MINEHEAD found Castle Cary in a plucky, competitive mood when The Blues made their longest trip of the season in Division One of the Uhlsport Somerset County Football League - and won 6-4.
Without a recognised central defender available, it was captain Stefan Phillips and Benn Bartlett who took the positions and neither looked out of place. Two players who made their first starts for the club and both Harry Perren and Reegan Scotcher turned in good performances from full-back and midfield positions respectively.
The hosts were forced into a particularly early substitution when, with less than a minute having been played, they had to make an early substitution throughinjury, Moments later Guy Burns had the ball in the net only for him to be dubiously ruled offside, but he did not have to wait too long before giving his side the lead when in the 18th minute a superb move along the right flank. Its was started by Martyn Phillips who brought the ball out from a very deep position and having beaten two opponents he released Sam Heath who tore down the line and crossed perfectly into space for Burns to run on and beat keeper Harvey Pike convincingly.
Six minutes later it was top scorer Burns again who was quickest to react and prod the ball home after Phillips’ deft flick from Aaron Merry’s corner had come back off the crossbar.
With Minehead’s midfield and defence being capable of regularly stringing passes through Cary’s backline, the Blues’ eager runners took full advantage and another six minutes later it was Sam Heath who ran through to slot home the third past exposed home keeper Harvey Pike.
Minehead were momentarily undone when a positive run through the midfield by the hosts’ best player on the day Charlie Agbo, who drove from his own half and having drifted past a few challenges unleashed a shot from at least 25 yards that Blues keeper Vinnie Jones, could not reach.
The Blues’ three goal advantage was restored just three minutes later; good work from deep again this time by Stefan Phillips and Harry Perren, who released Wellington player Aaron Merry who made it 4-1.
Before the break the sixth goal of the half was scored by Cary’s midfielder Brad Pike who received the ball with his back to goal near the penalty spot but swivelled well to shoot past Jones.
Minehead remained largely on top from the start of the second half, and with just over an hour played debutant Sam Jackson supplied the pass to enable Hubi Wejnerowski to make it five. Then five minutes later after Lewis Goodrum had replaced Burns, Merry was brought down in the box and Phillips scored from 12cyards to make it 6-2.
The Blues noticeably eased off in the same way as they did in a league encounter on the same ground when they were four goals up in a cup match ten weeks ago, when they also relaxed a little and the hosts scored twice to make more of a game of it. This time their two second half goals came from substitutes Joseph Adams and Simon Messenger who brought the deficit back to two and put an element of doubt in the result.
This caused Minehead unnecessary pressure for the closing ten minutes but defending well, they almost added to their lead when Goodrum’s shot was well saved by Pike. In the final minutes Phillips, who had been warned about remonstrating early in the game, was sin-binned, presumably for the same offence.
Minehead: Adam Jones, Martyn Phillips, Harry Perren, Hubi Wejnerowski, Stefan Phillips, Benn Bartlett, Sam Jackson, Reegan Scotcher, Guy Burns, Sam Heath, Aaron Merry. Subs: Lewis Goodrum and Lyam Scheepers (used) Riley Pope and Morgan Wild (unused)