Westfield 2-0 Minehead

With five players dropping out at short notice Minehead faced one of their longest trips of the season with a bare eleven players but against all adversity they took the game to their hosts and should have won the game within the first twenty minutes when glorious chances were squandered.

After just thirty seconds with the home defence in disarray a mix up between the two top scorers Aaron Merry and Olly Prescott saw neither of them take the opportunity to open the scoring.

Soon afterwards Prescott became the provider for Merry when the pair broke through the home rear-guard but with Prescott’s square ball taking the keeper out of the equation Merry’s simple looking tap-in seemed to get stuck under his foot allowing the keeper to recover.

Again Merry found himself through on goal for a one on one with the keeper but the custodian came out on top with an effective block. Then strike partner Prescott broke through from the wing and beat the keeper to a 50/50 ball and having got to it first the youngsters’ shot from an angle narrowly cleared the bar.

Having hardly been seen as an attacking force Westfield then took an unexpected lead when Jared Steele slotted home efficiently past Kyran Wilkins.

On the next occasion that Minehead got through the Westfield defence Tiago’s shot was saved by the busier of the two keepers Billy Barter and yet another one on one was not converted, and in the next attack Prescott shot straight at the keeper.

Westfield then enjoyed a brief spell of attacking play and having previously given his side the lead Steele’s second opportunity to side foot home was well blocked by Wilkins, then shortly afterwards Wilkins managed to brilliantly tip over shot from very close-range.

At half time, with Luciano Alves having arrived at the ground straight from work Minehead were able to reshuffle with the Brazilian striker replacing injured fullback Szymon Gawlowski who had been hobbling since midway through the first half. Alves however was not able to really influence play from a central midfield position.

Aaron Merry then managed to again break through and having rounded the keeper his attempt from an acute angle went into the side netting.

The home dangerman Steele then managed to get to the ball first and was brought down by Wilkins’ attempt to get to the ball first but the keeper atoned with a fine penalty save.

With Minehead now throwing numbers forward in desperation, Mike Graddon’s shot from 35 yards went just wide and then Barter made a fine save from Benn Bartlett’s header from Graddon’s deep centre.

In the final moments the Benn Grubb slotted past Wilkins to rub salt into the visitors’ wounds and leave the result at 2-0.

Minehead: Kyran Wilkins, Bertie Harvey-Larmar, Szymon Gawlowski, Stephen Lynch, Mike Graddon, Tiago Alipio, Hubi Wejnerowski, Aaron Merry, Luciano Alves, Rob Vickers, Olly Prescott

Substitutes: Toby Waghorn, Tiago Alipio, Guy Burns (all used)

Man of the Match: Bertie Harvey-Larmar

Minehead return to Irnham Road for what is currently scheduled as their final home match of 2022 on Saturday when Castle Cary provide the opposition. The Wiltshire side have picked up considerably since the home defeat inflicted on them by The Blues back in mid-September.