Uhlsport Premier and First Division Cup: Castle Cary 2-4 Minehead

HAVING beaten Castle Cary by seven clear goals at Irnham Road four weeks ago, Minehead would have been confident of victory on their trip to East Somerset on Saturday for a cup fixture, where they produced a very assured performance after being in control of the game from very early on.

Crisp, accurate passing saw them claim the lions’ share of possession from the outset and it was no surprise when Guy Burns appeared to have opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour when he beat home keeper Harvey Pike from twelve yards out after a slick move had cut open the home defence.

His left footed shot from an angle appeared to go in off the inside of the post and then hit a small metal brace connecting the upright and the base of the wheelable goal-frame, before coming back out of the goal. The referee’s decision was that the ball had merely struck the post despite Minehead’ remonstrations.

On 30 minutes, with Minehead continuing to look impressive and cohesive, Guy Burns beat three defenders during a direct run into the penalty area, and as he shaped to shoot his colleague Martyn Phillips seized the opportunity to take the shot, beat the keeper at the foot of the same post that had apparently earlier denied Burns.

Moments later it was Martyn Phillips’ dangerous cross that Pike couldn’t deal with, and this time the seemingly luckless top scorer Burns did claim a goal, prodding home the spilt ball.

As in the home game in August, Matt Trump’s trickery was causing Castle Cary defenders regular problems and from his corner kick after one of his trade mark runs, centre half Mike Graddon headed home at the far post to make it three.

Not long afterwards Sam Heath scored Minehead’s fourth goal in quick succession when he slammed home from Burns’ cross to finish a workmanlike and match-winning first half for the Blues.

Being comfortably in control Minehead appeared to relax too much during the early part of the second half and this gave the commendably competitive Cary youngsters a glimmer of hope. They started to make inroads into the Minehead half far more regularly than in the first forty-five minutes.

Two home goals came, the first from a penalty awarded after Hubi Wejnerowski had impeded centre forward Luke Ansell who then converted from the spot past debutant goalkeeper Ben Bloys and a second goal came from Stanley Rood ten minutes later to reduce the deficit to two with a well taken opportunist goal following a defensive error.

The Blues regrouped and soon weathered the short storm, easing their way through the remainder of the game to earn themselves a trip to their former Western League foes Chard Town in the second round in four weeks’ time.

Next Saturday sees The Blues on the road again when they travel to Ashcott for a league encounter which will be the first competitive game between the two first XI’s.