three changes in their defence from midweek, than their hosts – who were also shorn of regulars – and punished them with some clinical finishing.
Clevedon made the early running and almost profited from a dangerous low cross from the right then forced a fine save from Adam Bishop, with Watchet grateful for the experience and versatility of Chris Sully and Jason Worth to help stem the tide.
Against the run of play, Watchet struck first when Tom Sparks took advantage of some indecisive defending to volley a bouncing ball past the hosts’ no 2 keeper, and it was soon 2-0 when the keeper came out to the corner of his area to take out Damion Redman and the referee had no alternative but to award a penalty which Jamie Milton drove into the net.
The visitors went close to adding to their tally before Clevedon grabbed a lifeline as the interval approached, curling a free-kick over the defensive wall and inside Bishop’s right hand post.
It took Watchet only a matter of minutes in the second half to restore their two-goal advantage when a reckless challenge on Billy Jones gave them a free-kick which was invitingly delivered by Aaron Deeks for Redman to glance in with a close-range header.
Redman was then unable to get a firm enough touch on the ball to force it home from point-blank range when Charley Clausen helped on a Deeks corner.
The home side, who felt they should have had a penalty, were still in contention with the next goal all-important - but it was Watchet who scored again to make it 4-1 from another Milton spot-kick after Deeks was scythed down as he shaped to shoot.
Almost immediately, the deficit was cut as Clevedon swept to the other end to score, and the visitors then came under some pressure as they survived a series of corners and scrambles.
The early pacesetters then shot themselves in the foot again when an attempted crossfield pass was easily intercepted by Sparks and he went clear to shoot past the keeper with customary aplomb.
That was not the end of the gifts from Clevedon, as with ten minutes to go an under-hit back pass from half-way let in Redman to go through unopposed and with the keeper rooted to his line, he slipped in Watchet’s sixth.
The final scoreline undoubtedly flattered Watchet’s overall performance, but they nevertheless ended their early enforced sequence of travels still unbeaten and second on goal difference behind Nailsea and Tickenham.
Watchet: A Bishop, J Worth, J Milton, C Sully, C Shopland, B Jones, C Clausen, M Bailey, D Redman, A Deeks, T Sparks, subs A Clausen, M Ketchen (both used).
n The Red and Blacks now begin five home games in September with a Somerset County Senior Cup tie against Bristol Premier Combination side Highridge United tomorrow (Saturday).
The visitors, who were runners up in this competition the season before last, will be paying their first visit to the Memorial Ground. Kick-off is at 2.30pm).
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