HAVING taken the lead with an opportunist third minute Guy Burns goal, Minehead conceded two goals late in injury time to end up with a share of the points in a 2-2 home draw with Yatton & Cleeve United in the first division of the Uhsport Somerset County League, writes Brian Walter..

The Blues, looking more impressive than of late, pressed well from the kick off against a side still very much in with a chance of playing in the Premier Division next season and after The Blues’ leading scorer had missed a seemingly easier chance, he made amends by running on to a superb pass from deep by teenager Sam Jackson and competently beat Yatton keeper Tom Murphy.

Midway through an otherwise relatively quiet first period of the game Gareth Gallop netted with a header which was ruled offside. Minehead appeared to have increased their lead when a move which cut through the Yatton defence featuring some individual skills ending with a precise pass from Matt Trump allowed Sam Jackson to play an equally slick pass to Toby Waghorn who shot from 25 yards destined for the top corner was equally well saved by Yatton captain Murphy, tipping over at full stretch for a corner. Then Trump’s free kick after a crude foul on Burns also needed another useful save from Murphy. 

Yatton were far from being over-run, however and they themselves were unlucky not to take the lead when Alex Crofts’ thunderous shot came back off the bar, and the rebound that fell to a team-mate somehow ended up over the bar. 

Just before half time Martyn Phillips suffered a groin strain and was replaced for the second period by another teenager Bertie Harvey-Larmar.

Guy Burns again went close early in the second half when his effort from Waghorn’s cross went just over the bar, and having picked up a knock he was replaced by Jack Furse on the hour.

The visitors were by now commanding the play and experienced defender Luke Badcock came on for Sam Jackson in a reshuffle to shore up the central midfield, and though under the cosh Minehead still competed well. A characteristic powerful run from deep by Ryan Wilkins where he burst through several challenges saw his 60-yard run from deep end up with his powerful shot on target being tipped over by the impressive Murphy.

Jasper Badger appeared to have levelled the scores from a free kick, but though the visitors hotly disputed the linesman’s flag for offside the referee having consulted the linesman disallowed the goal. With the visitors contesting the decision, the referee chose to sin bin the Yatton goalkeeper, whose comments were heard from the other end pf the pitch.

Then, in time added on for injuries Minehead scored their second, when this time the referee ignored the other linesman’s flag for offside which resulting in Waghorn racing through to beat Murphy and seemingly seal the points.

To their credit Yatton retaliated well and during the frenetic final minutes which saw Blues substitute Harvey-Larmar acrobatically head clear from just under the bar, the visitors forced two goals from corners deep into injury time, to salvage a point.

Minehead: Jack Harding, Martyn Phillips, Charlie Purvis, Rob Vickers, Ryan Wilkins, Louis Burge, Stefan Phillips, Sam Jackson, Toby Waghorn, Guy Burns, Matt Trump 

Subs: Jack Furse, Luke Badcock, Bertie Harvey-Larmar (All Used). Man of the Match: Ryan Wilkins.

Minehead now face four away games to finish their season, travelling to Combe St Nicholas, Peasedown, Burnham and finally the return match at Yatton.