IN A HIGHLY anticipated clash Alcombe Rovers beat local rivals and fellow title contenders Minehead Colts 2-0 away in Division Two of the Taunton Saturday League.
The atmosphere was electric as both teams, amidst the largest Minehead crowd of the season, showcased their determination from the first whistle.
Alcombe's seasoned squad immediately stamped their authority on the game, dominating possession and outclassing Minehead's young talents. The Colts, however, grew into the match, displaying confidence as they played attractive football through the thirds, frustrating the Rovers' midfield.
The battle unfolded with both teams giving their all, and notable attempts to run at Alcombe’s defence kept the spectators on the edge of their seats.
Yet, it was Alcombe who struck first when a pinpoint cross from Sam Harley found Nigel Brummer, whose thunderous volley rippled the net, giving the visitors the lead.
The intensity escalated, leading to heightened tempers and a red card for Matty Ronan just before the break. Undeterred, Alcombe pressed forward, and a moment of brilliance from Lowell Binnie set up skipper Brian Hall who unleashed a clinical 20-yard strike, making it 2-0 right before the break.
The second half saw Alcombe navigating with composure despite being a man down. Minehead Colts pressed forward, but Alcombe's defence held firm.
Manager Lee Todd made key substitutions to maintain Alcombe's control and young talents Joe Elson, Joel Floyd, Dan Dogfrey, Cullum Bruford, Oli Hall, and Sam Harley displayed admirable performances in the second half.
Alcombe's defensive maturity frustrated Minehead's attempts to break through. The home side then had a player sent off when Joshua Bruford received a second yellow card for a foul against his younger brother.
As the final whistle blew, Alcombe Rovers emerged victorious with a well-deserved 2-0 win, solidifying their position as the second-ranked team in the league - with a game in hand.
The match showcased Alcombe's ability to weather challenges, providing a thrilling spectacle for the passionate crowd and setting the stage for future encounters in this local rivalry.