Uhlsport Somerset Division One: Ashton & Backwell 4-1 Minehead

Minehead’s recent losing run continued when they travelled to former Western League side Ashton & Backwell United, who deservedly won by three clear goals, writes Brian Walder.

Within the first few minutes Minehead were fortunate not to fall behind when Thomas Smart’s shot came back off the inside of the post from 20 yards, and shortly afterwards Smart’s strike partner Sam Price missed a good chance from close range.   

The hosts did take the lead with just five minutes on the board when a loose pass from Minehead keeper Vinnie Jones allowed Billy Devoy to side-foot home into an unguarded net.

Minehead were back in the game eight minutes later when Matt Trump, who had created a good opening for himself a few moments earlier cleverly outwitting two defenders, levelled the scores with a shot that the home keeper Zennan Palmer should have saved but let it slip through his fingers.

With the wet surface and greasy ball causing both sides problems, returning striker Aaron Merry almost give The Blues the lead but his shot was tipped over by Palmer after a pin-point through ball from deep had allowed the striker to show the defence a clean pair of heels.

As Minehead enjoyed their best spell of the game, Martyn Phillips went close with a 30-yard effort.

The hosts then edged ahead through Smart after his pace and strength took him through the defence, but soon afterwards Merry’s energy took him through the home backline again, his shot being tipped over by the alert Palmer.

Martyn Phillips managed to keep the home advantage to one goal by heading a fierce shot over the bar after a loose pass by Benn Bartlett was struck goalwards by Smart, however another mix-up in the defence when a comfortable enough clearance was left by two players thinking that the other was dealing with it left Fraiser Devlin a relatively simple finish to make it 3-1 at the break. 

Early in the second half Jones made a superb reflex save from Devlin to deflect his effort over the bar and Minehead’s response came from Merry who showed good close control to outwit a defender and bear down on the goal but his shot from just outside the box was a foot wide.

Indecision in the Minehead defence, in a similar fashion to the second goal, allowed substitute Carter Bailey to slot home and make it 4-1.

Midway through the second half two substitutions saw Minehead’s hobbling captain Martyn Phillips replaced by debutant Lyam Scheepers and teenager Lewis Goodrum making just his second appearance from the bench, replacing another debutant Janusz Jasielczuk.

Late in the game Bailey hit the post for the hosts, leaving Minehead smarting after their fourth consecutive defeat, having started the season with four wins and one draw.

Minehead: Adam Jones, Bertie Harvey-Larmar, Charlie Purvis, Martyn Phillips, Luke Badcock, Benn Bartlett, Alfie Lyons, Hubi Wejnerowski, Aaron Merry, Janusz Jasielczuk, Matt Trump
Subs: Lewis Goodrum, Lyam Scheepers (Both Used)

Next Saturday Minehead face Ashcott at The Rec, when they will be looking to take three points off their opponents, who narrowly beat them (3-2) when they met at Ashcott earlier in the season.