Toolstation Western League: Torpoint Athletic 3-5 Clevedon Town

A meeting of the table topping Seasiders with the meanest defence in the league against a Torpoint side who have struggled for goals produced the completely unexpected when a goal laden second half saw Clevedon run out 5-3 winners to retain top spot.

At 3-1 up after 65 minutes Town looked comfortable but when Torpoint struck back with two goals in three minutes the game could have gone either way. However, the Seasiders dug in and regained the momentum with a brilliant header from skipper Syd Camper and made the game safe with a late penalty.

After heavy rain produced a difficult surface, an early lead was always going to be important, and it was Clevedon who grabbed it on 9 minutes.  Sol Kent laid off Elliot Nicholson’s cross to Freddie King whose first time shot took a deflection which wrong footed home keeper Ryan Rickard and ended up in the bottom corner of the net.

After a rather disjoined first half nobody could foresee what was to come next. Again, Clevedon started strongly and went further ahead only 2 minutes after the break. King exchanged passes with Henry Westlake to pick out Camm in the box and his shot on the turn came off Elliot Crawford and over Rickard into the net to put the Seasiders 2-0 up.

Torpoint reacted to the set back and on 58 minutes the Clevedon defence conceded their first goal in over 500 minutes play when Sam Hillson’s cross from the left was headed back to Darren Jones to make it 1-2.

This time Clevedon reacted well and 6 minutes later they restored their two goal lead. Camper’s ball found Teall on the edge of the box and his turn and accurate shot beat Rickard all ends up.  Now all Town had to do was see out the game, but on 69 minutes substitute Ryan Smith got in front of Kingdon close in and when Smith went down the referee pointed to the spot despite strong protests from Town. Dunn guessed right but Richards hit a great penalty right into the bottom corner of the net and now it was 2-3.

Clevedon brought on James Wakefield, but before he could make any impact Torpoint suddenly produced an equalizer. Hicks’ up and down lob into the box from wide on the left saw Jones leap above Dunn and head home for 3-3.  With over 15 minutes to play the game was there to be won by either side, but it was Clevedon who grabbed the initiative on 78 minutes when King’s perfect corner kick into the area saw Camper soar above the defence with a powerful header into the roof of the net and Town were back in front.

Torpoint cracked again with 5 minutes left and when King found Camm in the clear in the box an as he got the ball under control keeper Rickard came flying out but mistimed his dive and felled the Clevedon man, who got up to send the keeper the wrong way from the spot.

Camper almost added an audacious sixth for Town when he spotted Rickard off his line and hit a free kick from within the centre circle just over the bar, which was a fitting end to a breathless second half and a final score of Torpoint Athletic 3 Clevedon Town 5.

This week Town host Yeovil Town in the Somerset Premier Cup on Wednesday (7-30) and on Saturday travel to the other unbeaten side in the league Barnstaple Town.