Uphill Castle 4-4 Minehead

Having been well beaten by four goals to one at The Recreation Ground on the second Saturday of the season, against the team hotly tipped to win the league this season, Minehead will have known they were in for a tough away game on Weston-Super-Mare’s 3G pitch on Saturday, where Uphill Castle currently play their home fixtures.

The Blues’ squad of thirteen were reduced to twelve after just seven minutes when influential midfielder Benn Bartlett limped off with a recurring hamstring problem, to be replaced by substitute Olly Prescott.

After an even start the hosts, who looked at home on the artificial pitch, took the lead in 30th minute when a cross from attacking teenage wing-back Joe Eyles was headed home at the far post by Will Sneddon-Combes

Within a minute The Blues were level when Ryan Wilkins’ cross was met by a perfect header from centre forward Aaron Merry which looped over Uphill’s keeper.

In the sixth minute of injury time at the end of the first half Uphill once again took the lead when the County League’s top scorer Sam Beresford connected with another cross from the right.

At half time Liam Thorne replaced Minehead’s hard working striker Aaron Merry, who had been hobbling for the last ten minutes of the first half, and soon afterwards teenager Olly Prescott injured his ankle and though he stayed in the pitch, could not offer much of his own energy to the side’s cause.

However, the start of the second half certainly belonged to The Blues, as Guy Burns levelled the scores having been supplied by a perfect pass by Matt Trump who had just drifted past two defenders to get himself into the box. Two minutes later Burns put Minehead ahead when he too beat two defenders to then slam past the keeper. He should have completed a six-minute hat-trick when but his spot kick, awarded after he had been brought down, was too close to the keeper.  

A rare handling error by keeper Kyran Wilkins get the hosts back on level terms when he allowed Jack Askins’ shot slip through his hands.

Minehead were not beaten, and Trump made it 4-3 after a slick combination between him and Burns.

A few minutes later Uphill levelled again through Askins, and though the linesman had flagged for an offside infringement, after a lengthy discussion with the referee, the decision was overruled and the goal stood.

Both teams went for the winner, and in the closing stages it was Wilkins who redeemed himself in Minehead’s goal, with two fine saves to help earn his side a well-deserved share of the points, and credit should be given to the whole of Minehead’s side, who fought doggedly with several injuries noticeably being carried.

Apart from the positive result, Minehead’s two strikers Matt Trump and Guy Burns both enjoyed probably their best games of the season on the 3G surface, enabling them to show exceptional ball control throughout.

Minehead: Kyran Wilkins, Bertie Harvey-Larmar, Ryan Wilkins, Rob Vickers, Mike Graddon, Benn Bartlett, Matt Trump, Hubi Wejnerowski, Aaron Merry, Luke Roper, Guy Burns
Subs: Olly Prescott, Liam Thorne (Both Used)

Man of the Match: Matt Trump

Minehead return to The Rec next week, when hopefully the walking wounded will have suitably recovered as they face more stiff opposition in the form of third placed Yatton who also boast a prolific scorer in the veteran Alex Bird, currently chasing hard on the heels of Uphill’s marksman Beresford.

Kick-off is at 3pm.