It was a classic game of two halves at Fairfax Park on Saturday as Bridgwater Town Reserves came back from a goal down to beat reigning league champions Nailsea United 3 – 1.
Bridgwater were without experienced players Kenzie Farnham, Matt Connick, Josh White and Chris Young due to injuries, but welcomed back goalkeeper Josh Hayward after a recent hand injury.
Nailsea started the brighter and controlled the midfield with some neat passing and aggressive tackling. Despite the away sides good start, it was Bridgwater who had the best first chance, but 17-year-old forward Harry Fitchew was unable to convert when well placed. At the other end, goalkeeper Hayward dealt well with a series of high balls in to the box and he dominated his area in commanding fashion.
The away teams pressure told after 30 minutes when, striker turned defender, James Lee lashed in an unstoppable left footed, half volley, from 35 yards that went in off the post.
Bridgwater changed to three at the back in the second half and came flying out of the traps. After 55 minutes the scores were level when Lee Villis capitalised on a mix up in the Nailsea defense and finished calmly from the edge of the box.
The home side took the lead after 65 minutes when Connor O'Neill's outstanding cross field pass found Callum Laird, who surged in to the box with a powerful run and neatly slotted home.
Bridgwater were on top now with substitute forward Charlie White causing the tiring Nailsea defensive all sorts of trouble with his direct running. White went close to making it 3 – 1 after an excellent team move left him well positioned with only the goalkeeper to beat, but he shot wide. Moments later however, White got what his excellent performance deserved after he bundled home following an outstanding run from Lee Villis.
Manager Luke Buckingham said,
“We were so disappointing in the first half and our performance lacked energy, aggression and any real quality. However, this group of players has shown outstanding character all season, and we were a different team in the second half. We had only 1 player in the squad today over the age of 21 and included 7 lads who are eligible for the u18s so to come back from 1 – 0 down against the defending champions speaks volumes.”