Toolstation Western League: Ilfracombe Town  0-3 Clevedon Town

The Seasiders produced a controlled and professional performance at windswept Ilfracombe on a predictably soft pitch, thanks to a third clean sheet in row and some clinical finishing. Clevedon brought in Owen Punselie for Freddie King up front whilst Ilfracombe packed the midfield and had more of the game but without creating clear cut chances.

Every Clevedon player contributed to a hard working display, from the confident handling of keeper James Dunn to the energy and enthusiasm of number 11 Owen Punselie.

The first real chance came for Clevedon on 19 minutes when Sam Beresford robbed Henry Richards on the halfway line and raced clear, but Richards recovered well to block the final shot for a corner from which Joe Teall thundered a shot off the post.

Ilfracombe gradually gained a foothold in midfield. Tyler Evans-Loude’s shot went harmlessly into the side netting and when Clevedon lost the ball in midfield from the clearance, Liam Short’s shot went well over.  Then Harry Stevens put Evans-Loude in but a brilliant block by Clevedon man of the match Brad Probert cleared the danger.

The complexion of the game changed on 36 minutes when Harlee Vozza’s dash down the right won a corner. Syd Camper’s corner was punched clear by keeper Laurence McCormick but only to Probert who took a touch before shooting through a crowded box into the corner of the net to put Clevedon ahead.

Three minutes later it was 2-0 when Camper’s cross was headed out by Jenkins, this time to Punselie who spun away from Aidan Barrow to shoot across the keeper into the far corner of the net to put Clevedon 2-0 up at the break.

Clevedon started the second period on the front foot. Sam Beresford, Punselie and Vozza all had chances, but Dunn had to save from Evans-Loude’s cross and from Ilfracombe substitute Charlie Roach.

Back came Clevedon and on 69 minutes Henry Westlake headed the ball on for Beresford to find Vozza who shot wide of the far post. Not to be denied on 72 minutes Vozza’s long cross from the right picked out Teall’s run into the box, and he steered the ball past McCormick whose fingertips couldn’t stop the ball nestling in the corner of the net.

Ilfracombe were then denied a late consolation when leading scorer Stevens burst through and tried to take the Ball round keeper Dunn who bravely dived at the striker’s feet to save, so the final score remained Ilfracombe Town 0 Clevedon Town 3.

Manager Alex White said: “That was as good as we’ve played in a while. Ilfracombe are a good team, make it difficult here and don’t concede many goals, but everybody was focused and knew their jobs and there were some outstanding performances. We were solid and clinical at the back, sharp going forward and made good decisions all over the pitch.”

Clevedon meet Brislington in the Somerset Premier Cup tonight (Wednesday) but do not have a game on Saturday, with a trip to leaders Helston Athletic on Saturday 24th.